Steven Jackson Talks R&B, Fantasy Football and Falcons Fashion
Falcons running back Steven Jackson has a decade's worth of NFL experience under his belt, including three Pro Bowl nods. He's a member of the 10,000 rushing yards club and is the all-time leader in that category for his former team, the St. Louis Rams. Matter fact, Jackson's been lighting up scoreboards since his youngin' days. As a teenager at Eldorado High School in Las Vegas, S-Jax racked up 6,396 yards and scored 81 touchdowns for the Sundevils. Shoot, they named the damn field after him.
"I broke the state record in Nevada, ran for nearly 3,000 yards in one season, so I understand putting up big numbers," Jackson says, leaning forward, his hulking 6-2, 240-pound frame engulfing a metal folding chair at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. Jackson's python-sized arms make his tailored suit look like it's ready to bust at the seams. We're here for Gatorade’s 2014 High School Athlete of the Year event, surrounding by some of the country's best young stars. Looking back on his high school days, Jackson offers, "I would like to think I was an exceptional athlete."
With the 2014 NFL season on the horizon, we dug into Jackson's favorite high school football memories, plus his picks for the best- and worst-dressed (your move, William Moore) players on the Falcons and where he thinks you ought to draft him in fantasy football this year. Atlanta is set to kick off what they hope is a bounce-back season on Sunday against the Saints.
Is there anything highlight or achievement your high school days that still sticks out to you now?
Our rivalry game against Las Vegas High School. One year, the first time around, I ran for 315 yards against them. Fast-forward, we meet them in the playoffs, and there was like this huge headline about how they were going to stop me, and then I ran for 322 yards. Things like that really stuck out to the point that, I took it really personal when I read anything bad about me or someone made a threat to stop me. I took the littlest thing to give myself an edge.
What was your personal style like in high school, off the field?
I was a mess, actually. I thought I was cool, though. I worked in retail at a mall, at a clothing store. I used to wear a lot of urban clothing, from FUBU to Sean John to Mark Ecko. I wore all that stuff.
How would you describe your style now?
Classy, timeless, I try to use basic things and a color pop in the pocket square or the tie.
Who has the best style on the Falcons?
Is there anyone else in the conversation?
He's not on our team anymore, but I enjoyed the way Tony Gonzalez dressed — he was an older guy, but he understood that less is more.
Who has the worst style on the Falcons?
I'll just say he's a safety from the University of Missouri. I won't say his name. [Laughs]
What's on rotation in your iTunes right now?
Funny enough, I'm a R&B cat — I keep it real sexy [Laughs]. I'm always playing a lot of Pandora, with Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq, things like that. I keep it real smooth, because it's chaos on the field. You can't go home to your girl like that [Laughs].
Where should you go in fantasy football drafts this year?
Definitely, if not first round, then early second round.