Gophers DT signee Merrick Jackson wants to be the next B.J. Raji

Iowa Western C.C. defensive tackle and new Gopher signee Merrick Jackson is the latest Gopher to sign in the 2016 class and he went in-depth with GopherDigest.com to share more about his reasons to sign with Minnesota.

GopherDigest.com: What is your current height and weight? What weight would the Minnesota staff like you to report at in the summer?

MJ: I'm 6'2" 312 lbs. They never told me any weight they want me at.

GopherDigest.com: What are your individual and team goals you hope to accomplish during your college career?

MJ: As a player, I want be a starter and a someone who makes plays. As for the team, I want to go as far as me and my team are able go.

GopherDigest.com: What are you looking to work on the most this spring to prepare yourself for Big Ten football?

MJ: I'll be working to make sure I'll be able to give 100% every play.

GopherDigest.com: What future moment are you looking forward to the most as a Golden Gopher?

MJ: Honestly just making a play and hearing all the Gopher fans go crazy.

GopherDigest.com: What was the main reason you chose to attend the University of Minnesota?

MJ: It felt like somewhere I could succeed while being comfortable with the people around me.

GopherDigest.com: What team do you want to beat the most as a Gopher and why?

MJ: I want to beat every team honestly. 

GopherDigest.com: Is there any unfinished academic business or are you all set to enroll at Minnesota?

MJ: I'm all set.

GopherDigest.com: If you don't make it to the NFL, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

MJ: I'll be doing something that has something to do with football as I can't stay away from the game I love.

GopherDigest.com: What is it about Coach Claeys and the coaching staff that makes you want to play for them?

MJ: It felt like everyone on the staff was close and that made the whole team feel close like a family.

GopherDigest.com: What is something you learned about the University of Minnesota that surprised you during the recruiting process?

MJ: How dedicated the fans are. The game I went to on my visit was very cold and the fans didn't seem to mind.

GopherDigest.com: What position do you expect to play at Minnesota? What other position did the Gopher staff mention as a possibility?

MJ: Just defensive tackle.

GopherDigest.com: What have the coaches told you regarding how they plan to utilize your strengths as a player?

MJ: With me being their biggest DT, I'll be able to use my strength and speed to penetrate and play in the opponents back field.

GopherDigest.com: Have you had any communication with other Minnesota recruits and if so what?

MJ: I talked to the Butler tackle before he committed telling him that Minnesota would be the right move for him.

GopherDigest.com: What player do you model your game after and why?

MJ: I try to play like the DT from the Packers, B.J. Raji, because that's my favorite team.


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