We’re down to 49 days until the Oklahoma Sooners’ season opener against UTEP, so today we chose to spotlight a former defensive star who wore No. 49 — the explosive pass rusher Jonathan Jackson.
Jackson was a beast on the defensive line on the opposite side of fellow standout Dan Cody in his final two seasons in 2003 and ’04. The Sooners’ unit on the defensive line was one of the most consistent and productive during those early seasons under Bob Stoops.
Jackson in his four seasons at Oklahoma was known for his ability to wreak havoc in the pass rush and led the team in quarterback hurries in his final two seasons. He, along with the All-American Cody, were instrumental in OU’s unbeaten regular season and run to the BCS National Championship Game in 2004. Given the secondary’s struggles that season and throwing out the result of the 2005 Orange Bowl (which is, I guess for the sake of irony, technically true) Jackson, Cody and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek led one of the nation’s best and most relentless units up front that season.
Jackson was also a big part of the Sooners’ six sacks and two interceptions as a sophomore in the 2003 Rose Bowl against Washington State. OU’s dominant defensive performance secured the storied 34-14 New Years’ Eve win for Bob Stoops over the Cougars, marking the Sooners’ lone victory in their first and only appearance in the Rose Bowl.
Here are the highlights from that game.
Following his OU career, Jackson went on to briefly bounce around the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Bears, Titans and Falcons, but never appeared in an NFL game. His professional career in football may have been over, but Jonathan Jackson made full use of his talents and went on to earn a juris doctorate. The former OU defensive line standout is currently an attorney in his native Houston area.
Congrats to Jonathan Jackson on his Sooner career on the field and his successes in the years that followed. Boomer Sooner!