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Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes DL Jackson declares candidacy for Florida House Seat

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The first 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate is tonight, but that’s not the only political development happening in Miami. Former Miami Hurricanes player, Demetrius Jackson, has left the football field to enter the political field, and run for Miami-Dade County’s House District 109.

Jackson played primarily, as a reserve defensive lineman for the University of Miami, and in his four years with the Canes, he played in 39 games, recorded seven sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.

The former lineman will propose a challenge to incumbent, James Bush III, as he may be a newcomer to politics, he is certainly known among the area. The Miami native graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and stayed in South Florida for college. Jackson graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and is planning on finishing his Master’s degree in public administration this year.

It’s not entirely uncommon to see athletes enter into the political arena, but it is not often that a player who just finished playing college football is running for office the following year, as Jackson played for the Hurricanes in 2018.

On his official campaign website he wrote,

“As a former University of Miami Hurricanes football player, raised in the Overtown Community, I have witnessed people within our communities experiencing loss through their families, their homes, their workplaces and much more. Therefore, I have chosen to take my talents off the football field and into the political arena; using my educational background and experience, along with my competitiveness to make the much needed changes within our communities.”

While this is his first chance at making a change in Miami-Dade politics, he is not new to bringing change in his community. In 2017 while off the field due to injury, he founded his own charity “The Young Men of Tomorrow,” setting out to combat the violence in the city of Miami. This led to him winning Community Service Man of the Year award at the annual team banquet that season.

There have been some former football stars to run for political office in the past. Tennessee college and Washington Redskins QB Heath Shuler served in the U.S. House representing a district in North Carolina for six years (2007-13) and former Seahawks great Steve Largent served as an Oklahoma congressman for eight years in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Jackson is one of three Democratic candidates vying for the seat in office. For now, Jackson is in full campaign mode leading up to the primary in March.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

Miami Hurricanes

Will Canes turn things around in home opener?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement behind first year Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is quickly losing steam as the once ACC powerhouse has now found themselves as an unranked, middle of the pack team in their conference with an 0-2 record. Granted, they have had some bigger tests than most teams in the first two weeks of play, but still, there is too much talent on this team to have had such a lackluster start.

So, today has to be the day for Diaz to see some success as he heads into his first home game as the Canes head coach. Even if it’s against an FCS team, it will give the Canes the boost they need to turn the season around. They have a lot of young talent who can certainly bring Miami back to its state of prominence and there is still a lot to be hopeful for as they head into their first kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium this season.

History is certainly on Miami’s side. In their all time series with Bethune-Cookman University, Miami has a perfect 4-0 mark against the Wildcats, winning all four games by 3o points or more. Also, Miami has not lost a home opener since 2006, and have emerged victorious in its last 12 home openers, most recently, a shoutout 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State last season.

Amidst the two early losses, RS Freshman QB Jarren Williams has looked strong. In his first ever collegiate start against Top 10 ranked Florida, Williams finished 19-for-30 for 214 yards and 1 TD. He looked even better in week two against ACC opponent North Carolina, throwing for 309 yards on 30-for-39 passing with two touchdowns and no picks. He’ll likely put up even bigger numbers today against a significantly weaker defense. He’s now the ranked fourth among ACC Quarterbacks.

Williams also has strong targets in RB DeeJay Dallas who rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush vs. UNC, as well as TE Brevin Jordan who leads the team with 161 receiving yards (80.5 per game).

On the defensive end, Miami has one the best linebacker trios in college football right now with Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney & Shaq Quarterman. These three have started nearly every game together since arriving to University of Miami as early enrollees in 2016.

UM’s starting offensive line now has three freshman. True freshman LT Zion Nelson, redshirt freshman RT John Campbell, Jr. and true freshman Jakai Clark who made his first start against the Tar Heels. The young UM offensive line looked much improved in week two, but they still allowed four sacks and aren’t up to the caliber they need to be to be considered a solid offensive line. However, facing a FCS level opponent like Bethune-Cookman, the starting five on the offensive line should be able to grow confident together this week. 

Should Miami be upset with the way they’ve started this season, for sure. But, the 0-2 start does not have to reflect what the rest of the year will look like. This week is the perfect opportunity for the teams nine new starters so far this season to get more comfortable and build some confidence, and get the second string guys playing time to give the team more depth all around.

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Miami Hurricanes

Even with defeat Canes legend Irvin passionate about future

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI IS BACK!!!! Well, at least they are, according to Hurricanes legendary WR Michael Irvin and a social media post Monday morning.

First, Irvin was seen getting Canes fans hyped at a rally Friday night prior to Miami’s opening loss to rival Florida in Orlando Saturday night:

Irvin was also a guest on ESPN’s “College Gameday” show at Disney World and got very animated on Saturday morning with Gators legend/Heisman winner, Tim Tebow:

Well, despite the hype, the Hurricanes played a sloppy game with lots of penalties and turnovers. Some of this was to be expected with a first year head coach in Manny Diaz and a redshirt freshman QB making his first start in Jarren Williams. As we wrote though, Williams showed promise at times despite sacks and misfires, at times for the offense.

Well, Irvin was back on social media Monday (apparently after a morning workout) and wanted Canes fans to know he is encouraged and to keep that same energy even after the loss:

In the :60 post, Irvin made it very clear that the Canes “gave it to the Gators,” and he was so adamant about that, he even said it twice. He was also very encouraged about the way his team played, especially with multiple freshmen on the O-line and a young QB.

“If it weren’t for a few mistakes, the Canes would have walked away with the win!,” Irvin emphasized.

Irvin, who was a two time All American receiver for the Gators in the 80s, part of the 1987 National Championship team and later a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Cowboys, was a good sport and congratulated the Gators. But, he did leave us with a great quote to end his speech,

“I don’t care what ya’ll say, we will never die. We will never quit, and we will never go anywhere. So, eat that on your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate.”

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