A love of football is often passed on from father to son and the same could be said for Jarious Jackson and his father.
Jackson’s dad, Jarious Jackson Sr., died on Mother’s Day in a single car accident and the Roughriders’ quarterbacks coach buried him just last week.
He recalled a man who not only played football, but instilled a love of the game in him at a young age.
Jackson’s first bike was a Pittsburgh Steelers bike and his toy box had the logos of all the NFL teams on it.
Both were bought for him by his dad.
“Things like that are kind of going through my mind as the day progresses,” he admitted.
Jackson’s dad was just 62-years-old and the grief is still fresh.
“I still have my moments behind closed doors,” Jackson said. “I’m man enough to say I still cry at times.”
Jackson was given every opportunity to spend more time around family and come back to the Riders when he was ready, but he realized very quickly that he wanted to be back with the team and get to training camp.
“Coach Jones was great about it, I mean, him and (Roughriders president and CEO) Craig Reynolds, they were both tremendously supportive,” Jackson said.
“For me personally, I’d cope better being (with the team) and doing my job and staying busy and being around my second family, so to speak … I knew a couple of days after we had his burial it was time.”
And Jackson also knows that his dad would have wanted him back at work and not moping around his home. So instead he’s choosing to honour his dad in his hard work.
“I’ve got my own goals and things that I want to attain this year and it’s going to make me focus that much harder,” Jackson said.
“I have a lot of faith. Not to get too religious on you, but I just feel like God doesn’t put too much on you that you can’t handle or can’t bear. It’s definitely going to make me a stronger person in the end.”
All of that brings Jackson comfort, along with knowing his dad is watching out for him from above.
“I’m sure I got a guardian angel now, so it’s all good.”