Husker junior nickel back Charles Jackson, on the verge of having a leading role in Nebraska's defense, will undergo surgery and miss the entire season, coach Bo Pelini confirmed after Thursday's practice.

Jackson has been wearing a brace on his left knee after suffering an injury during Tuesday's nonpadded practice.

"After evaluating it, for his long-term best interest, they're going to go ahead and fix it," Pelini said. "It's not a horrible injury. It's a very unusual injury. When they determined whether they wanted to rehab it and come back, they determined for him long-term that the best thing was to go ahead and fix it now. He'll come back. He'll be better than ever when he comes back."

Pelini said it's a difficult injury to classify. He equated it in some ways to the medial collateral ligament sprain suffered by running back Rex Burkhead during his senior season, but said it was slightly different in nature. Jackson is expected to undergo surgery in the next few days.

“That’s a huge loss right there. We needed Charles this year," said sophomore defensive tackle Maliek Collins. "We just have to stay strong and be good teammates to him and help him get back for next year.”

Jackson does have a redshirt season, so he will have two years of eligibility remaining when he returns in 2015.