Adoree' Jackson, 5-star cornerback, is one of the better defensive recruits in the 2014 class, and it looks like USC has a great chance to land his commitment.
USC is listed as the top team on his 247Sports interest list and he's from Gardenia, Calif., which is only about 15 or 20 minutes away from USC.
Jackson would be a huge recruit for Lane Kiffin and his staff to land, as he's ranked as the No. 2 cornerback in the 2014 class and the No. 1 recruit from the state of California, both according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Keep in mind that Florida, LSU, Michigan, Texas A&M and UCLA are also listed as "warm interests" on Jackson's interest list as well though, so this could end up being a very interesting recruiting race before all is said and done.
For now, Jackson seems like a USC lean, and that's great news for Trojan fans.
Here's my complete scouting report for the USC target:
- Name: Adoree' Jackson
- Hometown: Gardena, Calif.
- School: Junipero Serra High School
- Position: CB
- Height: 5'11'' (247Sports)
- Weight: 185 pounds (247Sports)
- Rankings: 5-star (247Sports Composite), 5-star (Rivals), 5-star (Scout.com), 5-star (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
Jackson has tremendous athleticism, exceptional speed and great footwork. He very well could play on the offensive side of the ball as a slot receiver, and he would be very effective working against slower linebackers and safeties. He'll also be an option as a kickoff and punt returner. He displays great vision, speed and elite elusiveness.
Jackson could probably be ranked as an athlete recruit, though he projects best as a cornerback.
As a corner Jackson can be effective against both the run and pass. He's a pure ball hawk with the athleticism and agility to make a play. He has the quickness and footwork to stay over top of routes, and he displays great awareness and vision when the ball is in the air. He can backpedal or shuffle hop, and he displays a good plant step and break once he realizes he has to get back down towards the line of scrimmage.
Speaking of, Jackson isn't afraid to be physical at the line of scrimmage, so he'll be able to set the edge and play tough against the run. He also is a strong hitter that will put a pop on a receiver trying to catch the ball, so look for him to jar a bunch of would be completions loose at the college level.
You can get a good look at Jackson's footwork and physicality in this next set of pictures. In the clip below, he appears to be in a cover three, which means he's responsible for his deep third of the field. He'll bail right at the snap, and he can't let anybody behind him:
The offense wisely runs a bubble screen, which should pick up good yards against the cover three, especially since the safety isn't playing up on receiver No. 2. This should be a good play, but Jackson's speed and aggressiveness negates that.
Jackson goes into his shuffle, but you can see that as soon as he realizes what the offense is trying to do, he has his back foot planted and ready to break forward, which he does in the second picture:
By the time the receiver gets the ball and is able to turn around, Jackson is already within five yards and is ready to make a tackle. His speed, aggressiveness and footwork took what should have been an easy five yards for the offense, and turned it into a negative play.
This is important because you can clearly see that receiver No. 1 was able to block the strong safety, so if Jackson either misses the tackle or isn't able to close as quickly, the offense is looking at a nice gain:
Jackson finishes the play by coming in low and wrapping up:
There was one glaring negative in Jackson's game, and it was actually a part that I skipped in the film breakdown above. I did so on purpose, because this needs to be pointed out. Before Jackson is able to wrap up and take down the receiver, notice how he approaches the tackle. He came in low, which is good, but his head is down to the ground, and that's a huge problem:
This is just asking for trouble, and a concussion is the least of the worries here. Not only is it bad tackling form (notice how his weight is on his heels for a moment), but he could be severely injured with his head and neck in that vulnerable position.
I noticed this once in his highlights, and while it could be a fluke, it's definitely worth pointing out because bad habits tend to show themselves in moments where there's not a lot of time to think (as in the play above). Hopefully that gets straightened out, for his own safety's sake. Hopefully it was just a fluke tackle.
Will Jackson commit to USC?
That tackling issue aside, Jackson projects to be an elite cornerback at the college level. He has the speed, vision and natural instincts to be quite a play maker.
As far as where he'll end up, seven experts predicted using the 247Sports Crystal Ball feature and all seven picked USC, so the Trojans have to be feeling pretty good about their chances.
Considering the proximity advantage and what appears to be a lean towards USC right now, I tend to agree with the Crystal Ball predictions.