Army West Point’s day of celebration Saturday turned to tragedy Sunday, when sophomore defensive back Brandon Jackson was killed in a single-car accident. He was 20.
“We will honor his life as we mourn the untimely death of a young man who had a promising future as a leader in service to our nation,” Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., West Point superintendent, said in a statement. “Brandon internalized our watch words, Duty, Honor, Country.”
Jackson played in all 12 games in 2015 and emerged as one of the team’s top defensive backs. In nine starts, he led the team with three interceptions and his 62 tackles were fifth-best. In two games in 2016, Jackson totaled six tackles and broke up two passes.
On Saturday, after Army celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1st Infantry Division with Major General Wayne Grigsby Jr. leading the team onto the field, Jackson helped Army improve to 2-0 for the first time since 1996. He made two solo tackles and one assist in a 31-14 victory against Rice.
Army plays UTEP Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ASN in a game that will take on new meaning.
“Words cannot describe the grief that our team is feeling over the loss of our brother and friend, Brandon,” said head coach Jeff Monken. “He was a beloved teammate and our hearts are with his family at this time of tragedy.”
Jackson was honored by teammates on others on Twitter:
— NCAA (@NCAA) September 12, 2016
God needed a shut-down corner on his team in Heaven… ?? #28 https://t.co/wOB8DhqB6t
— Alex Aukerman (@AlexAukerman) September 12, 2016
Rest easy Brandon. We will continue to fight for you and this brotherhood. We love you. #28 pic.twitter.com/b0dQVMjRDT
— Andrew King (@Chosen11s) September 12, 2016
I’m at a loss of words after hearing the sad news about my brother today. Love you bro! RIP Brandon Jackson #28 pic.twitter.com/cT4IYwDgxT
— Glen Coates (@GlenCoates_14) September 12, 2016
Blessed and fortunate I had the opportunity to have #28 in my life. What an amazing man who will be greatly missed.
— Brian Phillips (@BrianPhillips13) September 12, 2016
— Pete (@ilSavio) September 12, 2016
We’re saddened to announce that Army CB Brandon Jackson has passed away
Prayers for his family & The Army Family pic.twitter.com/82yi4XOJlJ
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) September 12, 2016
Life is truly a gift. Enjoy every moment because you never know when it’s time. Prayers out to the family of Brandon Jackson and Army. #RIP
— James Mayden (@JamesMayden) September 12, 2016
Deepest thoughts and condolences to Brandon Jackson and his family and the Army football family . He is tragically gone way too soon. ????
— ben holden (@benholdenpxp) September 12, 2016
Be Thou at Peace, Brandon Jackson. Go Army Football. https://t.co/08q35DEPRy
— Matt Arent (@mjAIRent) September 12, 2016