Originally written July 12, 2013 on Crystal Ball Run:
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter) Of all the things that have made Nebraska football, well, Nebraska football through the years, one is the school’s famed walk-on program. A tradition which was started decades ago has placed countless players onto the Cornhuskers depth chart through the years, not to mention sent 29 straight guys to the National Football League. Not bad. Especially since the school isn’t paying for those scholarships. Still, with all those non-scholarship players passing through the program, none may have come with more fanfare than a Florida defensive back who will try out for the club next fall named Ishmail Jackson. And the hype around Jackson has little do with football. That’s because Jackson- a Hollywood, FL native- just so happens to be related to a pretty famous Hollywood, California actor named Matt Damon. That’s right, the man who has made waves as Jason Bourne and as part of other cinematic classics as ‘The Departed’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’ has a nephew who may be a Cornhusker next year. How you like them apples? The relation between the prime-time actor and small school football star is a bit obscure; Damon’s wife Luciana Bozán Barroso is Jackson’s nephew, yet apparently the relationship between the two is very real. Damon accompanied Jackson to orientation at the school earlier this week and seemed to pop up all over the Twitter feeds of Cornhusker fans in the days which followed. And it’s safe to say that from Jackson’s comments, both he and his uncle were impressed. Here is what the future Husker told 247Sports.com: “It was Matt’s first time and he was amazed,” Jackson said. “He said Nebraska had so much to offer. We went through the whole orientation process. He found out a lot of stuff he didn’t know. He was like ‘Man, I love this. It’s great. The setup here is great. They don’t want you to drop off.’ That’s the main thing he liked about it. The college is not going to just let you be out there on your own. There’s help everywhere to get the help you need.” Whether Jackson will ever see the field in Lincoln remains to be seen. Still, it’s safe to say that after the visit, the Cornhuskers have a new fan in Damon. Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.
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