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All-American Jackson Ready for Senior Season at Lehigh
With several preseason honors already to his name, senior defensive lineman Brian Jackson aims to give Lehigh fans something to cheer about this season.
Jackson, a biology major from Totowa, N.J., was named a preseason All-American by three publications this summer including College Sporting News, Sports Network and Consensus Draft Services.
Jackson said the honors are a reflection of his and the whole team’s dedication.
“It’s an honor and a privilege,” Jackson said. “It shows how much I worked and the team worked, and I appreciate it so much.”
Jackson said he wants to do whatever he can to help the team reach its goal of a Patriot League championship.
In the 2007 season Jackson was second on the team in tackles with 63. He also recorded 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Mountain Hawks last year.
Jackson also provided Lehigh with consistency, getting at least five tackles in all but two games last season.
Jackson said he will not allow his preseason honors to distract him during the season.
“I am going to play my game,” he said. “The only thing is that opposing teams will double and triple team me, attention will come my way, so our team has to exploit that.”
Jackson said he is counting on Lehigh fans to show their support this season.
“We want fans to come to our games because we will entertain everybody,” he said. “We don’t care how the fans show up, but we want some crazy fans.”
Head Coach Andy Coen said Jackson is a well-rounded player and person.
“Jackson is definitely deserving of being named an All-American,” Coen said. “This year he has been a handful in practice because he is 10-12 pounds heavier and much stronger than last year.
“He also has a great personality, has a lot of fun playing, brings great energy to the field, and most importantly he’s a great teammate,” he said.
Coen said credit goes to both Jackson and the strength and conditioning coaches for his improvement.
Jackson said the squad has high hopes for his senior season.
“We are going to play Lehigh football and hopefully we can get it done,” Jackson said.
In the Hawks’ season opener Saturday against Drake University, Jackson had seven tackles and a sack as he led the defense to a shutout. Lehigh defeated Drake 19-0
The Hawks take the field again Saturday at Villanova University. The match-up with the no. 20 Wildcats is set for 1 p.m.
All-American Jackson ready for senior season
By Steven Balter, The Brown & White