By Peter Gleason
Eagles fans are thrilled that DeSean Jackson’s five year exile from South Philly has ended.
But no one is happier that the speedy wideout is back than quarterback Carson Wentz!
When most people think of Jackson they think of a guy who can fly down the field and is one of the hardest receivers in the league to cover.
That is true, but there is more to Jackson than just a guy who flies by his defenders on the field. Let’s look at four things you need to know about the former California Golden Bear counting down from four, courtesy of ClutchPoints.com:
4. Jackson lost his father in 2005
Growing up Jackson and his father, Bill, were very close and he is one of the biggest influences in his life. In 2005 Jackson lost his father to pancreatic cancer and those close to him say that Jackson hasn’t gotten over his death.
Jackson’s high school coach Raul Laura told the South Jersey Times that once his father died, he started hanging around the wrong people.
“The loss of his father was devastating for him. When his dad passed away, I think DeSean started to hang around some not-so-good people.”
He has had good mentors in his life who have helped guide him back in the right direction, but no one will ever be able to replace the bond he had with his father.
3. Jackson has two kids
Jackson has been with his girlfriend, Kayla Phillips, since 2015 and the couple has two kids together.
On October 26th, 2015 the pair welcomed DeSean Jackson Jr. In June 2018 the couple announced they were expecting another child.
Jackson is also a stepdad to Tru who Phillips had in a previous relationship.
As important as Jackson’s relationship was with his father he has made it clear that his relationship with his kids is also very important.
2. Has been a high profile athlete since high school
During High School Jackson was a polarizing figure in Southern California and was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a senior.
During the All-American Bowl Jackson caught seven passes for 141 yards including a 45-yard touchdown and that was good enough to win the MVP award.
He also had an embarrassing moment in the game where he tried to flip into the end zone from the five-yard line but instead landing on the one-yard line.
Jackson was also named the player of the year in the state of California by Calhisports.com. He was highly recruited all across the country but it ultimately came down to two Southern California teams, the Cal Golden Bears and USC.
He ended up choosing the Golden Bears. It was the right choice, Jackson starred at Cal.
1. Was a strong baseball player
Along with football, Jackson also played baseball and ran track in high school.
Jackson decided football was the direction he wanted to go and it’s clear now he made a very good decision. He’ll try to help the Eagles get back to the playoffs next season.