Vikings' rookie Khyree Jackson and 2 high school teammates killed in car crash

NFL rookie starred on an undefeated state championship team at Wise High School (Maryland) before going on to play at Alabama and Oregon
Former Wise High School football star Khyree Jackson, who went on to star at Alabama and Oregon Ducks, before become a fourth round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings was killed in a car crash in his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the Vikings announced on Saturday morning.
Former Wise High School football star Khyree Jackson, who went on to star at Alabama and Oregon Ducks, before become a fourth round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings was killed in a car crash in his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the Vikings announced on Saturday morning. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just as his dreams were coming true, former Wise High School (Maryland) football star Khyree Jackson, who was selected in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, was killed in a car crash, early Saturday morning, in his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

The crash also claimed the life of two of Jackson's high school teammates – Anthony Lytton Jr. and Isaiah Hazel. Lytton went on to play at Florida State and Penn State while Hazel played at Maryland and Charlotte. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Maryland State Police. Preliminary reports state that Jackson and Lytton were passengers in a vehicle which was struck by another vehicle changing lanes at a high rate of speed, at approximately 3:14 a.m. The vehicle carrying the three teammates went off the road and "struck multiple tree stumps" before coming to rest. Hazel and Jackson were pronounced dead at the scene while Lytton was transported to the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

“I am absolutely crushed by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement. “His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him. In our short time together, it was evident Khyree was going to develop into a tremendous professional football player, but what was more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him. I am at a loss for words. My heart goes out to Khyree’s family, friends, teammates and coaches.”

In 2018, Jackson caught 39 passes for 612 yards and 12 touchdowns, in addition to being a shutdown defensive back, on a Wise squad that went 14-0 and rolled to the MPSSAA Maryland 4A state championship.

“He would go get the ball at its highest point. Khyree was explosive, and we were unstoppable with him at receiver," former Wise head coach DeLawn Parrish, now at Westlake High School in Maryland, told Touchdown Alabama Magizine in 2021. "He shined bright on the biggest stage. The teams we played against could not put their second-best defender on him. He was too good for that. Khyree treated people like kids out there. Our defensive backs coach would get upset because he wanted Khyree on defense. He would tell me, ‘Let’s play him at DB.’ I said, ‘for what?’ He was so good offensively that it did not matter.”

After one season at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, Jackson, a 4-Star cornerback according to 247Sports and ESPN, signed to play his college football at the University of Alabama, over a slew of D1 offers that included Arizona, Auburn, East Carolina, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Utah, Washington State and West Virginia.

He got only two career starts in two seasons with the Crimson Tide but was a special teams standout. He transferred to Oregon for his senior season and started all 12 games at corner for the Ducks, earning 1st Team All-Pac 12 honors. He led Oregon in 2023 with three interceptions and added 34 tackles, including five for loss and two sacks.

Jackson was 24-years old at the time of his passing.


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Gary Adornato

GARY ADORNATO