Just hours before the Bills season opener on Sunday, running back Fred Jackson made a special presentation to representatives of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Bills Fieldhouse. Jackson presented his jersey that he wore in the 2009 season finale to President and Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Joe Horrigan, Vice President of Communications and Exhibits for becoming the first player in NFL history to compile 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 kick return yards in a single season.
Jackson's number 22 will hang in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio for the 2010 season.
"First of all I want to say thanks to all of my teammates because without them I wouldn't have been able to do half the stuff I did out there," Jackson said. "This is a representation of them as well. This is my jersey and it's a great honor for me to present it to you guys to display it for me."
Jackson eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau in the Bills' season-ending win over the Indianapolis Colts with a 212-yard rushing performance to finish with 1,062 rushing yards. That coupled with 1,014 kick return yards put Jackson into the NFL history books.
"It's an honor for us to do it and for the Pro Football Hall of Fame to display your jersey so that all the fans can come and see and reflect on the phenomenal record you set," said Perry.
The Bills back had a career season in 2009 as he led the league in combined net yards from scrimmage with 2,516 total yards. It was the fourth most prolific season of combined net yards in league annals.
Jackson also had a little fun with the Pro Football Hall of Fame representatives in presenting them with his jersey.
"Make sure you put it in the biggest display case you have down there," Jackson joked. "It's a great honor. There are a lot of great guys down there, so it's great to have some of my memorabilia down there as well."
Perry made a point of emphasizing that Jackson's jersey is not just a symbol of accomplishment, but an opportunity to show how Jackson went from a little known Division III player at Coe College to an NFL starter and record setter.
"It's a way in which we can tell the story of your phenomenal football career and to be an inspiration to young people when they come into the Hall and say, 'Well Mr. Jackson did that, maybe I can do something like that too,'" said Perry. "We're pleased to have it, congratulations on what you've done in the past and best of luck in the future."