2016 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner Adoree' Jackson, University of Southern California
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD
Before he was a star at the University of Southern California, (USC), Adoree’ Jackson was a five-star recruit at Serra High in Gardena, California. As a senior wide receiver, running back, defensive back and return specialist at Serra High, Jackson ran for 639 yards on 66 carries with five rushing touchdowns, and caught 38 passes for 812 yards for seven touchdowns. He had 36 tackles, six interceptions, three returned for touchdowns, eight deflections and a forced fumble on defense. Jackson also had three touchdowns as a return man to cap off his high school career.
Adoree’ appeared in all 13 games and made 10 starts as a true freshman at USC. Jackson was used as a three-way player in eight games as a freshman. He finished 2014 with 49 tackles, 10 deflections, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery on defense. He had 10 receptions for 138 yards with three touchdowns, and one carry for five yards on offense. As a return specialist he had 23 kickoff returns for 684 yards with two touchdowns and two punt returns for 12 yards. Jackson returned in 2015 as a starting cornerback and a kickoff returner, plus he saw significant action at wide receiver. Adoree’ finished his sophomore season with 35 tackles, eight deflections, a forced fumble and an interception for a touchdown on defense. He had 27 receptions for 414 yards with two touchdowns and seven carries for 36 yards on offense. On special teams he had 30 kickoff returns for 690 yards and 24 punt returns for 251 yards with two touchdowns. He was the only player nationally with at least 400 yards receiving, 600 yards in kickoff returns, 200 yards in punt returns and 30 tackles. Adoree finished 2015 with 157 plays on offense, 657 on defense and 157 on special teams.
In 2016, Jackson led USC in interceptions with four, and pass breakups with 11. He made 51 tackles with two of fumble recoveries. He finished in the top 25 nationally in passes defended and fumbles recovered. A dangerous returner, Adoree’ finished third nationally in punt return average and sixth in kickoff return average, with two touchdown returns in each category. He averaged 9.8 yards on five rushes and a touchdown reception on offense. Against Notre Dame, he scored three touchdowns, a 55- yard punt return, 97-yard kickoff return, and 52-yard pass reception, the first time since 1958 that a Trojan has had a punt and kick return in a game. He also was a finalist for the 2016 Hornung Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. In his career, Jackson has five interceptions and has scored 15 touchdowns in four different ways, one interception, six receptions, four kickoff returns and four punt returns. He is USC’s career kickoff return yardage record holder and is fifth in punt return yards.
In addition to football, Adoree’ was a long jumper and sprinter on USC’s track team in the springs of 2015 and 2016, winning the Pac-12 outdoor long jump title both years, and placing second in the Pac-12 100 meters in 2016. He earned All-American status both years after twice placing fifth in the NCAA long jump.