BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It has been nearly a month since UB football player Solomon Jackson passed away following a medical emergency during a team session in late February.
Now, his teammates and coaches are back on the field, reporting for Spring practices, as they continue to grieve for a fallen comrade and friend.
“You can tell a lot of guys are waking up excited to play,” said linebacker Jarrett Franklin. “We’re excited to get the opportunity to play football at a D1 level. Not a lot of people can say that and Solo can’t say that right now.”
The team is dedicating its season to Jackson, a player with a work ethic coach Lance Leipold hopes can inspire the roughly 90 members of the UB football family.
“We’ll always have Solomon in our minds and our thoughts and prayers continue for his family,” said Leipold. “We also want to make sure we honor him in the right way and play the game the way he played for us.”
Franklin echoes that sentiment.
“If Solo was out here right now, he would work every single second that he got, so that’s how we have to attack the season, we have to work every single second we have. In meetings at 5 am, and when we work out in the weight room, every single second… we have to work like Solo would work.”