New York City

USC's Adore'e Jackson Had Eyes on Heisman, Settles for Jim Thorpe Award

USC cornerback Adore'e Jackson may not win the Heisman this year, but he did take a home some hardware at the College Football Awards on Thursday.

He may not win the Heisman trophy, but USC junior defensive back Adore'e Jackson just added some hardware to his trophy case.

A couple weeks ago at Trojans practice, Jackson told the media that he still had three goals left to accomplish as an NCAA athlete:

Win a National Championship, win the Heisman, and win the Jim Thorpe Award. 

Trojan fans hoping for Jackson to return to the team for his senior season might find solace in the fact that he is unable to accomplish the first two goals this year, but they can scratch that last one off the list.

Jackson achieved one of those goals on Thursday night during ESPN's College Football Awards ceremony in Atlanta when he won the award for the Nation's top defensive back.

Jackson was also named a first team All-American, and despite not being named a Heisman finalist for Saturday's trophy presentation in New York City, he is sure to receive some votes, especially by those journalists on the west coast.

Jackson joined Trojan alum, Mark Carrier (1989), as the only two defensive backs in Trojans history to win the award.

Jackson had four interceptions, 11 pass deflections, 51 tackles, and two recovered fumbles for the Trojans this season, but it was his usage as a human Swiss Army Knife that likely weighed heavily in the minds of voters.

You see, Jackson not only plays on nearly every defensive snap for the Trojans, he also lines up on offense and is the team's punt and kick returner.

As a return man is perhaps where Jackson's strongest attribute, his speed, shines the brightest. The former Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2014 leads the nation in overall return touchdowns with two kickoffs and two punts returned for scores this season.

"He's a superhero," said Trojans head coach Clay Helton after USC destroyed rival Notre Dame 45-27 in their final regular season game. "He had a kick return, punt return, and a catch for a touchdown. He's unbelievable."

Jackson became the Trojans all-time leader in kickoff return yardage after that game, and with a punt return touchdown in the Rose Bowl, he could become the all-time leader in that category.

"When I get the ball in my hands, I know something special is going to happen."

Here's hoping so.

Contact Us