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Old 04-18-2018, 08:27 PM
Domer Dude Domer Dude is offline
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Default Navy Seal | Nebraska Walk-On DE | Good Story

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — At first glance, Damian Jackson is just another number. Another roster spot. Another Nebraska defensive lineman hoping to make an impression on a frigid, blustery morning in early April.

Inside the Cornhuskers' practice facility, however, the temperature is ideal. Jackson, wearing No. 38, roams the turf with his teammates, bobbing from drill to drill.

The soon-to-be-sophomore's movements are natural. From looking at him, you wouldn't know that he has only played football for one year.

Outside of the tousled brown beard that dangles below his chinstrap, you also wouldn't know he is 25 years old, seven years older than many of his teammates. He will celebrate his 26th birthday before next season begins.

You wouldn't know that before he became a Cornhusker, Jackson called Yemen and Southeast Asia home, if only for a while. He was there not as a student or a defensive end, but as a Navy SEAL.

It was there that he developed his impressive football physique. It was there that he became a master of explosives and an expert marksman. It was there that he jumped out of airplanes and submerged himself deep underwater. It was there that he lost friends he'll never forget.

His path to Lincoln began in Las Vegas, where he played soccer and baseball. He didn't much care for football back then. Even now, he only watches himself on tape or film when his coaches suggest he do so.

But that doesn't change Jackson's dream. He wants to play in the NFL. And he knows how, as a 25-year-old freshman who has yet to play a snap in a game, that might come across.

"I know it may sound crazy," he says. "But that's why I'm here. I gave up everything I had—a good-paying job, my house and my car—to come here. Once I have a goal in mind, I put everything toward it. I put all my resources into making it happen."

His older brother, Adam, had joined the Navy a year prior. And with his list of college options smaller than his liking and limited financial resources, Jackson joined the Navy right after he graduated in 2010 from Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas.

The idea was to earn enough money to eventually pay for college.

"I also think he wanted the hardest challenge he could find," Adam says. "And honestly, I think he wanted to separate himself from me because we're so competitive with everything we do."
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:50 AM
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Jersey Irish Jersey Irish is offline
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Great story. My son-in-law is a Nebraska alum and I will pass it along to him to read. Thanks for posting!
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:17 AM
jessemoore97 jessemoore97 is online now
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He should come into the stadium in some different way each game. He could make a HALO jump one week, then emerge out of the steeplechase water pit the next, hidden in red and white camo on the logo midfield, zip line out of a Blackhawk, oh the possibilities.
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