Vikings rookie CB Jackson dies in car accident; here’s what we know

The football world received some terrible news on Saturday morning with reports that Khyree Jackson was killed in an auto accident. The former Oregon cornerback was a fourth-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Jackson’s death was confirmed by Oregonian reporter James Crepea and Rivals writer Scott Reed.

The accident occurred in Maryland, where he was from. According to a report from Maryland State Police (via ESPN’s Kevin Siefert), Jackson was the front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by another car that hit two automobiles while attempting a lane change at high speed.

Jackson’s car was forced off the road and hit multiple tree stumps. The other two people with Jackson in the vehicle were also killed. No one in the other two automobiles involved was injured.

Investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor in the incident and charges are pending.

Jackson played at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, where he won two state championships. The school expressed condolences on social media to the three former players who were killed.

Jackson, 24, originally went to Arizona Western College to play football, but quickly returned to Maryland. Embarrassed that he dropped out, Jackson quit football for two years and worked at a grocery store.

After two years away from the field, Fort Scott Community College in Kansas recruited him to play. From there, he played two seasons at Alabama before transferring to Oregon for the 2023 season. In 12 games for the Ducks, he compiled 34 tackles with three interceptions and two sacks.

Oregon coach Dan Lanning also commented on the tragedy on social media, saying “I will miss your smile. Great player, better person.”

Jackson impressed coaches and observers in minicamp and OTAs with the Vikings with his performance in press coverage. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah praised the rookie for his resilence.

“I am absolutely crushed by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said in a team statement.

“In our short time together, it was evident Khyree was going to develop into a tremendous professional football player,” O’Connell added, “but what was more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him.”