Some good news following a sad Saturday: a Husker is up for an award.
Not the Nagurski Trophy or the Biletnikoff, though it should still be viewed with the same kind of reverence, third-year defensive lineman Damian Jackson was named a finalist for the 2019 Armed Forces Merit Award on Monday.
One of five men up for the honor, Jackson is the only FBS player among them. Other names include Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, Army assistant coach Mike Viti and then junior defensive lineman Alexander Findura (Bloomsburg University, Div. II) and senior wide receiver Casey Stewart (Shenandoah, Div. III). Both Calhoun and Stewart were finalists in 2018.
Jackson is in his third year as a Husker after serving as a U.S. Navy SEAL for four years upon graduating high school. Jackson, who did not play football prior to college, walked on to the Husker program for former head coach Mike Riley and made his collegiate debut against Bethune-Cookman in 2018.
He is a three-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Roll member, and he also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2018.
The winner of the 2019 Armed Forces Merit Award will be announced next Monday, Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, at 10 a.m. CT by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA President Matt Fortuna. Dr. Chris Howard, an Air Force veteran and Robert Morris University President, won the award last year.