Vols' Jackson withdraws from school

Vols' Jackson withdraws from school

February 8th, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports

UT coach Derek Dooley talks to the press.

KNOXVILLE -- Derek Dooley's coaching staff underwent a shake-up Sunday night.

Monday night, it was the University of Tennessee football coach's roster.

Dooley announced that safety Janzen Jackson had withdrawn from school this semester to continue to deal with the personal problems that forced him to miss much of the December practices leading up to the Music City Bowl. His future as a Volunteer is uncertain.

"We are continuing to support Janzen as he addresses his personal issues during this temporary withdrawal from school," Dooley said in a release. "While he would still be eligible to compete if he enrolls this fall, nothing is more important than Janzen's well-being."

During Jackson's absence in December, Dooley refused to disclose any details of the player's situation and continually reiterated support for the Louisiana resident.

Jackson, whom Dooley called his best defensive player on multiple occasions last season, was an All-Southeastern Conference player after making 69 tackles and leading the Vols with five interceptions.

Three other players are no longer Vols.

Cody Pope, who missed nearly all of last season with a lingering stinger after beginning the year as the starting center, will take a medical exemption and no longer participate with the program. He wrote on his Twitter page Monday night that he "can't get cleared."

Defensive back Ted Meline, who redshirted last season, withdrew from school for personal reasons, and linebacker Jerod Askew, a former four-star recruit who played in just one game in two seasons, was dismissed for a violation of team rules.

Cornerback Art Evans has been reinstated after missing the last five games of the season because of a suspension. Evans, who will be a senior this year, will join the team's offseason workouts.

Jackson's uncertainty places another strain on UT's thin secondary. The Vols signed seven defensive backs last week, including junior college players Byron Moore and Izauea Lanier.

If Jackson doesn't return to the team, the high expectations for Lanier and Moore to make immediate impacts are raised even further.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrownTFP.