NFL player killed by illegal immigrant gets awesome honor from alma mater


The sports world went into mourning in early February when beloved Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, affectionately referred to as “Pound Cake” by his teammates and friends, was struck and killed by a drunken driver.

It was a senseless tragedy that also claimed the life of Jackson’s Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe.

The man who police say was responsible, 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala, had a blood-alcohol level that was three times the legal limit in Indiana, according to police reports obtained by the Indy Star. Orrego-Savala is facing multiple felony charges.

Perhaps the worst part of the untimely deaths of Jackson and Monroe is the fact that Orrego-Savala never should’ve been in the country to begin with.

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According to police reports, Orrego-Savala, who is from Guatemala, was in the United States illegally and had already been deported twice before in 2007 and 2009 following arrests.

The president and vice president offered their thoughts after Jackson’s death.

While prayers and condolences from two of the most important people in the United States are always appreciated, Jackson’s alma mater took things one step further.

Georgia Southern University awarded Jackson a posthumous degree during a ceremony on Saturday. Unsurprisingly, it was an emotional affair as Jackson’s parents, Wesley and Mary, accepted the award on his behalf.

Wesley led a “Georgia Southern” chant at the end of the acceptance.

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Edwin Jackson’s story at Georgia Southern was the stuff of fairy tales. Jackson made the team after tryouts were held for walk-ons. To help honor that, the walk-on program was renamed to the Edwin Jackson Memorial Walk-On Tryouts.

“In memory of Edwin Jackson and the mark that he left in so many people’s lives, we wanted to take the first step in honoring him by naming our walk-on tryouts after him,” Georgia Southern coach Chad Lunsford said, per Yahoo Sports. “Edwin went down the hardest path possible here at Southern to earn some unbelievable results. He went from a walk-on tryout participant, to a spot on the team, to playing time, to a starter and leader and finally, a captain and Sun Belt champion.

“He then did it all again, signing as an NFL undrafted free agent, earned a spot on an NFL roster and then regular playing time before finally earning a job as a starter. His work ethic exemplified the blue collar mentality that made him the perfect fit at Georgia Southern. Not only did he accomplish these things, but he also was an unbelievable person who demonstrated our core values. The ultimate servant leader, he affected so many lives in a positive manner. I want to give a big thank you to his family for allowing us the to honor Edwin Jackson by naming our walk-on tryouts after him.”

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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