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5 Things to Know About New Vikings S Theo Jackson


EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings are adding to their defensive backs room.

Minnesota has signed safety Theo Jackson, the team announced Tuesday.

Jackson most recently was with the Titans, who drafted him 204th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has been on Tennessee's practice squad.

Here are five things to know about Jackson:

1. Former Volunteer

Jackson was a standout at the University of Tennessee, where he played five seasons (2017-21).

He played 56 games, making 24 starts, and totaled 190 career tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three interceptions – including a pick-six – and 20 passes defensed.

As a senior, Jackson ranked fourth on the team with 78 tackles and led all SEC defensive backs with nine tackles for loss.

Jackson played the "STAR" position, which is a safety/linebacker hybrid.

He was a member of the Volunteers leadership council and graduated in December 2021 with a degree in communications.

Jackson overlapped at Tennessee from 2017-20 with Vikings running back Ty Chandler, before Chandler transferred to North Carolina for the 2021 campaign. Chandler was placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday because of a thumb injury he suffered Sunday against Chicago.

View photos of Vikings S Theo Jackson who signed with the team on Oct. 11.

2. High school standout

Jackson attended Overton High School (Nashville), where was rated a three-star recruit and top-25 prospect in Tennessee in 2016.

After nabbing five interceptions that season, he was named to The Tennessean's 2016 Dandy Dozen and led the Bobcats to the second round of the 2016 Class 6A state playoffs.

Jackson wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but did participate in Tennesee's Pro Day in 2021, where he ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and recorded solid numbers in the vertical jump (37 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 3 inches).

He shares the alma mater with six-time MLB All-Star Mookie Betts and former NFL linebacker Jeff Gooch, who spent the 1996-2005 seasons in the league with the Buccaneers and Lions.

3. Nashville native

Jackson grew up in Antioch, a neighborhood of Nashville, and was a Titans fan.

"My uncle owns a suite box inside the stadium," he said upon being drafted by Tennessee. "I'd go to the games and sit in the box and eat food, and just enjoy the game."

Jackson was at his uncle’s home when he received a draft call from the Titans; he called it "super special" to share that moment with his family.

The 24-year-old joins Harrison Smith (Knoxville) in hailing from Tennessee.

4. Oh Captain, my captain

Just last week, Jackson joined former Volunteer Ugo Amadi as guest captains for Overton as the Bobcats took on Cane Ridge High School.

Overton fell to Cane Ridge.

5. Creature of habit and thrower of strikes

Jackson's pregame ritual involves walking around on the field and eating a bag of Skittles, his favorite candy.

He also enjoys bowling "because it helps me clear my head." His best score is a 280 out of a possible 300.