Q: What have you learned from previous captains since you arrived here that will help you be a good captain?
Jackson: We’ve had some great captains. Especially since I have been here. Joel Foreman my 2011 season my fellow offensive lineman. Max Bullough, Blake Treadwell, Kirk Cousins, and there is so much that you learn from those guys. Even guys that weren’t named captains. You learn so much from the senior leaders as you go through the years. You add that you your leadership skills. There are so many leaders on this team and I am just so excited for Friday night against Jacksonville State.
Q: How much relief is there that camp is over?
Jackson: It’s just an exciting weekend to go home and spend with your family. I’m actually going to New York for a cousins wedding. It’s just really cool to be around your family for one last time. Everyone is really excited and they keep you grounded and it’s just being close to people around you and it is just a really cool weekend.
Q: It’s game week. Are you chomping at the bit to play?
Jackson: Yeah. We’ve been chomping at the bit since camp started. Our main focus is Jacksonville State Friday night in that stadium over there, there is nothing like it in college football.
Q: Did you bust out into the yes chant when you found out?
Jackson: No, no, no. I was kind of speechless and just so honored. I love these guys and I love this program so much you just have been through it. I’m just so thankful to all the players and the coaches and all the leaders on this team. There are so many leaders on this team. Offensive and defensively and to pick me is just a huge honor.
Q: Coach Dantonio always talks about guys being givers. What does that entail as a football player?
Jackson: Being a giver on the football field is first just pushing yourself, but then you have to bring people along with you. You have to hold yourself accountable and then you have to hold the players around you accountable. That is what being a leader is all about. It’s a really cool thing because there are so many leaders on this team. I’m leaning on guys like Connor Cook and Connor Kruse, Tony Lippett, Jack Allen and Jeremy Langford. It is a great group of guys around me and I am just honored that they voted me a captain and super humbled.
Q: Did you expect this?
Jackson: No. Not really. You just go through the day and there are just so many guys. All guys that are great leaders. For them to pick me and name me captain is just such an honor.
Hondo: In the entire time you have been here have you seen a better mix of captains from a personality standpoint?
Jackson: It seems there is such a great personality difference among the captains every year. There has always been such great captains and leaders here. I have just learned so much from those guys. We got to be held accountable as captains to live up to those standards, Spartan standards and those are pretty high standards.
Q: Of the three it really seems like Kurtis Drummond has got to be the mean one right?
Jackson: Kurtis is a pretty good guy. He’s definitely willing to hold his defensive players accountable and I think Shilique is just so awesome too. He’s got such a great personality out there, he likes to have fun and those are just great aspects you are looking for in leaders.
Hondo: With this team having legitimate national title shot is there more pressure on the captains this season?
Jackson: There has been so much talk about the pressure of getting to a national championship and that is definitely a goal of ours. But there are so many goals before that. Right now we are focusing on Jacksonville State. One week at a time. That is what our team did last year just focusing one week at a time. You can’t be looking down the road. You have to focus one week at a time.