Name: Julius Jackson
Phone: (214) 333-3333
Hometown: Gainesville, Texas
Years played: 1995-99
Honors: 1998 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team Member, 1998-99 Vice President of Student-Athlete Advisory Board, 1998 and 1999 Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll, 1999 First-Team Academic All-Big 12, 1999 CNNSI.com Half-Season All-American, 1999 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week vs. Southern Miss,1999 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star), 1999 Third-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches), 1999 Football News Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist, 1999 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Initial Watch List
With an honors list demonstrating his remarkable talent both on and off the field, former Husker linebacker Julius Jackson was a standout student-athlete with the world at his feet. In 1999, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and his football career culminated with his signing as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders. But the NFL didn’t pan out as he had hoped, and soon Jackson found time on the gridiron at a close. What has happened for in his life between 1999 and 2007? Get the inside info with Husker 411 with Julius Jackson
1. Who is Julius Jackson?
That’s a hard question! I am a man who is still learning about myself, a person who knows responsibility now. It’s hard to say at 30; I just know I’m getting older.
2. What’s the most significant personal achievement or event that’s happened in your life since you left Nebraska?
There’s nothing significant I’ve achieved as of yet, because I’m just now starting to understand life and the sacrifices you have to make to get where you want to be. When I was done with football, I hit rock bottom, big time. I was broke, I had a job, a good job, but my mindset was still in that football, "I get handed this, give me that, give me this, I shouldn’t have to worry about this, I shouldn’t have to think about this," so when I was done, I just hit rock bottom. I didn’t know what I was doing. I thought I was still the man, that everything was just going to be given to me, and I hit rock bottom. I lost my job, lost my apartment, I moved back to Nebraska and started waiting tables.
That’s been the biggest event that’s happened, but it’s changed my life for the better. I just had to swallow my pride. From going from trying out for the NFL to back to where I played college ball to wait tables...it doesn’t get any worse than that. But I knew I couldn’t just fall into that slump and always be asking for this, asking for that, trying to live off of what I had done in the past. I knew that I was more than that, so I just had to stick my chest out and make it happen. I had to learn to be Julius Jackson, the man, instead of Julius Jackson, the football player.
That transition is not easy. Going from being a "star" athlete to having to work nine to five on a salary that you thought you’d never have to deal with...that’s hard, that’s really hard. These aren’t things that we are taught in school. I was mature in playing sports, but not in life, and that’s been a challenge.
3. What’s the one thing you learned through your student-athlete experience at Nebraska that’s helped you the most?
When you’re put in that spotlight, it’s like you’re being chastised every day. You’ve got the media looking at everything you do, people out there saying whatever they want to say, it’s just chaotic. I learned that you’ve got to have patience, first of all, and you’ve got to know who you are and where you stand. When I was in college, I had some of the best times of my life, but there was also some really bad times in my life that I had to learn from. That’s been the most important thing to me, to learn from those bad times.
4. What are you doing now?
I am a case manager at Frenkel and Frenkel law firm in Dallas, so I’m in charge of the cases that my attorney has. My job is to go with him from beginning to end, from the time we open a case to the time we settle, I do the ground work.
411 Championship Bonus: 1997 National Championship season 411
That was a fun year, because I was able to contribute the whole year and play in every game, instead of being a redshirt freshman like I was in the 1995 championship season. The championship game itself was so exciting, but my best game, without a doubt, was Southern Miss. That’s pretty much the game that got my name out there. I’ll never forget that one, and I just want to thank them for making my highlight tape.
I’ll be coming back for the 10-year team reunion on October 13, and I’m really looking forward to it. It seems like it was just yesterday – I can’t believe it’s already been ten years! It’ll be great to see everyone again, though, and I definitely wouldn’t miss out on it.
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