This article is part of our 2010 Path to the Draft coverage presented by FOX Sports Houston*.
It was a whirlwind Friday for Kareem Jackson, the newest member of the Texans, who said he feels "blessed" to have been selected in the first round.
The day started well before dawn for Jackson, his parents Hezekiah and Rossalyn and older sister Crystalynn, as the four left for the Macon, Ga., airport to catch a flight to Houston.
They arrived at Houston Hobby Airport just before 10 a.m., and took a short limousine ride to Reliant Stadium, then toured the facilities before the former Crimson Tide corner met with the media.
"It's a dream come true for me," Jackson said. "I'm going to come in and work hard, do whatever it takes to contribute to the team to help us win."
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush was seated with Jackson at today's press conference. Bush said he thinks Jackson's contribution will be immediate.
"He was our highest rated defensive player for what we needed," Bush said. "He was everything the Houston Texans needed as a defensive back. When we had the opportunity, we jumped right on it."
The first new teammate Jackson met with at Reliant Stadium happened to be an old teammate, Antoine Caldwell, who played with Jackson at Alabama in 2007 and 2008. Caldwell, who was twice a captain for the Crimson Tide and described his relationship in college with Jackson as "very close," thinks highly of the cornerback.
"You're going to get a fiery guy, a competitor, super intelligent," Caldwell said. "I think what kind of set him apart in the draft and the reason why we kind of got him is because of how physical he is. I think he's probably the most physical corner in the draft, and he's just an all-around good guy."
Jackson started as a freshman in 2007, and right away, Caldwell saw something unique in the young defensive back's work ethic.
"A lot of guys when they're new and they're freshmen that come in, they don't really know what to expect, so sometimes maybe they lack the work ethic or staying late or doing the extra that you need to do," Caldwell said. "He never had a problem with any of that and he kind of just stepped right in, and of course since he was so smart and could catch on so quickly, he was able to play right away."
Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa in January of 2007, and Jackson started 40 of 41 games under the former NFL coach. Caldwell thinks that playing under Saban, who also had a hand in coaching defensive backs, helped polish Jackson's game.
"I played for Saban for my last two years," Caldwell said. "It really made me develop into pretty much being a pro at the college level. That kind of influence and that kind of impact on somebody is what Coach Saban had on me. And he definitely had it on Kareem, because Kareem probably got the worst end of it because Coach Saban actually coaches the DBs."
Jackson concurred, and thinks he learned quite a bit playing under such an exacting leader. Jackson said Saban stressed paying attention to "the little things," and that helped him accomplish much more as a cornerback in college.
"He coaches the corners, so we would have individual meetings with him, (and) individuals on the fields," Jackson said. "He's very hands-on and knows exactly what he wants. He's going to get it out of you by any means necessary."
The newest Texan and his family flew back to Macon later in the afternoon Friday. Jackson and his fellow rookies are scheduled to take part in OTAs starting May 17.