Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson has become the de facto leader of his position group with the loss of junior Lo Wood for the season because of an Achilles injury.
Jackson, a junior who was converted from a receiver last year, is the most experienced in terms of practice at cornerback, but he mainly played on special teams the last two seasons.
Jackson will likely be starting this year, and Notre Dame will pick from sophomores Josh Atkinson, Jalen Brown and Cam McDaniel as well as freshmen KeiVarae Russell and Elijah Shumate to start opposite of him.
"Me and Lo always tried to lead by example on the field," Jackson said Wednesday. "With Lo out, obviously, me being the older cornerback, I kind of have to take charge. I took charge before, but now, it is more on my shoulders, I feel."
Jackson said all of the cornerbacks are working hard, and he thinks the group will do well this year even though they lack experience and many are adjusting to a new position.
Atkinson played mainly on special teams last season. Brown didn't play as a freshman. McDaniel is cross training at corner and running back. Russell was recruited as a running back, and Shumate was originally slated to play safety for Notre Dame.
"They work hard and you can see the urgency and their mindset daily, they know that it is there time and they have to step up," Jackson said. "The light is going to be on them, and it is their time to shine."
Jackson said Wood, who was slated to have surgery Wednesday, lives across the hall from him, and that Wood is keeping his spirits up after the injury.
"It is a terrible situation to happen to anybody, but he is making the best out of it for sure," Jackson said.