The second player featured in a multi-segment player interview series of for Class One, the first recruiting class of the U-M men's lacrosse team, is Kyle Jackson, a Canadian midfielder from The Hill Academy in Ontario. Kyle, along with two other incoming freshmen, took part in the U-M Summer Bridge Program, spending the majority of the summer taking classes and training for the upcoming season in Ann Arbor. His decision to come to Ann Arbor this summer was a tough one, as he turned down an invitation to play for Team Canada at the U-19 World Championships in order to take part in the bridge program.
On being first Canadian to come play at U-M in 20 years ..."That's super exciting for me because that was something that first appealed to me. I knew that nobody had really played from Canada here so that was a good thing that I wanted. I wanted to start that tradition, bringing in more Canadians and help build that block for other Canadians and hopefully I can set a good example and show everyone what Canada is all about."
On if he will be spending time with hockey players on campus after being around the sport his entire life ... "I hope so. I wish I could play hockey here too, that would be an ideal situation. I grew up playing hockey my whole life, in my heart I love it and hopefully I'll get to know those guys."
On potentially having to change playing style to adjust to college game ... "I played box since I've been three, it's what I've always known. I only started playing the field game maybe four years ago. Everybody says that I don't play like a typical Canadian because I am a middie and I do like going both ways, switching hands and what not, so it's not like a Canadian style, and I don't feel personally that I'm going to have to really adjust too much on my game. I can play inside, and I can still do all the aspects of what a typical Canadian can do."
On the decision to turn down invitation to be on the U-19 Worlds team for Canada to be a part of the summer bridge program at U-M ... "I feel I made the right decision because it's the next four years of my life and the education is the biggest part. It was two weeks I was missing out on, but there was a point where it was pretty emotional. I went through a pretty tough phase finding out that I wasn't going and then coming here. The two weeks it went on I probably got maybe three hours of sleep because all the games were at five in the morning here so I was staying up and watching those games. My family actually traveled to Finland just to go watch the games and support everybody there because they had already had their flights and what not. So that was kind of hard for me because I wasn't speaking to my family and I speak to them every day so it was a hard situation for the two weeks that I didn't get to go and hearing everybody, all the stories that they had. It was definitely an emotional time that I wish I was a part of, but I definitely feel I made the right decision by coming here."
On being a part of the summer bridge program, taking classes while working out ... "I love the experience because in the morning we get to do conditioning and it's definitely a huge aspect being a middie. I want to be able to run both sides of the field. The conditioning aspect is hopefully going to be one of the stronger points of my game. In the workout room I'd say I've been doing fairly well so hopefully I can keep improving that. The form is definitely a huge thing. It's good to be able to do both of those so that we can learn to manage those, the workout and the classroom. Where I came from school we had the same situation but not with the same heavy course load so I'm kind of used to it."
On what he's looking forward to most about this coming year ... "I'm definitely looked forward to just having the camaraderie of the team and seeing how everybody comes together because this class of 20 people are the 20 I'm going to spend the next four years of my life with. So hopefully it can be a good experience and we can do well this year."
On what interested him most about U-M ... "I was close to home, about an hour and a half from my house. The whole Michigan thing came on quick. I think maybe I was talking to them for a week, two weeks and then I came down here to visit and I knew immediately that this is where I wanted to go. I didn't think twice about coming here, it was just once the offer came, then there was no hesitation on my part to commit here."
Past Player Q&As