Janzen Jackson kept his word, and so far he's being rewarded with a fresh start.
While four teams contacted the safety after the draft, the Giants, more specifically executive scout Jeremiah Davis, trailed Jackson through the whole draft process and beyond when he wasn't selected by a team two weekends ago.
On the second day of rookie minicamp after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent, Jackson, who had issues off the field in his past, shed light on why he wanted a shot with the team a thousand miles away from his home of Lake Charles, La.
"Basically to kind of keep my word," Jackson said. "They were kind of on my trail before the combine and kept contact and had a good relationship with Jeremiah. He talked to my grandfather a lot. So I felt like this was the best fit for me. I had to get away from home."
As Jackson recalled, his grandfather was having lung troubles which required surgery, and Davis, who has been with the Giants organization for nearly a quarter of a century, kept in touch the entire time.
That spoke volumes to Jackson as he tries to put past troubles behind him, which included his dismissal from the University of Tennessee football team and led him to finish his college tenure at McNeese State located in his hometown.
With a head coach like Tom Coughlin and a defensive coordinator like Perry Fewell, the structure is there.
"They've kind of been on me about being a little early – 10 minutes early for each meeting and stuff and being out there on the field early," Jackson said. "So I'm staying on P's and Q's."
The namesake for TC time, Coughlin answered a question during Saturday's media availability on bringing in guys who have similar histories.
"Right – see how he interacts, what kind of condition he is in; how serious is he, how good is he in meetings, how does he communicate on the field," Coughlin noted. "All of those things."
Meanwhile, Jackson is still just like the rest of the rookies simply trying to make a team.
"They have to cope, again, with the pace of what we do and how we do it," Fewell said about the participants at rookie minicamp. "And we are trying to give them the opportunities to have success in how we install the defense and repetitions and what we do. Janzen does have a lot of athletic ability. A lot of these guys haven't had the conditioning that you would like for them to have because they have been off. They work out but their workout is a little bit different than how we work."