Help is on the way for the Maryland secondary.
Former Florida signee J.C. Jackson will enroll at Maryland and arrive to campus on Tuesday, multiple sources tell 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow.
Jackson spent the 2015 season at the junior college level at Riverside Community College (Calif.). The Florida native tallied 25 tackles, two forced fumbles, and two pass breakups in just six games.
Jackson will now have a second chance at a Division I college football career.
The Immokalee (Fla.) product redshirted his first year at Florida, but left the program in April 2015. That was shortly after he was charged with four felony counts related to a home invasion and robbery attempt in Gainesville.
Jackson was later found not guilty of the charges.
Coach D.J. Durkin had recruited Jackson to Florida when he served as the defensive coordinator under Will Muschamp. Ironically, Muschamp landed at South Carolina this offseason and attempted to lure Jackson for a possible reunion.
Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, the SEC put a “serious misconduct” rule into place. It stated that SEC schools couldn’t accept “transfer students who at any point of their enrollment in college had been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence, or “other forms” of sexual violence.”
That ruling is what opened the door for Jackson to bring his talents to College Park.
Jackson was originally rated as a four-star recruit that was ranked as the No. 131 prospects in 247Sports’ composite rankings back in 2014. He was also rated as the No. 20 player in the state of Florida.
Jackson is a huge pickup for a Maryland team that had question marks in the secondary. Will Likely is slated to start at one of the cornerback spots, but the second spot was up in the air.
Jackson immediately becomes one of the most talented players on the Maryland defense. He’ll be of tremendous help to Likely and could take some of the pressure off of the senior cornerback.
Likely could play the nickel if needed with Jackson now in the fold.