“This year, now I’m starting to embrace the teammate role, and how can I affect my team more positively, instead of just producing on the field,” Jackson said. “It’s how you can produce in every phase. How you can produce as a teammate, how you can produce as a brother. How you can produce as somebody who just wants to help out some of the younger guys, somebody who looks up to them. I’m really starting to embrace that role now, because it’s not about yourself. It’s about everybody. We’re a whole team.”
In the linebacker group, there’s plenty of younger players that Jackson can influence. Aside from grad transfer Ayinde Eley and junior Charlie Thomas, among scholarship players there’s three players who arrived last year – Khatavian Franks, Tyson Meiguez and Khaya Wright – and early-enrollee freshman Trenilyas Tatum. Jackson said the group is closer than it has been in his time on the team.
“I think the new guys have come in and they’re working hard,” Jackson said. “They’re really understanding their role to try to learn and get better. We’re just trying to make sure we do one thing this year. That’s win. Because that’s our ultimate goal. We don’t really care about anything else. We just want to win.”
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