Rickey Jackson – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
New Orleans Saints
Photo Courtesy of the New Orleans Saints
The selection of Rickey Jackson with a second-round pick (No. 51 overall) in the 1981 NFL Draft was a critical step in the Saints climbing out of the NFL cellar.He quickly established himself as a dominant hard-hitting linebacker and was a part of the Saints’ famed “Dome Patrol” linebacking corps.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 and 1993). The 6-2, 240-pounder was named first-team All-Pro in 1987 when he helped New Orleans to its first winning season and inaugural playoff appearance in franchise history. He was also a first-team All-Pro in 1986, 1992 and 1993. New Orleans never finished below .500 during Jackson’s final seven years with the team.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the first member of the Hall of Fame to be inducted primarily for his contributions as a Saints, who retired his jersey #57.
One of the most durable linebackers in NFL history, Jackson missed just two games in 15 seasons, including his first 13 with the Saints. He finished his career with 128 sacks and eight interceptions – his 123 sacks with the Saints is the organization’s all-time record.
Jackson signed with the San Francisco 49ers following the 1993 season and started at defensive end on their 1994 Super Bowl championship team.
One of the top players in University of Pittsburgh history, Jackson helped the Panthers to a 22-2 record over the 1979 and 1980 seasons, including a pair of Top 10 finishes in the polls. He collected 290 career tackles at the school. Paired with Hugh Green, Jackson helped form one of the most feared defensive end tandems in college football history. Jackson was an integral part of a Pitt defense in 1980 that ranked No. 1 in the country and surrendered just 11 points per game.