LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Janzen Jackson was emerging as a top freshman in the SEC, but he and two other Tennessee football players have been charged with attempted armed robbery.
It's been news heard nationally and locally that could possibly change Janzen Jackson's career. According to Knoxville Police, witnesses say two men approached their car- one of them with a gun.
"They said there was a black male who opened the door and demanded everything they had. A second male also joined and also made a demand for everything they had in the vehicle. At sometime during that confrontation, the suspects got back into a Toyota Prius and left the parking lot. That's when the call was made," said Knoxville Police.
Arrested along with Jackson were wide receiver Nu' Keese Richardson and defensive back Mike Edwards. The victims are identified as Corey Zickefoose, Benjamin Everet, and Corey Smith. They were shocked about what happened.
"They jumped out and stuck a gun in my face and said give me everything you got. I'm stunned for a minute. I was like I don't have anything.I'm sorry I don't have anything to give you," said Zickefoose.
Once the suspects left the scene, they gave the description of the suspect's car. Later on, police located the vehicle matching the description. They found two black hoodies and a CO2 black powder gun.
"It was a gun that was used in the commission of the felony. The victims did not know the difference between an air gun or a real gun. It's the intent that was a weapon that was used during the crime," said Knoxville Police.
Jackson and the other suspects were taken back to the Pilot convenience store for identification where the victims identified Edwards and Richardson as the ones who asked for all the money, not Jackson.
"It's ridiculous. You got to grow up one day. You can't just be going out and trying to rob people especially with a good career and good things going for you," said Zickefoose.
Thursday afternoon, Jackson was released from jail and his attorney released this statement.
"As of this afternoon his bond has been reduced from $15,000 to being released on his recognizance. Mr. Jackson vehemently asserts his innocence and we hope that this will become apparent in the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
Back in high school, Jackson was ranked as the number two cornerback in the nation according to rivals.com. According to UTSPORTS.com, while at Barbe High School, Jackson had 187 tackles and 10 interceptions.
In his first year, Jackson has already made an impact with the Vols football team. Janzen started in all but two games as the Volunteers safety. He's recorded 33 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Last week, Jackson was suspended for the Memphis game for violation of team rules. According to ESPN, that suspension was because of a failed drug test. The drug test was one of the things that led to Jackson's suspension.
To view the arrest warrants for Jackson, click here.
To see raw video of the players arrest, click here. The video is from volunteertv.com - WVLT in Knoxville.