Miami-Notre Dame 2017: Hurricanes DE Demetrius Jackson injured, but focused on giving back

Miami DE Demetrius Jackson (left) poses for a photo in May 2017. (Photos by Matt Porter/The Palm Beach Post; Getty Images)

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Updated noon Monday

Miami will be down a key reserve at defensive end going forward.

Redshirt junior Demetrius Jackson will miss extended time, beginning with this week’s game against Notre Dame (8 p.m. ABC), because of a reported knee injury.

A UM spokesperson said Jackson injured his “right lower extremity” against Virginia Tech and will have surgery Monday afternoon. “His status for the remainder of the 2017 season will be determined after the surgery,” the spokesperson said.

The website CanesInsight reported Jackson has a knee injury. Jackson has a history of left knee trouble. He has been healthy and productive this year, though.

He is tied for the Hurricanes’ team lead in tackles for loss, with 7.5, for a loss of 45 yards. He is tied for second with 3.5 sacks. He has 18 tackles on the year.

He backs up starting defensive end Joe Jackson on first and second downs and plays defensive tackle next to Chad Thomas on third downs. He has played special teams, too.

In the spring, his coaches said he looked like a new player after recovering from a knee injury that hampered him in the second half of 2016. Jackson sprained his left knee in Week 3 last year at Appalachian State, played through it, and hurt it worse Oct. 15 against North Carolina. He missed three games and returned, though he later admitted he wasn’t the same player. He sprained the same knee during his redshirt year, 2014.

Freshmen Jonathan Garvin and D.J. Johnson will see more action in his absence.

Garvin, from Lake Worth High, caused and recovered a fumble with a sack in the fourth quarter against Virginia Tech. He also blocked a punt the week before at North Carolina. Garvin has played in eight games and registed two tackles for loss and one sack. Johnson, UM’s highest-rated 2017 signee, has played sparingly, mainly on special teams.

Jackson, while he recovers from the injury, has more on his plate than football.

He said he was valedictorian of his high school graduating class, Booker T. Washington in Miami. He is a dean’s list student at Miami, and earned the school’s highest honor last spring when he was tapped into the Iron Arrow Society.

In an interview with The Post last May at the ACC spring meetings at Amelia Island, Jackson shared his nascent political goals, which are not small in scope.

He wants to represent his community as a District 5 city commissioner, run for mayor, “and then, hopefully, become the first African-American governor of Florida.”

Jackson was attending the meetings as part of the ACC’s student-athlete committee, a position he earned after serving on the Miami student-athlete advisory committee. He is a proud native of the Miami neighborhood of Overtown — so proud, he wore a polo shirt with the logo of his high school and his state championship ring, rather than Hurricanes gear to the ACC spring meetings.

Jackson is a registered Democrat and describes himself politically as “for the people. I’m for the underdog,” he said. “I’m for stopping the violence and helping poor families.” He’s concerned about gentrification, violence and people sleeping on streets. He has an undying love for the history of Overtown and its people.

“I want to do things the right way,” he said, of his . “I know you can’t make everyone happy. You’re going to have people mad on either side of the table for decisions that you may make.”

He got a few political practice reps in Amelia Island, where he sat in on meetings along with a handful of other athletes from ACC schools. He was the only football player. What has he learned about politics so far?

“It’s a dirty game,” he said.

But he wants to remain above that fray and “do things the right way,” he said.

And do it for his home.

“I don’t see myself leaving Miami unless its to play professional football,” he said. “Whenever I’m done with that, I want to come back to Miami to serve.”

One of Jackson’s latest efforts: he plans to deliver Thanksgiving turkeys with the organization he created, Young Men of Tomorrow:

 

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