Florida redshirt cornerback JC Jackson, an Immokalee High graduate, turned himself in to police on Saturday for allegedly being one of three men to steal cash, drugs and an Xbox gaming system at gunpoint from an acquaintance in Gainesville.
Jackson, The News-Press 2013 Offensive Football Player of the Year, is being held by the Alachua Sheriff’s Office in lieu of $150,000 bond.
“It’s really a shame,” former Immokalee head coach Rich Dombroski said. “He was by far the best athlete I’ve ever been around as a coach. Now, a complete waste of talent, in my opinion, but I’m not shocked at all. … I was truly hoping, with him getting out of Immokalee, he would stay on the straight and narrow, play some college football and get a degree.”
According to the Gainesville police report, Jackson arranged the visit to the apartment to hang out and smoke marijuana with an acquaintance who lived there. Once he arrived, Jackson excused himself to use his phone outside and left his two unidentified companions inside with the three victims. With Jackson outside, one of his companions pulled a handgun, made the victims lie on the floor and demanded they empty their pockets.
The subject with the gun pushed it into Jackson’s acquaintance’s face and demanded drugs and money. The two suspects inside the residence fled with $382, an unknown amount of marijuana and two gaming systems.
All three victims identified Jackson after he turned himself in. Police are searching for the other two suspects.
First-year Florida head coach Jim McElwain released a statement Sunday morning regarding Jackson’s arrest: “We are aware of the news involving JC Jackson and he is currently dealing with
a serious issue. We don’t condone any of his actions and it is not something that reflects on the expectations we have in the program. It is being handled accordingly due to the severity of his actions.”
The arrest marks a trying five months for Jackson, who played in the Gators’ 2014 opener but missed the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
Jackson was in a car with Gators’ starting quarterback Treon Harris and freshman defensive back Jalen Tabor when it was stopped by campus police Dec. 13. Harris faced a misdemeanor charge for allegedly operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.
Police detected the odor of marijuana in the car and two plastic bags were found containing a small amount of the drug, but no arrests were made because the car did not belong to Jackson, Harris or Tabor.
A little more than a week later, Jackson suffered minor injuries after being grazed by a bullet while sitting in a car with two others outside of the Crestview Apartments in Immokalee on Christmas Eve.
The Indians’ all-time receiving leader caught 31 passes for 862 yards and an area-leading 14 touchdowns in 2013. He rushed for 165 yards and accumulated 336 yards on kickoff and punt returns. On defense, he racked up 58 tackles and two interceptions.