Dequan Jackson showcases talent for NFL scouts at CSU Pro Day


Collegian | Garrett Mogel

Colorado State University Linebacker Dequan Jackson (5) poses for a photo at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins Colorado Aug. 18. Last season Jackson had 8.5 tackles for a loss for a total of 23 yards.

Braidon Nourse, Sports Editor

On Dec. 1, 2022, Colorado State University linebacker Dequan Jackson made the decision to enter his name into this year’s NFL Draft.

Friday morning, he got his shot to work out in front of NFL scouts at CSU’s annual Pro Day.


Jackson was brought into the football program by head coach Mike Bobo in 2018 and since has had to deal with multiple changes in the coaching staff. After the 2019 season, Bobo was fired and Steve Addazio replaced him. Addazio would only stay for two seasons, and Jackson would go on to have his third head coach of his career, Jay Norvell, for his final year.

Though change and adversity came often in Jackson’s career as a Ram, he stayed the course and thrived anyway. In his five years, he served as a team captain for three, garnered a few All-Mountain West Conference selections — once as a 2nd-teamer and twice as an honorable mention — and recorded 322 tackles.

To leave a mark on the school was Jackson’s goal from day one, and it’s a goal he said he’s accomplished during his tenure at CSU. 

It all culminated into a shot at the NFL.

“It’s meant everything to me,” Jackson said. “I love this program, I love the guys that I was here with. It kind of meant everything to me to have one more chance to come out here and perform with them again today.”

Jackson was surrounded by other CSU players trying to make their mark in front of NFL scouts, including offensive linemen Dante Bivens, Gray Davis and Dontae Keys. Fellow linebackers Cam’Ron Carter and Brandon Hickerson-Rooks were there too, among others.

Friday morning consisted of the usual tests of strength, speed and agility that you’d find at any Pro Day or at the NFL Draft Combine. First were the bench press and vertical leap, followed by the broad jump, the 40-yard dash and a series of drills testing players’ football smarts and abilities.

“I thought I did solid, man,” Jackson said. “I had some good numbers in some good areas. I talked to a few of the scouts and they said I move well. … I’m excited about what I put down here today. I trained a long time, so no matter what today’s outcome would have been, I would have been excited.”

For the past five years, Jackson has been going to practice to get better so that he could play a role in the team winning more games. That’s been the blueprint for his entire career. But since he declared for the draft, the preparation has instead been for moments like this – for opportunities to get to the next level.


“Just (have to) trust the process, go to work every day,” Jackson said. “I learned how to be more of a professional. I mean, I’ve always carried myself in that manner, but you know, just going about my day, getting (to practice) early.”

Though the draft is the next step in his already accomplished career, he won’t be so quick to forget about all the things CSU has done for him.

“I’m thankful that God gave me the opportunity to play college football and to meet these guys,” Jackson said. “I’m pretty sure a lot of these guys here are gonna be lifelong friends to me. Thanks to CSU and thanks to the guys.”

Jackson isn’t yet sure what lies ahead, but said he’ll “keep training and be ready” for whatever is next, whether it be more workouts or team visits. The NFL Draft will take place April 27-29.

Reach Braidon Nourse at or on Twitter @BraidonNourse.