On Saturday morning, former Sparta Bulldog Darius Jackson wasn't sure what uniform he would be wearing next football season. Later that afternoon, he learned that he will be donning a star on his sleeve.
Jackson, who finished his senior year at tailback for Eastern Michigan with 1,100 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, was chosen in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The 6-foot-0, 220-pound running back was the the 216th overall pick in the league's annual roundup of annual talent.
He will report to rookie mini-camp next week.
"Obviously, I'm thrilled," Jackson said, shortly after he was selected. "This has been my dream my entire life. I have always wanted this opportunity, and I'm so proud to call myself a Cowboy."
Jackson was informed via telephone as he watched the draft in St. Louis. During the call, he spoke with Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, head coach Jason Garrett, and also owner Jerry Jones.
Jones greeted Jackson to the team saying, "I have to tell you, there's nothing quite like being a Cowboy."
The move to Dallas is a bit of a homecoming for Jackson, who grew up in nearby Garland, Texas, before moving to Sparta.
"It's truly a dream come true to go back there after kind of making the full circle to Illinois and then up to Michigan," Jackson said. "I can't wait to get to work."
Jackson was in Sparta on Monday, attending a school assembly in his honor.