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UT’s Jackson Back, But He’s Still Got Work To Do

Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson is back in Knoxville and enrolled in school.  The star DB has had a series of issues since arriving at UT as part of Lane Kiffin’s first (and only full) signing class in 2009).  First there was a late-night arrest in connection with an attempted robbery at a convenience store.  Charges against Jackson were dropped.  There were team rules violations involving marijuana.  And twice Jackson has left school — including during the spring semester — only to be welcomed back.

But he’s not all the way back yet, according to Derek Dooley.

“He’s only been here, how long, three days now,” UT’s coach told The Knoxville News Sentinel yesterday.  “So it’s a little premature to say he’s back.  He’s got a long way to go physically, he’s still got a lot of things to do to stay a part of the team.  Only time will tell if he’s going to be our safety this year.  I think it’s a good positive step forward, but we’re certainly not done.”

And if you think that sounds a lot like what Steve Spurrier said about Stephen Garcia in recent months, you’re right.  In both cases the players have to keep their noses clean, but if they weren’t expected to start this fall… they wouldn’t have been welcomed back in the first place following so many issues and incidents.

“We’re certainly better off today than a week ago, because he’s in school and he’s working out with the team,” Dooley said.  “He hadn’t worked out with our football team literally since the Music City Bowl.  It’s been a long time away from the football team, and it’s a good step to get him back — but we also can’t forget he has been gone that long and it’s going to be a long road back.”


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