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Drake Jackson’s full circle moment in the NFL

Jackson’s dreams came true early on this season...

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

49ers rookie second-round pick Drake Jackson has burst onto the scene in his first NFL season, playing at a high enough level to see his role increase on a very talented defensive line group.

Jackson currently ranks second among all rookie defensive linemen in sacks this season, which started with a Russell Wilson in Denver back in Week 3 for the first of many to come in Jackson’s NFL career.

Any sack in the NFL is one that should be celebrated, particularly the milestone of recording your first ever at the highest level of competition the sport of football has to offer. Especially when you are able to do it on primetime with the entire world watching the way Jackson was on Sunday Night Football in Denver.

However, what truly made Jackson’s first career sack so special, was the quarterback that was on the receiving end of it, as this was not the first time that Jackson and Wilson had crossed paths before. This was a full circle moment for Jackson and Wilson, creating a defining moment in the young defensive ends career.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Jackson, and while we were talking, I asked him about the emotions of getting his first NFL sack on national TV and what it meant to him.

Jackson responded by making it clear that his previous history with Wilson was what made that moment so meaningful to him. Here is what he had to say when I asked about that sack:

That was a crazy sack man, I’m not going to lie. For that to be my first sack too, on Russell Wilson, man it’s crazy because I went to one of his camps when I was 10-12 years old. And one of his big things in his camp was “work hard, dream big”. I went to his camp and I took pictures with him, and to be able to double back years later and get my first sack on him was... work hard, dream big! You can’t really make that stuff up, it’s just a blessing to come full circle like that.

Little did Wilson know that one of those kids he inspired would end up chasing him down on an NFL field years later. These are the kind of things that make the sport of football so special, a bond and an inspiration forged in a full circle moment that will connect these two players forever, well beyond their playing days on the field.