Jermaine Johnson and Calvin Jackson reunite as New York Jets teammates
On April 28, the New York Jets selected edge rusher Jermaine Johnson with the 26th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. For Johnson, a fall to the mid-twenties was unexpected, but in the grand scheme of things, he was lucky to be drafted at all.
For hundreds of prospects, the conclusion of the draft on April 30 marked the end of their dreams to one day play in the NFL. Johnson’s former Independence Community College teammate, wide receiver Calvin Jackson, was nearly one of those players.
Jackson went undrafted out of Washington State, but fortunately enough, he was invited to two rookie minicamps for tryouts; one with the New York Jets and another with the Miami Dolphins.
After a successful minicamp with the Jets, Jackson was signed by the team.
Just a few hours later, Johnson welcomed his former Independence teammate to the squad in a heartfelt video message posted on his Instagram story.
Jermaine Johnson showing love to his former teammate, Calvin Jackson Jr… Both played at Independence Community College… Jets fans are fired up‼️ Much love @ii_jermaine @PrimetimeCeej #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/0PPEVV5jEc
— J. Gray ✈️ (@Justin_Jets) May 9, 2022
“Shoutout my guy CJ [Calvin Jackson]. Man, from the trenches to the New York Jets,” said Johnson. “The guy did everything imaginable to get himself where he is now and I’ve seen it along the way. So, congrats to CJ. From Independence to New York with your boy.”
Johnson and Jackson were teammates back in junior college before transferring to Georgia and Washington State, respectively.
Both had success at Independence, but Jackson’s route to the NFL proved a bit more challenging.
“I’m excited we get to do this together. We started this together and now we get to start this chapter together,” said Johnson. “I’m proud of you. I love you. Jets nation, Jets family, let’s invite CJ with some love.”
“From junior college, to the league, to the same team. Let’s do it, let’s work. The best teammate you could ask for and an even better guy,” said Johnson.
When OTAs commence later this month, both Johnson and Jackson will have the chance to compete against one another just like they did back in Independence, Kansas on Netflix’s “Last Chance U.”
Jackson has come a long way, but his ultimate goal of making the team’s regular season roster is far from a sure thing. However, if he can continue to grow and flourish under what is now an NFL staff, Jackson has a chance to achieve the improbable.
We know that’s what Jermaine Johnson is rooting for.