Former Arkansas football player one of Food Network’s fastest rising stars

Former Arkansas Football player Eddie and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
Former Arkansas Football player Eddie and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /
Arkansas Football
Anne Burrell and former Arkansas Football player Eddie Jackson (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Former Arkansas football player Eddie Jackson is hitting his stride in his new post-football career as a television host and chef on Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

As a defensive back for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2000 through 2003, Eddie Jackson recorded five interception and one touchdowns in his college career in 48 games.

He played in the NFL for four seasons for Carolina, Miami and New England, recording five pass deflections, two fumbles recovered and 40 total tackles.

Jackson competed in and won Food Network Star, Season 11 in 2015 and has been with the Food Network family ever since, appearing on a variety of shows on television and

Former Arkansas Football player a rising star on Food Network and Cooking Channel

Eddie Jackson recently spoke with SEC This Morning on SEC Radio on Sirius XM to talk about the Hogs, some of his recent projects and how he transitioned from football to cooking.

“My grandmother was a chef, so I grew up in a household where it was all about food, all about cooking,” Jackson said on the show.

“So, it’s been in my blood since I was very, very young and I’ve always cooked. Actually, when I was playing at the University of Arkansas, I used to make plates— home cooked meals— for the guys and would sell it to them for $5. So after I retired from football, I was like how else can I make some money—ah, cooking!”

Eddie Jackson says he has six shows currently on television, two of which are currently airing new episodes weekly on Food Network and the Cooking Channel. He also has a cookbook, ‘Game-Day Eats,’ which features tailgate-friendly foods and snacks best served during game days at home.

He hosts Food Truck Face-Off on the Cooking Channel, which airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. CT. He’s also hosting Christmas Cookie Challenge on Food Network with Ree Drummond, better known as ‘The Pioneer Woman,’ which airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. CT.

Jackson now lives in Houston and says he watches games with former teammates that live in the Houston area to stay connected to the team.

“One thing we’ve noticed this year under Coach Pittman is that the guys are playing with a lot more passion than we’ve played with in the last few years. And that I can appreciate,” Jackson said on SEC This Morning.

“We don’t like to lose or see our team lose; but, the way we have lost games— we are going down fighting and that’s what we really want to see. And that’s what we appreciate Coach Pittman is instilling in these guys,” he said.

Jackson was asked how he stays competitive now that he’s no longer on the football field and he told hosts Peter Burns and Chris Doering that he’s forged a bit of a rivalry with one of his mentors.

“One of my rivalries is Bobby Flay. We just finished this show called BBQ Brawl where it was me, Bobby Flay and Michael Symon competing against each other. Bobby is my mentor, but I still just want to beat him,” Jackson said.

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