Adoree’ Jackson, the jack-of-all-trades who wowed USC fans for three seasons on offense, defense and special teams, now has an NFL home.
Jackson was selected 18th overall by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL Draft on Thursday, the first true cornerback in USC history to be selected in the first round and the first USC defensive back to be a first round pick since Troy Polamalu in 2003. Jackson also extends USC’s record of first round draft picks to 80.
Jackson won the Jim Thorpe Award last season as the nation’s top defensive back, recording five interceptions and 11 pass break-ups. But he also dazzled as a punt and kick returner and occasionally on offense. Jackson’s 2,045 kick return yards is a USC record. He scored four times on special teams last season, twice on kick returns and twice on punt returns.
He punctuated his USC career last season with a historic performance against Notre Dame in his final home game at the Coliseum. Jackson caught a touchdown pass and also returned both a punt and kickoff for touchdowns.
The Belleville, IL native was named a Freshman All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season and was a first-team All-Pac-12 defensive back as a sophomore.
“Ain’t it a blessing,” Jackson tweeted on Thursday evening.
Jackson, who is 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, will join Marcus Mariotta and a Titans team that will likely utilize him immediately as a cornerback. Jackson has drawn comparisons to the Houston Texans’ Jonathan Joseph and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Adam Jones.