Kessler completed 23 of 39 yards for 321 yards and three touchdowns for USC.
USC defeats Notre Dame, 49-14
NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Nebraska vs Southern California (USATSI)
NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California (USATSI)
USATSI Gallery, Football -- 11/1/14
USC vs. No. 10 Arizona (USA Today); photos by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Football: Oregon State at Southern California (USATSI)
CAREER: He is already 14th on USC's career kickoff return list (684 yards).
2015: Jackson, the most exciting player in college football who is a candidate for major national awards like the Heisman, Thorpe and Hornung and All-American honors, returns as a starting cornerback and a dangerous kickoff returner, plus he figures to again see significant action at wide receiver. USC’s first 3-way player in nearly 20 years, he has drawn comparisons with former Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson (they posted comparable statistics). Jackson also is the defending Pac-12 long jump champion for USC’s track team who was fifth at the NCAA Meet to earn All-American status.
2014: Jackson made quite an impact on defense, offense and special teams as a first-year freshman cornerback, wide receiver and returner/coverage man in 2014. Overall in 2014 while appearing in all 13 games and starting 10 times at cornerback (at Stanford and then in USC's last 9 games) and once concurrently at wide receiver (Notre Dame), he had 49 tackles, including 4 for losses, 10 deflections, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery on defense, plus 10 receptions for 138 yards (13.8 avg) with 3 TDs and 1 carry for 5 yards (5.0 avg) on offense and 23 kickoff returns for 684 yards (29.7 avg) with 2 TD and 2 punt returns for 12 yards (6.0 avg).
He was used as a 3-way player in 8 games in 2014 (the first 4 and the last 4). The last Trojan to see a significant amount of time on offense/defense/special teams in a game was Chad Morton, who did so for several games in both his 1996 redshirt freshman and 1997 sophomore seasons when he played tailback, wide receiver, cornerback, safety and punt returner. Against Notre Dame in 2014, Jackson became the first Trojan to start on offense (wide receiver) and defense (cornerback) in a game since at least the late 1960s when starting records were first reliably kept during the 2-platoon era. Jackson's 2014 statistics were comparable to those of Michigan's 3-way star Charles Woodson when he won the Heisman in 1997.
He made the 2014 CollegeSportsMadness.com All-American second team (as a kickoff returner), as well as Football Writers Freshman All-American first team, Sporting News Freshman All-American first team, USA Today Freshman All-American first team, Scout Freshman All-American first team, Phil Steele Freshman All-American first team, CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American first team, ESPN.com True Freshman All-American first team and 247Sports True Freshman All-American first team. He was named the 2014 Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and made All-Pac-12 honorable mention, as well as the Athlon All-Pac-12 first team (as an all-purpose player), CollegeSportsMadness.com All-Pac-12 first team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team (as a kickoff returner). He is second nationally in kickoff return TDs (2, first in Pac-12) and fifth in kickoff returns (29.7, second in Pac-12).
