The "Catfish" Kevin Jackson
Kevin Jackson is larger than life. His success on the field with the 1980 National Championship team and the building of a multi-million dollar company, have catapulted him to one of the top Dawgs in Savannah.
Kevin "Catfish" Jackson played UGA defensive tackle from 1980-1982.
South Magazine: Erk Russell was famous for his passion with his players. What was that like?
Kevin Jackson: Erk was the greatest coach I’ve ever seen. He was a player’s coach. You could be fifth team and not playing, but you loved the guy. He brought out the best in you.
SM: Being a part of a national championship team must have been special.
KJ: I look back on that team and how close we were and still are today. There is great chemistry. You never saw a group of guys who loved each other more than we did. It was amazing that we had the opportunity to play for over 90,000 people every Saturday.
SM: What about those infamous head-butts?
KJ: A lot of people think he would head-butt us, but what he actually would do was chest-bump us but hit his head when he did it. He would wipe the blood on us and it was like war paint. Can you imagine that today?
SM: Your nickname is “Catfish.” There’s got to be a good story there.
KJ: There are a lot of rumors about it, but a local gentleman by the name of Walter Lewis can verify the name came from Erk Russell. It started at Cooper’s in Athens. They had this fishbowl and the freshman decided one night to have a beer-chugging contest with the fishbowl. I won. At the time, I was a ninth team defensive guard. I wasn’t happy about it and would always get in a fight on the field. Coach Russell made the comment, “He fights like a cat and drinks like a fish.” And from then on, he called me “Catfish.”