A look at the three Tennessee players involved in today's armed robbery case:
On the field: The safety has drawn comparisons to star Eric Berry, and at times the Vols have strongly hinted Jackson might eventually be better than the All-American.
Jackson has earned a reputation as a fierce hitter, started every game after the opener until last week and had 33 tackles, a forced fumble and a recovery so far this year.
Off the field: Reportedly was in trouble with the coaching staff as early as preseason camp and was suspended for last week’s game against Memphis.
What Kiffin said: “I think he’s going to be an All-American player as long as he stays healthy and keeps practicing hard and preparing hard. He’s one of the hardest guys at practice. He gets it. His dad has done a great job raising him.” — Sept. 22.
On the field: The wide receiver has shown flashes of the athleticism that made him such a prized recruit, but there haven’t been many. Richardson took a direct snap for 41 yards on the first play of the game against Auburn and caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown last week, but he’s been a disappointment on special teams.
Off the field: Some frustration at his role, an inability to make big plays early in his first season and perhaps some homesickness contributed to his missing practice last week before playing Memphis, though the Vols thought they had put that issue to bed and he played in the game.
What Kiffin said: “We try to teach our kids how to deal with adversity. That’s what matters. It’s always going to happen in football and in life, but how do you deal with it? Do you sit around and pout and complain, do you bring other people down? Or do you just control what you can control and go work extremely hard, and Nu’Keese did that last week.” — Sunday.
On the field: The defensive back hasn’t really tapped into his potential this season, but he had appeared in all eight games and make five tackles — including three on Saturday against Memphis. During his senior season in high school in Glenville, Ohio, Edwards racked up five interceptions and 34 tackles.
Off the field: Edwards has consistently been rumored to be in trouble with both the law and the coaching staff, though the whispers have also been dismissed as often by people around the team.
What Kiffin said: “Mike is very physical at corner for us. I think eventually he will be a great player.” — Aug. 22.