KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin says freshman safety Janzen Jackson will be allowed to return to team activities immediately and will start Saturday at Kentucky.

"After an extensive and thorough investigation by the Knoxville Police Department and the District Attorney's office, they have cleared Janzen of any wrong doing and determined he had no prior knowledge of this incident," Kiffin said Tuesday while reading from a prepared statement. "Janzen will join team activities today.

"We hold our student-athletes to an extremely high standard on and off the field.  Janzen has seen the effect personal decisions had on his former teammates and is excited to rejoin our team activities."

Jackson was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted aggravated robbery on Nov. 12 at a convenience store near Tennessee's Knoxville campus. Jackson's teammates, Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards, also were arrested.

Prosecutors dropped all charges against Jackson after determining he did not know about the robbery beforehand and did not know anything happened until after the trio left the store.

"To me it's a pretty easy decision," Kiffin said. "If someone's cleared of the situation of any wrongdoing by your police dept and the DA, and your student affairs sees no wrongdoing, I don't know how you punish them.

"But at the same time, I would sure hope, that this is a wake-up call of what the reality is of what would happen if I he did do something like that, what could be taken away from me. So I think he's in a really good frame of mind, and he's excited to be back."

Richardson and Edwards are still facing three charges of attempted armed robbery. Kiffin dismissed them from the team Nov. 16.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Prosecutors have dropped attempted aggravated robbery charges against Tennessee freshman safety Janzen Jackson.

The Knox County District Attorney's office said Monday morning that charges would be dropped against the 18-year-old and 22-year-old Marie Montmarquet, accused of acting as a getaway driver, because an investigation failed to prove the pair had any prior knowledge of the alleged attempted robbery.

Charges are still pending against Jackson's former teammates, Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards, who are accused of holding two men at gunpoint with a pellet gun at a convenience store.

Jackson's attorney, Don Bosch, says his client was simply "at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Coach Lane Kiffin said Sunday he was waiting to make a decision about Jackson's future with the team.


(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


KNOXVILLE (WRCB) -- Reports from WRCB's NBC affiliate partner in Knoxville say the Knox County District Attorney plans to drop attempted robbery charges against starting freshman safety Janzen Jackson. The attempted robbery charges against student Marie Montmarquet will also be dropped, according to WBIR. However, drug charges against Montmarquet will stand. No other charges against Jackson exist. Vols Head Coach Lane Kiffin has not discussed Jackson's future on the team.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WRCB) -- Vols Head Coach Lane Kiffin has kicked two of the three accused Vols players off the team.

Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards have been dismissed.

Here is the statement released Monday afternoon:

After extensive and thorough research of the situation over the last four days and considering various disciplinary options, I've decided it's in the best interest of our program to remove Nu'Keese and Mike," Kiffin said. "As I've said many times before, we hold our student-athletes to an extremely high standard on and off the field. Our student athletes must be responsible members of society, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated."

According to a UT press release, Janzen Jackson cannot take part in team activities until more information is known.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Officer Tim Isaacs, who answered the phone at the Knox County Sheriff's Detention Facility on Friday night, told the Associated Press that Tennessee freshman Nu'Keese Richardson was no longer at the jail. He would provide no further information.

Richardson was being held in lieu of $19,500 bond.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Three University of Tennessee freshmen players charged with attempted armed robbery will not play with the Volunteers at Mississippi.

Tennessee spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter says the team will travel to Oxford without wide receiver NuKeese Richardson, safety Janzen Jackson and defensive back Mike Edwards. The Vols (5-4, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) face the Rebels (6-3, 2-3) on Saturday.

According to sheriffs officials, Richardson remains in jail in lieu of a $19,500 bond. Edwards posted a $19,500 bond, and Jackson was released on his own recognizance.

The three 18-year-olds are accused of demanding money from three men at a Pilot gas station near Tennessee's campus early Thursday morning. One of the three allegedly brandished a pellet gun during the attempted robbery.

Coach Lane Kiffin and athletic director Mike Hamilton have declined comment on the situation as they try to gather more information.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WRCB) -- WVLT-TV in Knoxville is also reporting that Mike Edwards posted bond and has been released.

Nu'Keese Richardson is still being held at the Knox County Detention Center.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Lane Kiffin does not have much to say at the moment about three of his players being arrested overnight on attempted armed robbery charges.

"We're gathering all the information in, and until then I really have nothing further," Kiffin said after practice Thursday. "The only thing that I can tell you is that Janzen (Jackson) has been released.

"We'll deal with the three situations coming up, but until we have all the information I can't comment any further on it."

Kiffin echoed a statement Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton released earlier in the day.

"At this time we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu'Keese Richardson," Hamilton said. "Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete."

Jackson's attorney, Donald Bosch, told the Knoxville News-Sentinel his client was released on his own recognizance late this afternoon without having to post bond.

Jackson, a starting safety from Lake Charles, La., had his bond reduced from $15,000 and "vehemently asserts his innocence" according to Bosch.

Wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, a freshman from Pahokee, Fl., and defensive back Mike Edwards, a freshman from Cleveland, Oh., both remain in police custody.

The Vols are preparing to play at Ole Miss this Saturday, and Kiffin said the day's events didn't seem to affect the team during Thursday's practice.

"It's got nothing to do with what's going on with these guys," Kiffin said. "We needed to have a good practice today to prepare for a big-time game, and I thought they really came out and had a really good practice.

"I thought they were very sharp, very focused. We had good meetings, good intensity out here, but we still have a lot of work to do before the game."


KNOXVILLE (WRCB) --  We have more details in the developing story of the arrests of three UT Vols players, wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson and defensive back Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards

According to victim statements to police, three men were sitting in their car outside the Pilot store. They say a male in a hoodie approached and opened the driver's door, showed a black semi-automatic handgun and said, "give me everything you have!"

A second male then approached and opened the passenger's side door and said, "give us everything you've got!" then a third male told the other two they needed to leave.
The victims, identified as Corey Zickefoose, Benjamin Everett and Corey Smith, all Maryville residents, called 911. Police were then dispatched and a search started for the suspects including a reported female driver.

Police then found a vehicle matching the description near Gibbs Hall on the UT campus. The four suspects were then detained.

A search of the car revealed marijuana paraphernalia, two black hoodies, and a CO2 powered black pellet gun.

Police said the female driver, Marie Montmarquet, later stated the paraphernalia belonged to her. She was charged with possession, in addition to attempted armed robbery.

Montmarquet is a 22-year-old woman from Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The suspects were taken to the pilot for identification where the victims identified Edwards and Richardson as the ones who asked for all the money.

The three football players are all Lane Kiffin recruits. The U-T Athletic Director says the circumstances of the arrests are being investigated.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Three freshman Tennessee football players are charged with an attempted armed robbery.

According to Knoxville police, wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson and defensive back Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards were arrested after the early Thursday morning incident.

The victims told police they were sitting in their parked vehicle at a gas station near Tennessee's campus when two males, one brandishing a handgun, approached.

The two suspects demanded whatever the victims had. When the victims showed they had no money, the suspects joined a third man in a Toyota Prius and left.

Police located a Toyota Prius matching the description and the victims identified Richardson and Edwards as the men who approached the vehicle.

Officers say they found a pellet gun, drug paraphernalia and a plastic bag containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton says he is evaluating the incident.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.