USC star Adoree' Jackson declares for 2017 NFL draft

Dr. Saturday

The versatile Adoree’ Jackson is headed to the next level.

Jackson, who served as a cornerback, receiver and explosive kick returner during his three-year career at USC, announced Monday that he will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2017 NFL draft. Monday was the final day underclassmen could declare for the draft.

Jackson’s decision comes a few weeks after USC capped off its season with a comeback win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. After a 1-3 start, the Trojans finished the season on a nine-game winning streak. Jackson left the Rose Bowl with an injury, one that was later deemed minor.

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Adoree’ Jackson was a major contributor on offense, defense and special teams for the Trojans. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Adoree’ Jackson was a major contributor on offense, defense and special teams for the Trojans. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

“After the Rose Bowl, I had many thoughts running through my head. What was on my mind was that nothing is guaranteed in life and to take advantage of every opportunity that is put in front of you. With that being said, I would like to announce that I have decided to forgo my final season of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL draft,” Jackson wrote in a message posted on his Twitter account.

“It’s been an incredible three years playing for one of the greatest traditions in college football. I made the best decision of my life when I chose to come to USC, and finishing it off with a Rose Bowl win is one of the best ways I could have ever hoped for it to end.”

Jackson made plays all over the field for the Trojans over the last three seasons. As a defensive back, he won the 2016 Thorpe Award for the nation’s top defensive back when he finished the season with 55 tackles and five interceptions. In his previous two seasons, he combined for 84 tackles and one interception.

On offense, Jackson combined for 39 catches for 628 yards and six touchdowns. His best season as a receiver was in 2015, when he caught 27 passes for 414 yards and two scores.

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Jackson has been a fantastic kick returner throughout his career, and that is likely where he makes his most immediate impact at the next level. Over three seasons, he averaged 27.1 yards per kickoff return and returned four — two in 2014 and two in 2016 — for touchdowns. He also averaged 12.6 yards per punt return and had four more touchdowns — two in 2015 and two in 2016.

Jackson is the third USC player to leave school early for the 2017 draft, joining wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster and offensive lineman Damien Mama.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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