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Tarvaris Jackson, Former NFL Quarterback, Dies at 36 in Car Accident

Former Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks player had been coaching at Tennessee State University

Tarvaris Jackson, a former NFL quarterback who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks, died Sunday night in a car accident in Alabama at age 36.

A spokesperson for Tennessee State University, where Jackson has worked as quarterback coach, confirmed Jackson’s death to TheWrap.

Drafted by the Vikings in 2006 out of Alabama State, Jackson spent five seasons with the team and started in 20 games. He then jumped to the Seahawks in 2011, starting in 14 games and throwing for 3,091 yards and 14 touchdowns.

After playing for a year with the Buffalo Bills, he returned to Seattle from 2013-15 as a backup quarterback to Russell Wilson and earned a Super Bowl ring in 2014.

He moved into coaching in 2018, first for his alma mater, Alabama State, and then joined TSU last year.

“My heart is so heavy with hurt hearing of the passing of Coach Jackson,” TSU Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips said in a statement. “We were blessed with him for a short time but he did make an impact with our young men in this one season at TSU. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family and all who knew and loved him. We lift up all who are mourning today. Each loss is piercing. Today I ask God’s comfort to spread through the TSU community, the nation and the world.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family in this time of bereavement,” said TSU Head Coach Rod Reed. “We are devastated,” Phillips continued. “He was an awesome young man and he will be missed by our players, our staff
and the TSU family.”

Jackson mentored TSU quarterback Cameron Rosendahl to one of the better seasons in Big Blue history. The senior signal caller set a program record for completions in a season (241) and became the fourth player at TSU to throw for over 3, 000 yards. Rosendahl’s 3,023 yards is the second highest total in a single season at Tennessee State.


For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Tarvaris Jackson’s name.