How Vols football defensive back Theo Jackson felt being drafted by hometown Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Vols defensive back Theo Jackson said he was elated to be drafted by the Tennessee Titans, his hometown team.

“I’m not going to lie to you: I’m going through so many emotions right now,” Jackson said. “But it’s the best feeling. To grow up in Nashville, go to school at Tennessee and then come back home for pro ball. I can’t even think of the words to even say right now. I’m just so excited and I’m so eager to get to work.”

The Titans' sixth-round selection Saturday at No. 204 overall, Jackson grew up in Antioch and attended Overton High School in Nashville, where he became a three-star prospect before joining the Vols. He was a Titans fan as a kid, attending a number of games as an uncle of his owns a suite box in Nissan Stadium.

Jackson watched the draft with 60-70 family members at an uncle’s house, where there were Titans jerseys all around him.

2022 NFL DRAFT: NFL Draft 2022: Day 3 picks, live instant grades, trades, tracker, updates

CHANCE CAMPBELL: Why Ole Miss linebacker Chance Campbell has the attitude Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson likes

THEO JACKSON: 3 things to know about Theo Jackson, Titans' sixth-round NFL Draft pick at No. 204 overall

“Funny thing is he’s probably the biggest Tennessee fan,” Jackson explained. “There’s Tennessee jerseys everywhere. His whole downstairs is Tennessee everything. For me to get drafted by the Titans in that room, that was super special.”

At Overton, Jackson was primarily focused on reaching the college level. But he also envisioned himself playing for the Titans one day.

"Just having that vision come true, I still can’t even put together the words of what I’m feeling right now,” Jackson said.

He figures to play special teams for the Titans and compete for depth in the secondary. His best guess is that he plays safety, in the slot and in dime packages.

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Jackson had a breakout fifth season with the Vols in 2021, starting 12 games and finishing with 78 tackles ( nine for loss), 1.5 sacks, 12 pass breakups and a pick-six on the year. Jackson tied for the SEC lead in tackles for loss among defensive backs and ranked second in the conference in pass breakups.

“It’s really just how they want to view me and where they want to place me at,” Jackson said of the Titans.

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: How Vols' Theo Jackson felt being drafted by hometown Tennessee Titans