Oklahoma City—Adoree’ Jackson has been named the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award Winner, given to the top defensive back in college football.  Jackson (5-foot-11, 185-pounds), is a junior from Illinois (Serra High School).

Adoree’ Jackson, a 3-year starting cornerback and a 3-way performer, is among the nation’s most exciting players.  On defense in 2016, he leads USC in interceptions with 4 and pass breakups with 11, and has made 51 tackles with a pair of fumble recoveries.  He often is matched against the opponent’s top receiver. He is in the national Top 25 in passes defended (1.3) and fumbled recovered (2).  A dangerous returner, he currently is third nationally in punt returns (15.9 average) and sixth in kickoff returns (30.5) and has 2 TD returns in each category.  And on offense this season, he averages 9.8 yards on 5 rushes and has a scoring pass reception.  Against Notre Dame, he scored 3 touchdowns (55-yard punt return, 97-yard kickoff return, 52-yard pass reception), the first time since at least 1958 that a Trojan has had scoring punt and kick returns in a game.  He also is a finalist for the 2016 Hornung Award (for the second consecutive year) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy.  In his career, Jackson has 5 interceptions and has scored 15 touchdowns in 4 different ways (1 interception, 6 receptions, 4 kickoff returns and 4 punt returns).  He is USC’s career kickoff return yardage record holder and is fifth on the school’s punt return chart.  Also the 2015 and 2016 Pac-12 long jump champion, he twice finished fifth in the NCAA long jump.

The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.  Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football where he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

The other Thorpe Award finalists for 2016 were Jourdan Lewis from Michigan and Tre’Davious White from LSU.  Jackson is the second player from USC to be chosen as a Thorpe Award winner.  Mark Carrier from USC won the award in 1989.

The announcement was made at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.  Jackson was presented the Thorpe Award by Thomas Everett, the very first recipient of the Thorpe Award (1986), on behalf of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. 

The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame honored Jackson at the Jim Thorpe Award Banquet on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Oklahoma City.  The banquet was held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. 

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit to learn more about our story. ###