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Damian Jackson: From Navy SEAL To Nebraska Footballer

Damian Jackson is proof that if a man has discipline, he can make the world change for him. He comes to the footballing world later than most, because he has already had one job – Navy SEAL. He brings with him the will to succeed and he’s already making waves.

This is his story.

Boot Camp In 2010


Damian Jackson knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life and at the age of 19, he went to boot camp to join the navy.

Tours Of Duty


After he was selected to become a Navy SEAL, Damian would undertake two tours of duty. One in Southeast Asia and the other in Yemen.

Retired At 27


At the age of 27 and just 2 months, after he had returned from Yemen, Damian found himself back in the civilian world looking for his next challenge.

He Wanted To Try His Hand At Football

SB Nation

How do you get into football? Well, you play college ball, of course. So Damian decided that he would need to get into college and he wrote to a bunch of colleges seeking admission.

They Said “No”

Bleacher Report

It wasn’t as straightforward as firing off some college applications and starting to play ball. All the colleges Damian contacted about playing football either said “no” or didn’t respond at all.

That Didn’t Stop Him


If they wouldn’t take him to play ball, then he decided he’d get an offer to study and play ball anyway. That’s perseverance; a quality that Navy SEALS have in abundance.

He Joined Nebraska

Journal Star

He was accepted by Nebraska and quickly accepted on to the football team too. But he had a long way to go to become a footballer.

Number 38 And “The Defensive End”


Damian was given “Number 38” when linemen are normally given numbers in the 90s. He was also given the position of defensive end. These were to ensure that Damian learned the ropes and caught up with his peers.

The Coach Loves Him


His coach, Mike Riley, says Damian has had a real impact already. He says that Damian’s discipline is an inspiration to the whole team and that they all have things to learn from him.

When Will He Play?


Damian Jackson is not ready to play for Nebraska, yet. He’s OK with that. He’s watching, waiting and learning, just like a good Navy SEAL does. He’s sure that when his opportunity comes, he won’t miss out.

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