Coming into national signing day, USC had three major targets—cornerback Adoree' Jackson, athlete John "JuJu" Smith and guard Damien Mama. Once they landed Jackson, the top prospect of the bunch, they essentially ensured themselves an excellent day.
Here's Jackson after he made the announcement, via ESPNU:
According to 247Sports, Jackson is a 5-star cornerback and the No. 7 prospect in the nation, making him the best remaining player available coming into national signing day. He's also considered the top cornerback in the country and the top player from California, so his signing was huge for the Trojans.
He also represents the best defensive recruit USC has had in years, per ESPN Stats and Information:
Adoree' Jackson is USC's highest-rated CB recruit since at least 2006, and the highest-ranked def recruit since 2007 (Chris Galippo - No. 2)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 5, 2014
As Adam Gorney of Rivals.com notes, USC had quite the competition when it came to securing Jackson's signature:
Meanwhile, ESPN's Recruiting Nation gave him a very favorable comparison:
Of course, USC didn't just land Jackson, they also nabbed Mama, a 4-star recruit according to 247Sports, and Smith, a 5-star athlete. Not a bad haul, huh?
But landing Jackson was absolutely huge for the Trojans, especially in a league like the Pac-12 where so many teams have talented, high-scoring offenses. His resume, via 247Sports, is quite impressive.
- Seventeen interceptions, three interceptions returned for touchdowns, 114 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in the past three seasons.
- He was a 2014 Under Armour All-American game selection.
- He was named first-team All-USA by USA Today.
- Oh, and he was the state champion in the long jump and is so talented in the event that he also has Olympic aspirations.
Standing 5'9" and weighing 182 pounds, Jackson will likely be given the opportunity to compete for a starting spot from day one. He's certainly athletic enough to compete for a place, and as the jewel of USC's recruiting class, all eyes will be on him from the moment he steps on the field.
He's the main reason USC was a major winner on national signing day. The real question will be whether or not he helps them become a more consistent winner every Saturday in the fall.