Months of speculation and rumors ended on Wednesday when Tennessee announced Janzen Jackson had enrolled in the second session of summer school classes.
Jackson, a junior free safety for the Volunteers, withdrew from school during the Spring Semester to deal with personal issues. He is expected to participate in the team's fall camp, which starts later this month.
Last season, he recorded 69 tackles and five interceptions on the way to the coaches' All-SEC second-team honors.
A highly ranked defensive back from Lake Charles, La., Jackson has been a mainstay in the Vols' secondary the past two seasons, starting 22 games.
His return boosts a unit that struggled at times last season to play a nickel defensive, which uses five defensive backs on the field.
Jackson missed all of UT's spring practice and was also absent for virtually all of the team's bowl practice last December.
"Swagger" on watch
Defensive back Prentiss Waggner was one of 65 players chosen to the preseason Chuck Bednarik watch list, given annually to the nation's top defensive player.
Waggner, a junior from Clinton, La., split time between the strong safety and cornerback positions last season, starting the first seven games as a strong safety and the last six as cornerback. He spent the majority of spring practice working at safety with Jackson away from the team, but is expected to stay at cornerback — the position coaches believe best suits his ability — with Jackson returning to school.
Last season, he tied Jackson for the team lead in interceptions with five, returning three for touchdowns — a single-season school record. He also led the SEC with three fumble recoveries to go along with 57 tackles and nine passes defended. For his play, Waggner was selected to the Associated Press All-SEC second team.
In April, Waggner was named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Award watch list, also given to college football's top defensive player.
Bray, Poole recognized
On the other side of the ball, quarterback Tyler Bray and tailback Tauren Poole were named two of the 66 players on the Maxwell Award watch list, given to the most outstanding player in college football.
Former UT quarterback Peyton Manning is the only Vol to have won the Maxwell award, doing so in 1997.
Bray, the Vols' sophomore signal-caller, started the last five games of the 2010 season, finishing with 1,849 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, both UT freshman records.
Last year, in his first season as a starter, Poole rushed for 1,024 yards, earning All-SEC honorable mention by the Associated Press. He topped the century mark in six games, tied with Auburn's Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton for most in the SEC.
Now a senior, Poole could become just the second Vol in the program's history to race back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
— Matt Dixon is a senior in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @MattDixon3.