In a season where its defense ended up wracked by injury, South Carolina football was down one intriguing defensive back from the beginning.
Now Tavyn Jackson will continue his football career elsewhere after taking a medical disqualification in August.
Jackson tweeted this week he’s headed to Highland Community College in Kansas, with hopes of using that as a launch point to join another team. He stepped away from the Gamecocks last summer because of sickle cell trait, a genetic condition.
Early in his career, Will Muschamp has spoken about Jackson as a player who could have potentially contributed, but a nagging hamstring forced him to redshirt as a true freshman. Back in August, it was assumed he was giving up football and would have the rest of his education paid for.
“Based on how it was explained to me, you have certain percentages of the sickle cell trait, and unfortunately his is very high,” Muschamp said when he announced the disqualification. “After meeting with his family, Dr. (Jeff) Guy, Clint Haggard, our medical staff, to hear all of the different avenues we traveled down as far as seeing experts to try to find a solution to help Tavyn, this was the best answer. It was very unfortunate.”
In January, news came out Jackson put his name in the NCAA transfer portal. Players who are medically disqualified can go to other schools and play assuming they pass all the needed physicals.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Florida product was a 2017 three-star recruit out of high school with strong coverage skills. As a senior, he had 76 tackles and four interceptions and was an all-state pick
Without him, South Carolina struggled mightily at defensive back, especially safety, a spot he moved last offseason.
Highland went 6-4 last season in a tough conference in Kansas.