Is 5-Star Adoree' Jackson a Lock to the Florida Gators?
Sensational Southern California athlete Adoree' Jackson is among the most versatile playmakers in the 2014 class. The Junipero Serra High School senior hasn't necessarily named a favorite in his nationwide recruiting process, but it's growing clear the Florida Gators are in a good position.
Scout.com reports sources say Jackson is leaning toward Florida (subscription required). It's an interesting development in the recruitment of a dynamic player listed as the nation's ninth-best prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings.
The 5'10", 180-pound Los Angeles County star is capable of playing multiple positions in college, including cornerback, wide receiver and running back. Based on his recent comments to Fox Sports NEXT reporter Lindsey Thiry, there's a strong chance he'll line up at one of those positions in Gainesville.
“I say (teams) in the driver’s seat include Florida," Jackson told Thiry.
He also named Notre Dame, Illinois, UCLA, Florida State, USC and Oregon as squads still on his radar.
Jackson is enjoying an excellent senior season. Through three contests, he has 19 receptions for 331 yards and five touchdown catches, according to 247Sports.
His 2013 stat sheet also includes 11 tackles and a forced fumble on defense, along with 130 yards and a touchdown on the ground, per MaxPreps.
Jackson's interest is reportedly due in large part to his other athletic passion. He is a state champion long-jumper fresh off a phenomenal junior year.
Jackson jumped a nation-best 25 feet in May, setting a sectional record at the Southern California championships, according to the Los Angeles Times. Few college athletic departments can compare to Florida in terms of track and field success.
If Jackson has Olympic aspirations or aims to compete in long jump at the next level, that's a significant factor for the Gators. In a tightly packed recruiting race, any edge is important.
Florida extended Jackson an offer on Jan. 15, per 247Sports. One week later, hometown team USC stepped in with an offer. Serra High School produced former Trojan standout Robert Woods (Buffalo Bills' 2013 second-round pick) and current USC star Marqise Lee.
The pipeline that procured those top receivers for USC seemed like it could pay dividends again. However, Jackson made some poignant comments after a recent trip to see the Trojans play.
He attended the team's Pac-12 opener against Washington State. The result was an embarrassing 10-7 loss for USC.
But it was the team's lack of imagination in targeting Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner, that really left Jackson scratching his head.
Which program is the best fit for 5-star athlete Adoree' Jackson?
“That was shocking,” he told Fox Sports NEXT after watching Lee snag seven passes for a measly 27 yards (subscription required). “You have [receiver] Nelson [Agholor] too on the other side. So I was all confused. You have two dominant receivers, you can get them the ball easy.”
Like many recruits across the country, Jackson seems to be cooling on USC as uncertainty swirls around coach Lane Kiffin and the program. Consider that a win for a top contender like Florida.
The Gators aren't a lock to land Jackson, but the team has gained more ground in the pursuit than it's lost lately. Expect Florida to host the 5-star athlete for an official visit later this year.
He hasn't scheduled any official visits yet but expressed major interest in attending Florida's matchup with SEC rival LSU Oct. 12 in Baton Rouge, per Fox Sports NEXT. It would be his first opportunity to see the Gators up close and personal.
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