KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee football program got some good news on Wednesday that it long expected to hear.
The Volunteers' defense got a boost when the school announced that star safety Janzen Jackson had enrolled for the second semester of summer school, which begins Thursday.
Jackson, one of the Vols' most talented players, had withdrawn from UT in February due to personal reasons, but he "is expected to be a full participant when training camp begins [in August]," according to a school statement.
Jackson, though, had remained in Knoxville and kept in touch with coaches and teammates. He was listed in UT's online directory as a staff member working in maintenance.
UT coach Derek Dooley and sources inside the football program long had indicated that Jackson would eventually return despite the mysterious nature of his brief departure. The junior missed most of the Vols' Music City Bowl practice last December for the same personal reasons.
Jackson was third on the team in tackles last season and tied for the team lead with Prentiss Waggner with five interceptions. Jackson's return to a likely starting spot alongside strong safety Brent Brewer is a boost to a UT secondary that's adding in seven new players, including two junior-college transfers.
Jackson has started all but one of the 23 games he's played in his UT career, and he earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors last season.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...
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