For the first time since the publication of an article detailing how a shoulder injury that would likely end his playing career, Florida offensive lineman Octavius Jackson has addressed his situation, posting a screenshot of the article to Instagram.
Jackson captioned the image with this:
A minor set back #determinedtobegreat it's about that time for me to rise out of the darkness and shine brighter then before
The article in question was published by the Moultrie Observer on February 4 — Jackson hails from Moultrie, Georgia, and graduated from the city's Colquitt County High School — and went largely unnoticed until Florida beat reporters picked up on it this past weekend.
Gator Country's Nick de la Torre reported Sunday that Jackson would sign a medical hardship waiver due to "continuing and chronic shoulder ailments," while Florida announced via Twitter on Monday that the school submitted paperwork appealing for a scholarship exemption for Jackson.
UAA has recently submitted documentation to the Southeastern Conference for a medical exemption for Octavius Jackson #gators— GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) February 10, 2014
Jackson was frequently mentioned by Will Muschamp as one of the Gators' most promising linemen in the 2013 recruiting class during the fall of 2013, with some of the updates sounding so positive that some speculated Jackson might see time on the Gators' dessicated line. But that never happened then, and it appears now that it never will.
A medical hardship waiver would allow Jackson to stay on scholarship at Florida, and pursue his degree, while not counting toward the 85 scholarships Florida is limited to for its football program.
If Jackson's playing career truly is over, here's hoping he makes the most of his education in Florida's classrooms and as a non-playing member of the Gators' football program. We obviously wish him the best.