He had a tackle along with 3 receptions for 36 yards (with an 18-yard TD) and a 10-yard punt return against Fresno State while playing 52 plays (13 offense, 25 defense, 14 special teams). He had 2 tackles for loss, plus he caught a pass for minus 4 yards and returned 3 kickoffs for 81 yards at Boston College while playing 45 plays (2 offense, 30 defense, 13 special teams). Against Oregon State, he had a tackle and 2 deflections (including one that he tipped to teammate Leon McQuay, who made the interception) along with 2 kickoff returns for 58 yards while playing 44 plays (4 offense, 28 defense, 12 special teams). He had 5 tackles and returned 2 kickoffs for 56 yards against Arizona State. At Arizona, he had 7 tackles and returned a kickoff 34 yards. He had a 15-yard kickoff return and made a tackle before being sidelined with a hip injury against Colorado. He had 4 tackles (1 for a loss), a deflection, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery (on the same play) plus he returned 2 kickoffs for 127 yards (with a school record-tying 100-yarder for a TD) and a punt for 2 yards at Utah to earn College Football Performance Awards National Kickoff Returner of the Week and Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He had 8 tackles (1 for a loss) and 2 deflections, plus 3 kickoff returns for 67 yards, at Washington State. He had 5 tackles and 2 deflections on defense and 2 receptions for 17 yards on offense against California while playing 101 plays (75 on defense, 22 on special teams, 4 on offense). He had 5 tackles and a deflection and also returned 3 kickoffs for 54yards and had a 5-yard rush at UCLA while playing 97 plays (74 on defense, 22 on special teams and 1 on offense). He had 3 tackles and a deflection and caught a 16-yard TD against Notre Dame as he became the first Trojan to start on offense (wide receiver) and defense (cornerback) in a game since at least the late 1960s when starting records were first reliably kept during the 2-platoon era while playing 49 snaps (35 on defense, 6 on offense, 8 on special teams) before being sidelined late in the first half with a concussion. Against Nebraska, he made 7 tackles and a deflection, caught 3 passes for 73 yards with a 71-yard TD and returned 3 kickoffs for 130 yards with a Holiday Bowl-record 98-yard TD while playing 103 plays (78 on defense, 21 on special teams, 4 on offense) to earn USA Today All-Bowl Team, CBSSports.com All-Bowl Team and ESPN.com Pac-12 All-Bowl Team honors.
TRACK: He was a long jumper and sprinter on USC’s track team in the spring of 2015. He won the 2015 Pac-12 long jump title with a leap of 25-3 ½. He also won the long jump at the UCLA dual meet (25-2 wind-aided) and the Trojan Invitational (24-4 ¼), and was seventh at the Mt. SAC Relays (24-4 ¼) and the NCAA West Prelims (25-8 wind-aided). He also ran the 100 meters, placing sixth at the UCLA dual (10.54) and seventh at the Pac-12 Meet (career-best 10.48, after going 10.53 in the prelims). He occasionally ran a leg on USC’s 400-meter relay team, even helping the quartet at the NCAA West Prelims advance to the NCAA Meet. At the NCAAs, he placed fifth in the long jump with a personal-best 25-11 ½ (eighth on the USC career list), becoming the first USC football letterman to earn track All-America honors in an individual event since Sultan McCullough in 2000 (100 meter dash) and in a field event since long jumper Luther Hayes in 1961, and he anchored the 400-meter relay team that finished fourth in 38.75 (second fastest in USC history).
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2013 USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American first team, Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Max Preps All-American first team, Student Sports All-American first team, ESPN 300, Max Preps All-American Medium Schools first team, Cal-Hi Sports California Mr. Football, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Western Division Defensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Player of the Year, Wave Newspapers All-West Region Player of the Year and All-Mission League MVP as a senior wide receiver, running back, defensive back and return specialist at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He ran for 639 yards on 66 carries (9.7 avg) with 5 TDs and caught 38 passes for 812 yards (21.4 avg) with 7 TDs on offense in 2013, plus he had 36 tackles, 6 interceptions (3 for touchdowns), 8 deflections and a forced fumble on defense and he had 3 TDs on returns. Serra played in the 2013 CIF Western Division final (he had a 92-yard punt return and a 93-yard kickoff return in the game).
As a 2012 junior, he made Max Preps All-American Medium Schools second team, Max Preps All-American Junior second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Western Division Defensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Player of the Year, Los Angeles Wave Player of the Year and All-Mission League Defensive MVP. He had 33 receptions for 546 yards (16.6 avg) with 5 TDs and 175 yards on 7 carries (25.0 avg) with 5 TDs on offense, plus he had 56 tackles, 5 interceptions, 7 deflections, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on defense and averaged 37.8 yards on 12 punts. Serra won the 2012 CIF Western Division (he had a 78-yard TD run on a fake punt in the game) and CIF state championship Division II bowl game (he had a 95-yard run on a fake punt in the game).
