High School Sports

Former Westside standout Jackson earns SEC honors

Kareem Jackson is making the transition from high school to prep school to major college football look pretty easy.

The former Westside standout had his best game as a collegian Saturday in Alabama's 41-17 romp over Tennessee and earned Southeastern Conference freshman of the week honors Monday.

The cornerback had six tackles and two interceptions in the win over the visiting Volunteers. The last Tide defender with two interceptions in a game came last year by teammate Simeon Castille, also against Tennessee.

"œI said something to him before the game, and I was kidding with him that he doesn't have an interception," Castille told the Decatur (Ala.) Daily. "He caught me in one game. I was very excited for him, and he played a monster game."

Jackson also had a hand in Alabama recovering the game-opening onside kickoff. He and Castille had key blocks on the play, allowing Damarcus Waldrop to recover it. The setup was designed for Jackson to make the play, but he had been engaged and that helped clear the way for Waldrop.

The effort impressed standout Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry.

"Big time players make big time plays in big time situations," Gilberry told reporters after the game. "That's enough said. He is a young player, a true freshman, so he could definitely be the next Simeon Castille here."

Jackson is tied for fifth on the team with 41 tackles, and is tied for second with two interceptions and three passes defended.