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|Jackson continues tradition|
Cardia Jackson has grown both on and off the field over the years — and he has done it right before the eyes of Ouachita Parish fans.
After a stellar high school playing career at Wossman High School in Monroe, Jackson has become the team leader and best player on the defense at ULM.
As a standout linebacker at Wossman, Jackson was a two-time all-state and all-district selection. He was named the NELA defensive player of the year in 2005. Even today his mark is left on the Wossman football program as he is still the all-time leading tackler in the storied history of one of the area's long-time successful programs.
He later went through a hot recruiting process that saw him switch his commitment from Louisiana Tech to ULM at the last minute and decide to play his college football just minutes away from the neighborhood he grew-up in.
"I am real proud of my decision," Jackson said. "As a young boy I used to come out and watch the games when they were NLU (Northeast Louisiana University)."
He grew up telling his family he would one day play at ULM and he made that dream a reality four years ago.
Jackson made an immediate impact on the program as a freshman as he played in all 12 games and was fourth in tackles.
He was the top tackler on the team by his sophomore campaign and made the second-team of the All-Sun Belt selections.
His 10.6 tackles per game a year ago were good enough for eighth nationally in total tackles and fourth in America for solo tackles.
Jackson led the team in tackles at Ole Miss and Tulane last year as well as at SEC foe Kentucky in 2007.
He goes into his senior year with a revamped defensive coaching staff at ULM.
Troy Reffett is the new defensive coordinator and has installed a 3-3-5 scheme this season.
Jackson has been the vocal leader on the field this fall getting his teammates in the right spots.
"I was telling the guys today," Jackson said. "This is not a game. This is your job."
Jackson is still searching for a championship ring after a stellar career did not yield gold at Wossman or ULM as of yet.
Jackson has put himself in position to become the fifth ULM defensive player over the last five years to play pro ball after Brandon Guillory, Kevin Payne, Chaz Williams, and Chris Harris have recently gone on to make a paycheck playing on the gridiron after finishing their ULM careers.
Jackson looks well on his way to continuing the flow from the bayou to the NFL playing field.