Aaron Jackson’s road to collegiate football success had a few twists and turns.
He’s hoping he can take that same road to the NFL.
Jackson, a 2013 graduate of Frankfort High, is playing football for the Cologne Crocodiles in the German Football League.
After wrapping up two years at Benedictine College last fall, Jackson heard from some NFL teams.
“Basically it was ‘we’ll get back to you,’” he said. “There was nothing solid like a piece of paper, an actual contract.”
Jackson found success at Benedictine, playing there after stints at Western Kentucky and Pikeville.
Benedictine reached the NAIA national championship game last season, losing to Morningside 35-28. Jackson had five receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown in the game.
After graduating from Benedictine in December, Jackson returned to Frankfort and continued to work out.
“People told me they’d give me a call if someone went down,” he said, “so I was getting prepared if something came up in the NFL or CFL.”
Jackson was also working at a job at DHL.
Jackson made a highlights video and posted it on a website, and that led to an offer from the Crocodiles.
He’s been in Germany since late July and played in the Crocodiles’ 26-14 win over the Potsdam Royals on July 27, the only game the team has played since his arrival.
Jackson, a wide receiver, had 180 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown, a kickoff return and 250 all-purpose yards.
“It was a good game for my first game,” he said.
The Crocodiles’ next game is Aug. 18 against the Hildesheim Invaders.
“I’ve been traveling a lot,” he said. “I went to Belgium when some of my teammates went to the Netherlands. That’s two hours by car, and I plan to go soon.
“It’s cool. At home you drive for an hour and you’re in a different state. Here you drive for an hour and you’re in a different country.”
There are three other Americans on the Crocodiles’ roster, and the four Americans share an apartment.
“The nice thing about it is I get to travel,” Jackson said. “I play football and I work out. I don’t have other responsibilities. I don’t have another job. I play football and I get paid. It’s not like getting paid in bigger leagues, but it’s a start.”
Jackson joined the team just past midseason. The Crocodiles have five games left, and if they win four of those games they’ll qualify for the playoffs.
Jackson would eventually like to make it to the NFL.
“That’s been my goal all along,” Jackson said. “That’s been my goal since I was a little kid. This is a little detour. It’s what I did in college.”