Days to Auburn Kickoff: 34 Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson

In continuing our celebration of former Auburn football players, today we are honoring former running back #34 Vincent “Bo” Jackson. Bo grew up in Bessemer, Alabama, and attended McAdory High School in McCalla Alabama. As a senior in high school, he rushed for 1,175 yards. While playing baseball for the high school, he also recorded 20 home runs in just 25 games. He was a two-time champion in the decathlon. In 1982, he set state school records for indoor high jumps (6’9”) and triple jump (48’8”). In June 1982, Jackson was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the MLB draft, but instead chose to attend Auburn University on a football scholarship after being recruited heavily by then head coach Pat Dye. Throughout his time at Auburn, Jackson earned 4,675 all-purpose yards, 45 total touchdowns (45 rushing, two receiving). During his freshman season, he became known for his infamous “Bo Over the Top” play in the 1982 Iron Bowl. It was fourth down with 2:26 left in the game, Bo convinced Pat Dye to let him make the play. He went over the top for a one-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers a 23-22 victory over instate rival Alabama. He also made a one handed grab on an option pitch versus Boston College in the Tangerine Bowl. As a sophomore, Bo was named the MVP. In his junior season, he missed quite a lot of the games due to injury, but still earned MVP honors at the Liberty Bowl after defeating Arkansas. In 1985, Bo rushed for 1,786 yards, the second best single season performance in SEC history, and also was awarded the Heisman Trophy. His jersey number, 34, was officially retired in 1992. While in high school and college, he also played baseball and ran track and field. Going into the 1986 NFL Draft, he ran a 4.12 ’40-yard’ dash. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but due to issues, he chose to play for the then Los Angles Raiders, whom he spent four seasons with. After he suffered a hip injury, ending his football career, Bo went on to play professional baseball. He played for the Kansas City Royals (1986-1990), Chicago White Sox (1991, 1993), and the California Angels (1994). He officially retired form sports at the age of 32. In 1995, Jackson completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development at Auburn, fulfilling the promise he made to his late mother. In 2007, he was ranked #8 on ESPN’s Top 25 Players in College Football History. He was awarded the 2011 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. In April of 2012, Bo Bikes Bama, a 300-mile cycling event, was initiated in order to support victims of the deadly tornado outbreak in Alabama. As of 2014, Jackson is serving as an ambassador to the Chicago White Sox. War Eagle Bo!