As a sophomore in 2011, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Mission League first team as he had 2 receptions for 39 yards (19.5 avg) and made 23 tackles, 6 interceptions and 10 deflections.
He also was on a guard on Serra's basketball team and was on its track team, with career bests of 10.68 in the 100 meters, 21.59 in the 200 and 25-5.25 in the long jump. Serra won the 2013 CIF state championship while he placed second in the long jump at 24-7. He won the 2012 state long jump title at 20-0.5. He was named the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports California Sophomore Athlete of the Year and 2013 Cal-Hi Sports California Junior Athlete of the Year. Current Trojans Jalen Greene, Olajuwon Tucker, Jalen Jones, Rasheem Green, John Houston Jr., Deontay Burnett and Caleb Wilson also prepped at Serra.
He grew up in Illinois, then moved to California before his sophomore year at Serra.
PERSONAL: He is a communication major at USC. He grew up in Illinois, then moved to California before his sophomore year at Serra.
GAME-BY-GAME WITH ADOREE' JACKSON
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ADOREE' JACKSON
Tee Martin, USC wide receivers coach: "He has an unbelievable amount of talent. He can handle the installation on offense and defense and it's seamless. The one thing that stands out is how smart and productive he is."
Max Browne, USC quarterback: "I'm just impressed with the way he moves back in forth between offense and defense."
Steve Sarkisian, USC head coach: "I'm trying to find a flaw right now with the guy. He's prepared, he studies, he gets his rest, he recovers, he comes energized and, ultimately, he knows what he's doing and he's making plays."
USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton: “Whether it's defense, offense--we fight over him every day. I've been fortunate enough to be around here and in other years it's, 'There's Robert Woods, there's Marqise Lee, there's Nelson Agholor.' Who is the next superstar? This guy is. He's an ultra-special talent and I don't care if it's wideout, running back, corner. He's just really special…Every time he touches the ball, you hold your breath because he can take it 80 yards. He’s electric. He’s such an offensive weapon that I’m glad we’re allowed to borrow him at times."
Jake Davidson, Daily Trojan: "Jackson is already the best cover corner in the secondary. His return skills are so feared that teams are already kicking away from him. Not to mention the fact that though he has touched the ball sparingly on offense, he is a threat to score every time he gets his gloves on the pigskin."
Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times: “There’s no dream too big for Adoree’ Jackson. He is intent about winning the Thorpe Award, Heisman Trophy and a medal in track and field at the 2015 Olympics.”
Michael Lev, Orange County Register: “If you’re looking for something to feel good about regarding the present and future of USC football, look no further than Adoree’ Jackson. What a player. What a playmaker.”
Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com: “Oh how I adore Jackson…He could easily wind up being the country’s most exciting player. Jackson is the kind of talent who could cause a coaching staff civil war as offensive and defensive coaches battle keep Jackson to themselves. While it’d be understandable to want to limit Jackson to one side of the ball, USC is probably better served just getting him on the field as often as possible, because good things happen when he is.”
Vincent Bonsignore, Los Angeles Daily News: “Jackson isn’t just fast, he’s really fast. Mix that with uncanny football skills, Floyd Mayweather head fakes and the ability to make his hips go one way and the rest of his body another is the sort of unfair combination most opponents can’t quite deal with.”
Cooper Perkins, Fox Sports: "“Fans and media watching practices struggle to understand why opposing quarterbacks would so much as consider throwing in Adoree’s direction. With his fantastic closing ability and natural feel for the cornerback position, he is already leaps and bounds ahead of the curve.”
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN.com: “His presence alone had a tendency to affect play calling and decision-making. A rare quality for any player, even more so for a player as young as Jackson…He's expected to be one of the most exciting players in college football for at least the next two years.”
ADOREE' JACKSON VS. CHARLES WOODSON