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Jackson happy to be at UT

Jackson happy to be at UT

Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:06 pm
By: AP

By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson spent the past six months dealing with some tough issues. The toughest was not being around football.
The junior said Monday that he’s glad to be back on the field after a five-month break to deal with what he said were personal issues and family problems.
“I didn’t think I was gone, but I thought there was a slim chance that I wouldn’t come back because I had to get some things in order,” Jackson said. “For me to get back out here on the field I had to take care of some stuff, but I’m definitely happy to be back out here.”
Jackson withdrew from Tennessee in February and re-enrolled in July. He said he was diligent about lifting weights and maintaining his conditioning program during the break so that he would be in good shape upon returning.
The Lake Charles, La., native thanked his coaches and teammates for their support as he addressed his issues, which he said he did not want to talk about publicly. He met with coach Derek Dooley frequently during the period.
“We’ve had a lot of one-on-ones, not as coach to player but just as an older guy trying to help a younger guy,” Dooley said. “I’m glad he listened. It took him about 28 meetings, but on the 29th he started listening. I wish I could get that way with all our players.”
Jackson made 69 tackles and a team-high five interceptions in 2010. He has made 22 starts in 23 games over two seasons with the Vols, and is expected to be a key part of the Volunteers’ deep and experienced secondary.
“I’ve been one day at a time with him ever since he came back, and he just seems like he’s in a good place right now,” Dooley said. “I hope he stays in that place because that place is pretty good for Tennessee. Time will tell. Janzen loves playing ball, he loves it. So when he’s back out here on the grass, he’s just a different person. I hope he continues to stay on the path that he’s on.”
Published in The Messenger 8.9.11

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