Athlete turns gloomy Mondays into ‘Good Mondays’


Kandace Moss, [email protected]

As college students, it is hard to get a good, homecooked meal outside of the school cafeteria. With school, extracurriculars and busy social lives, most students either can’t cook for themselves or aren’t able to go home every weekend to get leftovers.
But, when a fellow student of their own “steps up to the plate” and decides to cook plates, it makes getting a homecooked meal a lot easier.
Senior football player and kinesiology major, Devin”DeeJay” Jackson Jr. decided to feed his fellow Warhawks on “Good Mondays” by cooking and selling comfort foods such as crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice.
“I have been interested in cooking since about 10 years old,” said Jackson, a New Orleans native. At only 10 years-old, Jackson’s mother allowed him to start experimenting on the stove. After cooking his very first meal, Jackson said it was “love at first dish.”
Although football was his passion, Jackson wanted to cook and become a master at it. He felt it would separate him from his super athletic siblings; he wanted to stand out. And he did just that by becoming a starting left guard for the ULM Warhawks and also the students’ local chef.
Starting “Good Mondays,” the name of the food pickup day, wasn’t entirely Jackson’s idea. The constant encouragement from friends and teammates, after they had tasted his food, led Jackson to go through with his idea.
Most of his teammates aren’t from Monroe, let alone the Louisiana area. So, at least once a month, Jackson would empty his freezer and have a barbecue with his teammates and friends.
On Sundays, when he had the free time, he would cook a big meal and invite teammates over, so they could have a homecooked meal away from home.
Teammate D’Marius Gillespie was always a fan of “DeeJay” Jackson’s cooking. He and his friends knew Jackson’s cooking would go a long way.
According to Gillespie, Jackson’s service gives students an opportunity to get high quality, homecooked meals for a great price away from home.
“I’m very proud of him,” Gillespie said.
After listening to his friends’ encouraging words to start his food service, Jackson and his sister, a ULM alum, formalized a formal menu. They decided to call the food service “Good Mondays,” a name that comes from his nickname “The Good Dee Jay” and that the food was served on Mondays.
Jackson began promoting the service on social media and with that, his business skyrocketed.
With the business booming, Jackson does not plan to stop his food service. So far, he has made red beans and rice with fried chicken plates, shrimp and crawfish pasta plates and, this week, he plans to make red beans and rice and fried catfish plates. He has already sold over 50 plates.
Arceneaux, a management senior, has known Jackson for a long time and said he is one of the best cooks that she knows.
“A lot of students out here don’t have family and can’t go home often and if they live in a dorm, they can’t cook. So, Deejay doing these plates really gives you that home feeling and gives people the homecooked meals they desire,” Arceneaux said.
Jackson isn’t only serving his food for profit. He also plans to make plates for the local homeless shelter for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Jackson wants the student body to know that he loves to cook, and he will continue to serve the Warhawks with food if they are ever hungry.
He may be a football player by day, but at night, he is a beast in the kitchen.