Donte Jackson’s two-sport spring is over.
Jackson, a cornerback in football and a sprinter in track, was ruled academically ineligible for the spring semester, two sources told The Advocate on Tuesday.
The 173-pound speedster is expected to qualify over the summer and participate in preseason camp in August, a source said. But Jackson is not allowed to complete spring football practice or to compete in the track team’s outdoor season — an end to a highly anticipated rookie year for the Riverdale product.
The Advocate published a story Monday evening online and in Tuesday’s print edition about Jackson juggling track and football. A source said Jackson’s spring ineligibility wasn’t known until Monday night.
Jackson was absent during Tuesday’s football practice. He attended football practice last week and spoke to reporters then during an arranged interview session.
Asked about Jackson on Saturday, LSU coach Les Miles said there was some “concern” about Jackson balancing his academics while participating in two sports.
“One sport ... can be very difficult. Now, to have two sports, there’s some concern there needs to be balance,” Miles said. “I think he’s doing a good job. We’re kind of monitoring him and helping him along the way, meeting appointments and doing the papers he needs to. He’s hanging in there, has the opportunity to do both.”
Jackson is considered one of three starting cornerbacks for LSU, secondary coach Corey Raymond said last week. He has been practicing with the starters during spring drills, running opposite Tre’Davious White at cornerback. He developed last season into LSU’s No. 3 cornerback, even starting the Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech.
Jackson’s role extends well beyond defense. He is expected to compete to return kicks and punts as well, and he plays in spot roles on LSU’s offense.
Jackson was expected to have a considerable role on the track team during the outdoor season. He was scheduled to run the 100-meter dash and be a part of the 4x100 relay team.
Jackson made a splash last month at the Southeastern Conference indoor meet. During the preliminary round, he ran the 60-meter dash in 6.63 seconds — then a time that vaulted him into the nation’s top 10 for that event and qualified him for the NCAA meet.
But he strained his hamstring during that preliminary run, knocking him out of the 60-meter SEC finals and NCAAs. It forced him to miss a handful of football practices as well.
He hasn’t run a track event since, but he has returned to full health, track coach Dennis Shaver said Monday.
Jackson was ranked as high as the No. 10 prospect in the 2015 football recruiting class. He accounted for 1,637 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior at Riverdale in 2014. He won the Louisiana Class 4A state outdoor championship in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes as a junior and senior in 2014 and 2015.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.