Jackson, Silver Bluff celebrate 3rd annual youth football camp

May 25—A busy week for Silver Bluff High School's football program wrapped up Saturday morning with what's become a familiar — and fun — spectacle for current, former and future Bulldogs alike.

Tarron Jackson's third annual youth football camp capped the week, with nearly 80 kids receiving instructions from Jackson, some of his NFL friends and former Coastal Carolina teammates, and members of the Bulldogs' varsity roster and coaching staff.

"It feels amazing," said Jackson, 25, a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and a Silver Bluff alumnus. "Any time I can come back and just get on this field, man, it always feels good. I played a lot of Friday night lights here, so it's always a blessing to be able to give back."

Campers were stationed all over the field, competing against one another in the same kind of drills the Bulldogs do in practice.

"It's crazy. It never gets old," Jackson said. "... When I come back every year, and you kind of see them getting better and better and better, it's crazy. Just that progression. When you're young, you have to keep working, keep working. Sometimes you don't see yourself getting better, but as you keep going you just gradually get better. You can kind of see those results now from the campers that came from last year to this year. It's a big jump."

Jackson said he was pleased with the turnout, which first-year Bulldogs head coach Matt Hayes said was 78. Jackson wants to continue encouraging more and more kids to come out for the camp — the more, the better.

"Tarron Jackson's a big part of Silver Bluff. I was able to coach him when I coached here earlier. Love him," Hayes said. "He's one of my favorite players, my favorite students. My wife taught him. He's just one of a kind. Having a third annual camp here is special. Me coming back as first-year head coach, when he called and asked if we could get it set up, I said 'Absolutely.'

"My varsity players — I said, 'You don't have to because it's Memorial Day weekend, but if you want to show up, please help out' and they had a really good showing with my guys. Tarron coming back, giving back to his community, where he's from, it's a big deal."

Jackson will soon be back at work during voluntary offseason workout programs, with a few more weeks of grinding upcoming before business picks up in July for Eagles camp. For now, though, he's enjoying a holiday weekend back home.

"Really, that's the big thing. Being away so much, when I can get a chance just to come sit down and talk with my family is big." he said, then added with a laugh, "Grandma always cooks me a big meal. I tell her, 'Grandma, I can't eat that. I'm trying to eat healthy.' But she's going to cook it, and I'm going to eat it. I can't tell her no. Whenever I get a chance to come back, I love it."