Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Recruit breakdown: Adoree' Jackson
By Craig Haubert
This is part of a series on the nation's top uncommitted recruits leading up to signing day. Click here for the full series.
Cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 300, is down to USC, UCLA, Florida and LSU.
An electric athlete, Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) has the potential to contribute in all three phases of the game. He possesses just modest size but brings big-time speed and explosiveness. While he could be a weapon on offense, we believe he could make a greater impact at cornerback, as the ability he can bring to the position is not easy to find. The five-star athlete has a chance to be a difference-maker with his speed and recovery burst on the perimeter. He possesses great feet, loose hips and smooth transition skills for a cover corner and is well-versed in coverages. However he is utilized, Jackson is a terrific and versatile athlete who could contribute soon in a number of ways.
Who he reminds us of:Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon: Jackson can draw some comparison to the talented All-Pac-12 Oregon cornerback. Though neither possesses great size, both are quick, fluid athletes with strong man-coverage skills. Ekpre-Olomu plays with an aggressive and competitive temperament, and while not the biggest CB among the talented group in the 2014 class, Jackson can also play bigger than his measurables indicate. They don't just cover receivers -- they have good hands and awareness and can make a play when they are around the ball. The versatile Jackson is arguably more of a dynamic player with the ball in his hands.
Schools with the biggest need at the position: A versatile and explosive athlete, Jackson would be a nice fit for any program he chooses. With a trimmed-down list heading into national signing day, his final four schools are Florida, LSU, UCLA and USC. Jackson would be a huge local pickup for either of the programs in Southern California competing for him. USC caught a break with Josh Shaw's decision to return for his senior season and did sign ESPN 300 CB Chris Hawkins a year ago. For 2014, the Trojans have four-star cornerback Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) on board as well as ESPN 300 athlete Rahshead Johnson (Long Beach, Calif./Cabrillo), who could help at CB. While they have some options, for a program still battling through NCAA sanctions and in need of roster depth, a versatile player like Jackson who could contribute immediately would be a much-needed pickup.
UCLA is young in its secondary, and the Bruins have a few cornerback options on board in their 2014 class, but landing Jackson would still be a big win.
Florida has long been in the mix, and with Vernon Hargreaves III coming off an outstanding freshman season and five-star defensive back Jalen Tabor (Washington, DC / Friendship) already on campus, cornerback might not seem like much of a need for the Gators. While they have some excellent young talent, with Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy both declaring for the draft, a need still very much exists for Florida, and the addition of Jackson could give it as talented a trio at the position as there is in the nation.
LSU has developed some excellent defensive backs over the years and was young at CB this season. An immediate hole might not be glaring, but a player like Jackson can still bolster that group, and his versatility could be valuable for a program that has been hit hard by earlier departures to the NFL.
Other uncommitted options at the position: Jackson is the highest-ranked remaining recruit in the ESPN 300 (No. 9), so at this stage finding a remotely comparable option is not an easy task. Going into signing day, the only other uncommitted four-star CB is Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King, Jr). The ESPN 300 defender is quicker than fast and possesses good length and footwork. He has deceptive playing strength and brings a versatile skill set, as he can be effective as both a man-to-man and zone corner. Heading into the final days, Green is a battle between in-state program Georgia and South Carolina, where he was once committed. Top-35 cornerback Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian) will also make a signing-day decision, and the three-star prospect with good speed and ball skills is focused on Ole Miss, Stanford, Notre Dame and Arkansas.