1st & 10:
First Take… After putting in his finest offensive performance to date, Adoree’ Jackson appears to be on the cusp of beginning his campaign, if it wasn’t already started by the 184 all-purpose yards and a touchdown on Saturday.
The human-highlight reel had just three touches on offense and two touches on special teams to work with, but he made the most of them. He took his second catch to the house, blazing 80-yards in just nine seconds. His second touch was a 45-yard scamper demonstrating all the jukes, broken tackles, and spins that make up a great “Heisman moment.” The only thing missing was capping it off with a touchdown.
He would do that again on a 45-yard punt return during which he ran left, cut back with a hand on the ground and a spin, then blew by the coverage team before being corralled inside the 20-yard line.
In four touches, Jackson did more than most offensive players accomplish on a good day. But Jackson is not an offensive player. He is a cornerback first and he did that job against ASU full-time.
The trouble for Jackson’s Heisman hopes stems from his production on defense. Anyone who watches the Trojans closely knows that Jackson might already be one of the best at the position USC has ever fielded. However, he does not produce stats that would pop out to voters.
When Charles Woodson won the Heisman in 1997, he had seven interceptions. Jackson has yet to nab a single one in his career.
And he acknowledges that he is not quite at the level that should warrant such talk.
“That’s a blessing that people think I should be on Heisman lists and I’m honored but I’ve still got a lot to improve,” Jackson said.
Has his Heisman campaign begun? “I don’t think so. I didn’t get an interception, so I don’t think so.”
So what would it take for Adoree’ Jackson to truly enter the Heisman conversation?
Some takeaways would help. Or perhaps more than three reps on offense to make his mark. As it stands now, Jackson is not among those players given odds to win college football’s top award, but he could be with a repeat or two of his desert fireworks.
And Ten USC Football News Links…
- Reign of Troy: What did we learn against ASU? Adoree’ Jackson might be USC’s best offensive weapon, blitzing works, offensive line is a true concern, Cody Kessler’s Heisman hopes aren’t dead yet and neither are the Trojans.
- LA Times: Gary Klein runs down some of Kessler’s statistical rankings after four weeks. He ranks among the top quarterbacks in the country in passing efficiency and yards per completion.
- LA Times: USC now has 20-1 odds of winning the College Football Playoff while Notre Dame is 14-1 and UCLA is 28-1.
- Daily News: Adoree’ Jackson stayed cool in the face of a heckler after USC’s victory over Arizona State, joking back about Sarkisian and being paid.
- ESPN: In the face of increased pressure after the Stanford loss, USC’s players came out and played for their coach, says Su’a Cravens.
- ESPN: Travis Wilson leaped to the front of the line in David Lombardi’s Pac-12 QB power rankings. Kessler remains No. 2.
- Sports Illustrated: Kessler is a “Rising Contender” for the Heisman according to Zac Ellis. He is joined in that category by Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and UCLA’s Paul Perkins. Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise is among the top five.
- RipsIt Blog: More accolades for Kessler as he was named the Manning Award Star of the Week for his performance against ASU.
- RipsIt Blog: Keep up with Trojans in the NFL by checking out Jordan Moore’s review of all the Projan action. Spoiler: Everson Griffen was a stand out.
- CBS Sports: Too early for NFL mock drafts? It’s never too early. CBS projects Su’a Cravens in the first round to the Buffalo Bills, where he would join fellow Trojans Robert Woods and Nickell Robey. Max Tuerk is also projected in the first to the Denver Broncos.
Stat of the Day:
Adoree’ Jackson is one of just two defensive players to rank among the top 100 players in all-purpose yards in 2015. He is the only one to do so with a combination of yards from scrimmage and special teams contributions.
Tweets of the Day:
More from Reign of Troy
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- USC Podcast: RoT Radio Ep. 396 on the Football Season’s Fallout
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers