The Seahawks made a trade with the Raiders earlier this offseason to upgrade their offensive line, adding veteran guard Gabe Jackson. But while Jackson is a heck of a guard, there's more to him than just his on-field ability, so Seahawks.com picked Jackson's brain a bit to learn more about him. And with that in mind, here are five things to know about Jackson:
1. He's got musical talent.
Jackson's father, Charles, was his high school coach, so the elder Jackson obviously gets some credit for his son's football success. It's Jackson's mother, Wanda, however, who passed along musical talent to Jackson and his siblings.
"I love singing, I love playing instruments," he said. "That's one thing I'm passionate about."
Jackson said he plays the drums, piano and bass guitar, and that he "dabbled with the trumpet a little bit in my early years, but never really stuck with it."
Jackson added there are a lot of singers in his house, notably his mom and his siblings, but said, "My dad, he tried, but I didn't get it from his side of the family."
2. Another Big Smooth.
Not long after news broke of the trade between the Seahawks and Raiders, Seattle sports fans started to notice that Jackson's twitter handled was @bigsmooth61. That was noteworthy, of course, because Seattle sports fans have already cheered for one "Big Smooth," former NBA forward Sam Perkins, who played for the Sonics from 1992-1998.
Jackson said he saw comments on Twitter about Perkins not long after the trade went down, and while he hopes to become a Seattle fan favorite in his own right, he acknowledged that his jumper might need work to live up to the nickname.
As for how Jackson came to be known as "Big Smooth," that involved a visit to Mississippi State prior to his freshman year of college, and a defensive tackle named Kyle Love, who would go on to have a 10-year NFL career.
"I was dressed up, had a Kangol on, and one of the upperclassmen (Love), he saw me in my dorm," Jackson said. "I went to the room, was just chilling, and I heard someone knocking going, 'Big Smooth, Big Smooth, open the door.' I'm like, 'What? I guess they've got the wrong room.' So later on in the day, I saw him and he was like, 'Man, why didn't you open the door?' And I was like, 'I guess I'm big smooth then.' Everybody just started calling me that I guess because of the way I dressed."
3. He's passionate about food.
Maybe it's not surprising to hear a lineman say he's passionate about food, and Jackson is a self-described "big foodie" who doesn't just enjoy eating a good meal, but also making one.
Asked his specialties, Jackson said, "Chicken and shrimp alfredo. I might have some creamed corn with it, some Hawaiian roles—I don't make those, but it comes with it—that's probably my favorite. Or if we're going with my steak night, I'm going to go steak, mac 'n cheese, and I'll just do a salad for it to look cute."
4. He's a "country boy" who likes the outdoors.
While Seattle is a long ways from Jackson's home state of Mississippi, it does offer some of the same outdoor recreation enjoyed by Jackson, who calls himself a country boy and whose offseason activities include fishing and hunting.
5. He was college teammates with K.J. Wright.
Linebacker K.J. Wright is a free agent, but if he does return to Seattle, he and Jackson can rekindle the practice battles they had for two seasons at Mississippi State before Wright moved on to the NFL.
"I practiced against him for two years," Jackson said before adding, with a laugh, "He's a big crybaby. He always said I was holding him, 'Oh, you're holding man, quit holding.' But he's a real competitor. He always wanted to win and he tried to do his best to win, so I respect it.