There may not be that many people who have met both Billy Cannon and Joe Burrow — each of whom, as LSU football players, won a Heisman trophy — but Nicole Casiday Jackson has.
Jackson, a 1996 alumna of LSU and a self-professed “diehard Tiger fan,” met the late Cannon in 2016 and she met Burrow in April of 2019.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget either one of these days as long as I live,” she said.
Burrow’s Heisman was LSU’s first in 60 years and the second in school history.
Cannon won the Heisman in 1959 and Burrow took it home in 2019.
Burrow has said it wasn’t the Heisman that was always on his radar but something else definitely was.
“I want to win a national title,” he has said. “That’s always been my drive since I was a sophomore in high school. When I envisioned myself growing up, being a football player, it wasn’t in the NFL. It was playing on Jan. 13 in a dome somewhere playing for the national title.”
Burrow and his teammates will be doing just that when LSU takes to the field against Clemson on Monday, Jan. 13, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The exuberant Jackson said she has been a Tigers fan for many years, adding, “OK, actually, I guess I’ve been an LSU fan since birth!”
Jackson is married to Scott Jackson and they are the parents to 15-year-old twin boys, Hayden and Holden, and a daughter, Haleigh, 13.
She met Burrow at the LSU spring game last April.
“My husband, kids, and I all stayed after the Spring Game was over and had the opportunity to go on the field in Tiger Stadium and we were able to meet every LSU player on the team and got autographs and pictures with each of them,” she said.
The LSU superfan met Cannon at a special Heisman tour event in 2016. Cannon’s punt return against Ole Miss during his Heisman Trophywinning season ranks among the most defining moments in college football history.
Does Jackson plan to attend the big game when LSU takes on Clemson?
She said she had hoped to and had hotel reservations in New Orleans, but she had an accident involving fireworks while ushering in the new year. She wasn’t sure at first about sharing details of her accident publicly but decided to as a cautionary tale in hopes it would help others avoid a similar incident by being hyper-vigilant around fireworks.
“On New Year’s Eve, after the kids had finished shooting fireworks, we were cleaning up the mess when a live mortar shell went off at ground level,” Scott Jackson explained. “Nicole was dropping trash into a barrel and was closest to the explosion. One of the balls hit her in the left eye and eyelid. We rushed her to the hospital and she had emergency surgery at 3 a.m. by an awesome team.”
He said she had a wound above her eyebrow, eyelid and a scratched cornea.
“Doctors don’t think there will be any long-term damage,” Scott Jackson said. “If we avoid infection and the retina is not damaged, she will recover well from the injury. Many friends and family have stepped up to show us their love, concern, offered prayers for healing, provided good meals, and shared pirate jokes (due to an eye patch) to lighten the mood.”
Nicole Jackson said she, her husband, and entire family will be rooting for LSU in the championship game.
“I bleed purple and gold and I always have!” she exclaimed.