Three-way star Adoree’ Jackson will continue to pursue his second sport aspirations this coming spring with Clay Helton’s blessing to focus on track and field.
Jackson won the Pac-12 Championship in the long jump earlier this year and has stated his intentions to pursue a place on the US Olympic team in that event.
Part of that pursuit will require him to concentrate on track and field in the lead up to Rio while USC prepares for the 2016 football season in spring practice.
“I’ve always believed that if you’re going to be a master of something you have to work at it. Don’t be a jack of all trades, be a master of something. He’s been a master at football this season,” Helton said after practice Sunday. “When we were recruiting him we said, if you get the opportunity to go work for Olympics you need to go work at that.”
Earlier this year Jackson participated in spring camp while missing a few days for track competitions but the commitment to the long jump will take more of his attention in the Olympic year.
However, if Jackson gets to Rio, it may also interfere with USC’s fall camp schedule. The Olympics run from August 5th through the 21st. The long jump event will take place on August 13th.
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USC began fall camp on August 8th this year, so Jackson may miss some, but not all, of that preseason preparation.
Jackson earned MVP honors from USC for his contributions on the football field as the Trojans number one cornerback, second-leading receiver and primary kick returner. He was also a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as one of the nation’s most versatile players.
Despite the accolades there remain questions about the best way to get the most out of Jackson’s unique talent. Balancing his participation on defense, offense and special teams is only further complicated by limiting his available practice time due to another sport.