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Notre Dame senior CB Jackson sharing knowledge

Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford battles with Notre Dame cornerback Bennett JacksSept. 21. | Michael Conroy/AP

Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford battles with Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson on Sept. 21. | Michael Conroy/AP

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SATURDAY

bYU AT NOTRE DAME

The facts: 2:30 p.m., Ch. 5, 890-AM.

The records: BYU 7-3, ND 7-3.

The line: BYU by 1.

Updated: December 24, 2013 6:11AM



SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Bennett Jackson walked out of the tunnel for his first game at Notre Dame Stadium and was stunned.

“I thought the opposite side of the stadium was never going to end,” the senior said last week. “It was just going up continuously with people.”

Jackson is set to play his last home game today against BYU (7-3).

The cornerback is third on the team with 54 tackles. He has one interception, which he returned for a touchdown in a victory against Purdue. He also has a forced fumble.

But his contributions extend beyond the field.

“That’s like my big brother,” Notre Dame sophomore cornerback KeiVarae Russell said. “I ask him how he balances each and every day. Playing corner, being a starter, because you have to watch more film, you have to do so much more being a starter.

“I ask, ‘What do you do on a daily basis?’ He lets me know, ‘Whatever you really want. You’re going to work as hard as you can to achieve that.’ That’s the mind-set he instilled in me.”

Jackson primarily made an impact on special teams in his first two seasons. It started with that first game at Notre Dame Stadium, when he made four tackles — all on kickoff returns — against Purdue.

“I remember an energetic atmosphere, completely different than a high school atmosphere,” Jackson said. “It was a great memory. I flew around, had great energy. I had an awesome time with my teammates.”

Jackson had 10 tackles as a freshman. He also returned 29 kicks for 645 yards and was named Notre Dame’s special-teams player of the year.

Jackson had 18 tackles as a sophomore, seven of which came on special teams.

He started all 13 games at cornerback last year, finishing third on the team with 65 tackles. He also had four interceptions.

This year, Jackson joined offensive lineman Zack Martin and wide receiver TJ Jones as team captains.

“It will probably hit me a little after the game,” Jackson said of the emotions for his final home game with the Irish (7-3). “I have the family and teammate support behind me. It’s going to be a special moment going out there for the last time after being here for so long. It’s something I’ll have to play out and see how it goes.”

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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