Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson has excelled in his first year as a starter, after honing his craft on special teams for two seasons. Jackson, who was Notre Dame's Special Teams Player of the Year in 2010, had a knack for that area even before making it to South Bend. His high school head coach, Bob Generelli, spoke about it with the Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton:
"He loved it. He likes contact. He likes that competitive nature, that part of the game."
It seems the discipline required to be a top special teams performer at high levels of football has helped contain Jackson's passion, which had been known to burst at the seams before his time at Notre Dame, according to Hamilton. Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o now sees a player who just wants to win:
"Bennett's strength is that Bennett hates to lose. As far as game experience, he's considered a young guy. But he seems like a mature player, the way he has worked, the minutes and the hours that he has put in extra to really try to improve his craft."
Jackson's energy has translated very well so far this season, as the starting corner has accumulated 23 tackles and three interceptions.