Former App State LB sets sights on NFL Draft


Courtesy of Andy McLean, App State Athletics

Senior linebacker D’Marco Jackson performs during App State’s Pro Day in front of 26 NFL teams March 31, 2022.

Kurt Zottl, Reporter

A two-star recruit out of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and former App State linebacker arrived on campus in 2017 as a redshirt freshman. The year prior in 2016, the Mountaineer defense ranked 11th in total defense, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and an LB by the name of D’Marco Jackson was looking to add to that. 

While Jackson didn’t see any action on the field in 2017, he became a staple on defense for the Mountaineers from the years 2018 to 2021. Jackson won Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, was first team All-Sun Belt in 2020 and 2021, led App State to three bowl victories, and two conference championship victories.

Jackson totaled 295 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 11 and a half sacks, three interceptions and one forced fumble during his time as a Mountaineer.

“It’s hard to replace D’Marco Jackson, who was a conference player of the year this past season and has played two really good football seasons for us,” said head coach Shawn Clark in his 2021 postseason press conference

 In February, Jackson was invited and participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. The senior bowl, led by Jim Nagy, is an annual all-star football game rewarding the best players in the country, hoping to make a career in the NFL. Jackson had six tackles and one quarterback hurry in the game.

Nagy said on Twitter that Jackson “is one of the most instinctive and underrated linebackers in the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Jackson was also invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, a week-long showcase occurring every year at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The combine hosts 324 college athletes looking to make a career in the NFL. 

At the combine, Jackson ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, had a 33-inch vertical jump and a 125-inch broad jump. 

Jackson also took part in the Pro Day held in Boone, where 26 NFL teams were in attendance. Jackson completed a 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and several positional drills.

If drafted, Jackson would be the 31st Mountaineer drafted into the NFL. It would also mark the third straight year a player from App State was drafted. Darrynton Evans became the highest-drafted Sun-Belt running back in history in 2020 and the eighth Mountaineer drafted in the third round or better. Green Bay Packers drafted Shemar-Jean Charles last year in 2021 in the fifth round.