JACKSONVILLE – This was a day to remember for Malik Jackson.
And even though his heart and head are now very much in Jacksonville, Jackson did savor his recent past – and a chance to see history – for a day Monday.
Jackson, a defensive tackle who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Jaguars in March, spent Monday at the White House in Washington, D.C., along with his former team, 2015 Super Bowl champion Denver.
Jackson toured the White House with former teammates and met President Obama.
"The visit was awesome," Jackson said Tuesday.
Jackson, who returned to Jacksonville and participated in Day Eight of Organized Team Activities Tuesday morning said he was taken by walking the White House hallways and learning about the priceless art displayed there.
"This was my first time going to Washington, D.C.," Jackson said. "Just to go there and see the history, then to actually go through the White House, go through all of the rooms and see the artwork and the furniture. You realize how old and historic the place is …
"You see the ghosts and the people walking through. It was truly a blessing and it was awesome."
Jackson said while he met President Obama, he didn't get a picture with the president.
"There were a lot of us and he was pretty much on a time crunch," Jackson said with a smile. "I didn't get a picture, but just meeting him, watching his mannerisms and how he was – to truly get to see him in person – is awesome."
Jackson said he got a better appreciation of the president from the experience.
"He truly is himself," Jackson said. "He's not trying to be anyone he's not. I can use some of that, coming to a new team and just trying to be myself."
Jackson was asked the most memorable part of the trip outside meeting Obama.
"Seeing the artwork on the wall and realizing the history in that place," he said. "There's so much art there that's amazing and it's deemed, 'priceless.' To think you can't put a price on it is amazing and not too many people get to see that stuff. To get to go in and look at it and talk to the people about it is amazing."
Jackson called the opportunity a "blessing."
"I think I earned that, and meeting the first black president … it was huge," Jackson said. "I definitely wanted to be a part of that. I'll most likely miss the ring ceremony and have them next-day air (the Super Bowl 50 championship ring). I'll let them party up and keep living on that high. I've got to move on and start working with these guys.
"It was cool to be with them for that, but I know where home is."