Former SEAL already helping motivate new Husker teammates
The former Navy SEAL is "scary." Scary in a most positive way.
That's how Nebraska's third-year sophomore DaiShon Neal described his new teammate Damian Jackson.
"Nobody is going to try to test that man, I know that for sure," Neal said after Tuesday's practice. "But actually, I've gotten a personal bond with him. During the summer, I needed somebody to push myself running."
Neal likes to run a lot. So does the 25-year-old who was a Navy SEAL for four years before joining the Husker football program this spring. Jackson is already motivating others in his own way.
"He's always running full speed, so I made myself run full speed, even when I was injured," Neal said. "He was always there when I feel like I was about the brink of passing out, or just trying to quit. He was always like, 'Come on, you got this.'"
Jackson has never played football until now, where he's working at defensive end this fall. But he quickly gained the respect of his teammates through his background and humble personality.
Teammates know about Jackson's past, but not because Jackson himself ever brings it up.
Neal quickly learned Jackson is a real quiet guy. "That's what makes him scary sometimes," Neal said. "You never know what he's thinking."
His example, though, is one Neal is sure everyone at his position group can follow.
"He's a really good symbol for our defensive line," Neal said. "Because he's been through war, he's been through it all, he lost a best friend. He's able to just push through it every day and work through it every day.
"He doesn't complain. Just takes what he's given and goes through it every day and that's how I think everybody should be."