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5 Things to Know About Vikings New CB Khyree Jackson 

EAGAN, Minn. – It's been quite the journey for Khyree Jackson.

From deli employee of the month to becoming an NFL Draft pick, Jackson’s path to the Vikings has had its twists and turns.

The 24-year-old most recently shined at Oregon, where in his sole season for the Ducks he started all 12 games and led the team with three interceptions. He also recorded 34 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups.

Jackson also stood out in 2024 Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama, earlier this spring, where he worked with Vikings Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Daronte Jones, as well as Vikings safeties coach Michael Hutchings and defensive assistant Imarjaye Albury.

At 6-foot-3, Jackson brings atypical length for a cornerback – without sacrificing mobility – to Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores' system.

"[He has a] really aggressive mindset, [is a] play press man," Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said after the draft. "You know, really good insight we got from one of our former coaches ... about the person and different things like that and how he would fit in. So just really excited to add him in with the mentality he can bring to that room."

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new corner:

  1. Multiple stops

You might have noticed Jackson is a bit older than most NFL rookies.

That's explained by the number of stops he's taken along his unique path to the pros.

Jackson started out at Arizona Western College at just 17 years old but grew homesick and moved back to his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He was away from school for six months before opting to give it another try, this time at Fort Scott Community College, where he played football again after missing two seasons.

After Fort Scott, Jackson transferred to East Mississippi Community College, but the 2020 season was cancelled. He then had an opportunity to play under retired Head Coach Nick Saban at Alabama, where he was a backup in the secondary.

Jackson transferred to Oregon for the 2023 season, making the most of the opportunity.

  1. 'Chef Ski'

Jackson uses a nickname, Reeski, on his Instagram profile, where one of his featured highlights is titled Chef Ski.

(It might also be foreshadowing that an image of Randy Moss serves as the highlight's main photo).

Throughout the highlight reels, Jackson shows fans another skill he has: cooking.

From crab-stuffed chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and asparagus (a regularly occurring veggie) to stuffed cinnamon rolls and steak-and-cheese eggrolls, Jackson demonstrates a creativity in the kitchen he's clearly passionate about.

As far as the dish that most intrigued this Vikings writer? I'd have to go with the Texas Toast Wagyu burger, accompanied by Brussels sprouts and bacon honey drizzle.

Screenshot 2024-04-29 at 2.50.59 PM
  1. Fashion fanatic

Jackson told Twin Cities media members he has an affinity for fashion, which he occasionally shows off on his social media.

Jackson will reunite in Minnesota with former Alabama teammate Dallas Turner, whom the Vikings drafted 17th overall, and he said the two share more interests than football.

"I know we're probably going to have a little clothing war going on," Jackson laughed after being drafted. "He's really into clothes, and I am, too. So look out for that coming to every game week, for sure."

Jackson also noted the high fashion found in London, where the Vikings will play again this season as part of the NFL's 2024 International Games.

  1. 'I gotta go'

Speaking of shopping, Jackson was perusing a mall near his hometown, trying to tone down any nerves, when he got the call from Minnesota on draft day.

"I thought my name was going to get called a little later in the day. I didn't know it was going to be fourth or fifth round," he explained. "I was in the store, and I missed the first call and then my phone rang again. I picked it up and it was the Vikings. I told the lady in the store, 'Well, I gotta go,' and I ran out of the store and called my parents. I think they were on pick 105 or 106 at the time. I called my mom and told her, 'You might want to turn on the TV.'

"I just hurried up and hung up the phone and then I called my dad. He was right next to her though. I don't know why, I should have just told them both at the same time," Jackson added. "But then I called my dad, told him the same thing. It was crazy. I ended up coming back to the house. All my family was here."

View photos of Oregon cornerback Khyree Jackson who was selected No. 108 overall in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

  1. Crab cakes & football

Jackson is one of five Maryland natives on Minnesota's current roster and shares the hometown of Upper Marlboro with Christian Darrisaw. Jordan Addison (Frederick), Andrew DePaola (Parkton) and 2024 sixth-round draft pick Walter Rouse (Silver Spring) also hail from Maryland.

Jones, who will coach Jackson, is from Annapolis, Maryland, just a short drive from Upper Marlboro.

Undrafted rookie Jeshaun Jones played collegiately at Maryland but is from South Fort Myers, Florida.