Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor
The PAC-12 released its annual conference awards on Tuesday with the regular season now complete. USC freshman Adoree' Jackson received the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year award after putting up mind-blowing numbers in his rookie season. The young corner had 42 tackles on the year including four for loss while also forcing a fumble and breaking up nine passes.
The most celebrated signee of USC's 2014 recruiting class, Adoree' Jackson has surpassed the highest of expectations. The freshman phenom immediately contributed on all three sides of the ball: offense, defense and special teams. On offense, he had seven receptions for 65 yards including two touchdowns. On special teams, he averaged 27.7 yards per kickoff return including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Utah, earning him PAC-12 Special Teams Player of the Week.
The Trojans' defensive backfield was an area of concern going into the season, but Jackson emerged as the team's most reliable corner. The defense's dependency on Jackson limited his ability to contribute as much offensively. In fact, after being named a defensive starter against Arizona State on October 4th, the freshman did not see another play on offense until November 13 against Cal.
Jackson scored in USC's season opener against Fresno State much to the delight of the Trojan faithful, but he would not reach the end zone again until the regular season finale at the Coliseum against Notre Dame. The versatile freshman started on both offense and defense against the Fighting Irish - the first Trojan to do so since at least the late 60s.
Not only has the freshman immediately made an impact on the football field, but he will also take his talents and insane athletic ability to the sand pit, competing as a long jumper for the USC track & field team in the spring.