After a four-month layoff from school and football to handle what have been characterized all along as non-disciplinary personal issues, Janzen Jackson has returned to the University of Tennessee, enrolled in summer classes, and rejoined the football team. This development has been confirmed by official university social media accounts, and the school has issued a brief release:
The Tennessee football program announced Wednesday that junior defensive back Janzen Jackson has enrolled in the second session of summer classes. He has returned to the team and is expected to be a full participant when training camp begins.
Jackson led the Vols in interceptions in 2010 and ranked nationally in the top 25 (five picks, returned for a total of 114 yards), in addition to notching 40 solo tackles, 11 defended passes, and one sack. It is not a stretch to say he's Tennessee's best player, and the magnitude of his return cannot be overstated. Here's what our own Bill Connelly had to say about the prospect of Jackson's return:
The secondary was a strength last year, and it should be again this year. How much of one will depend on the return of Janzen Jackson (54.5 tackles, 4.0 TFL/sacks, 5 INT, 6 PBU). He left the program in February due to "personal battles," and it is as yet unclear whether he will return this fall. If he does, then the Vols have significant depth, anchored by one of the best free safeties in the country.
Whatever it was Jackson was handling, it was obviously dire enough for his coaches to let him go while leaving the door open for his return. Here's hoping, sincerely, that he's got it under control and can get back to being a college kid, and to mowing down unsuspecting ball carriers all over the field.
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