October 9, 2012

Jackson born into football life

Gabe Jackson has been around football his entire life.

Growing up as the son of a high school football coach, the game has been ingrained in him from the time he was born. Now 21-years later Jackson is one of the nation's top offensive guards and anchoring a young line at Mississippi State.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has started all 31 games during his career and is the Bulldogs most experienced lineman.

"I have to look at myself as a leader," Jackson said. "I share that role along with Tobias Smith but he's not out there every play on the field so I have to take over. I have to constantly make sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to do."

Jackson has picked up his share of accolades during his two-plus years as a starter. In 2010, he was named Freshman All-SEC and was followed up by a second team All-SEC and Rivals.com Sophomore All-American honors as a sophomore last season.

The Liberty, Miss., native was a second team Preseason All-SEC selection coming into this year as well as added to the Outland and Lombardi Award watch lists.

"Coming in at first I didn't expect (all the awards and attention)," Jackson said. "I did a little bit but if you keep working hard it will pay off."

Jackson is so talented that it is not a guarantee that he will return to Starkville next season. Like many of his other teammates, playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream.

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