Former NFL QB Tarvaris Jackson, 36, dies in car crash in Alabama

A former NFL and Alabama State University quarterback has died following a single-vehicle wreck Sunday night.

State Trooper Michael Carswell said Tarvaris Dandre Jackson, 36, died shortly after 9 p.m. following the wreck near Pike Road.

Jackson was traveling on Pike Road near Antioch Lane, about 7 miles south of Montgomery, when his 2012 Chevrolet Camaro left the roadway, struck a tree and overturned, Carswell said. Jackson was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Alabama state troopers will continue to investigate the crash, Carswell said.

Jackson graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 2001 and went on to play football at the University of Arkansas. Jackson played three games before suffering a season-ending injury.

Jackson stayed one more year at Arkansas before transferring to Alabama State University after falling behind in the Arkansas depth charts. While at ASU, Jackson led the team to a Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division title. The following year, Jackson led the Hornets to their second 10-win season in school history.

Jackson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft, making him the first ASU quarterback drafted in over a decade. He remained with the Vikings for five seasons, starting as a backup, rising to starter status and ultimately falling back as the second option to Brett Favre in his final seasons.

When drafted in 2006, Jackson thought even going as high as the third round was wishful thinking just days before the draft. When he went as the final pick of the second round — No. 64 overall — to Minnesota, he became ASU’s first player drafted since 1995.

“It was like a dream, just unbelievable,” Jackson said at the time. “I’ll be honest, I almost cried — came really, really close to it. I never expected this. I knew they liked me, but you know, I was saying the other day that I thought I’d be very lucky to go in the third round, much less the second.”

Before the 2011 season, Jackson signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks but was traded in 2012 to the Buffalo Bills where he remained until he was released in June 2013. Three days later, Jackson signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks again as a backup to Russell Wilson.

During Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos, Jackson was put in during the fourth quarter as a relief to Wilson. The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in franchise history as they defeated the Broncos 43–8.

Jackson signed on for another season in which the Seahawks ultimately fell to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Following the 2015 season, Jackson became an unrestricted free agent.

In 2018, Jackson returned to ASU where he took a role as a graduate assistant coaching the quarterbacks. In 2019, Jackson was named the quarterback coach at Tennessee State.

Despite his NFL career, Jackson would return to Montgomery to host free youth football camps, running drills with the children and offering advice to the young players.