- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
Five-star athlete Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) is given the freedom to do many things at the high school level. He lines up at various positions on the field, including punter, as Serra sends defensive coordinators scrambling for solutions.
The versatility fits Jackson perfectly. He welcomes every duty, even if that means he gets minimal rest.
So when asked what type of coach he would like USC to bring in next, Jackson’s answer was not surprising.
“I want a coaching staff there like the one I have here at Serra,” Jackson said. “I have a great relationship with the coaches here. At USC, I would want someone that is genuine with his team and thinks of us as his sons. He would also have to have the mindset to win, of course.”
Jackson thinks highly of assistant coach Tee Martin and would exclusively play receiver for the Trojans, even with their pressing need for cornerbacks. Yet USC might have some ground to make up and perhaps a disadvantage in regards to visits. Jackson has made two official visits -- to Oklahoma on Oct. 4 and LSU on Oct. 11 -- and will likely use two of his other trips on Florida State and Oregon. He does not anticipate a visit to USC, since it is close to home.
And though Jackson is not close to a decision, the No. 2-rated cornerback has gained clarity in recent weeks.
“My visit to LSU turned the tables,” Jackson said. “LSU being a dominant school and 'DBU,' it definitely caught my attention when I got down there. It was great. The fans showed me love, the team showed me love and even the coaches showed me love. I feel like I can go there and do some damage.”
Houston has no problem
While recruits anxiously wait for the next USC coaching hire, prospects from the Class of 2015 have a bit more time to sit back and analyze the situation. ESPN Junior 300 outside linebacker John Houston Jr. (Gardena, Calif./Serra) sees it as a luxury, knowing he doesn’t have to decide on the Trojans quickly.
“I feel real lucky because I still have time,” Houston said. “I want to get feedback from the studs in front of me in the 2014 class. I’ll get their input and get a feel off their thoughts. It’s important to me because they’ll actually be out there in their own situations dealing with coaches. I’ll go through the experience and look at schools both internally and externally.”
Houston, one of six Serra recruits with an offer from USC, witnessed the low point when the Trojans dropped a stunner to Washington State, but also saw them take down Arizona in interim head coach Ed Orgeron’s first game.
“They have the athletes, but all they need is that spark and team bonding,” Houston said. “In the fourth quarter when they need to grind it out, they need that extra fire to get them there. They need a coach that can help bring them together when it matters. It seemed like the team had no spirit with Kiffin, but coach O has given them that extra push. They had enthusiasm and it was great to see it against Arizona.”
WeAreSC recruiting roundup
-- Top tight end target Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) took an official visit to Oregon over the weekend, which could potentially impact an apparent recruiting battle involving the local schools. The Trojans and Bruins have long been rumored to lead for Dixon's signature, but Oregon made an impression on the 6-foot-4, 230-pound athlete. Dixon has also visited Florida and left the door open for other trips.
-- Class of 2016 receiver Brandon Burton (Gardena, Calif./Serra) made a splash this summer when he landed offers from Florida State and USC, but other programs have had to wait to see him in action. The 6-0, 176-pound prospect has been sidelined all season due to a nagging leg injury, but Burton said he should return to action in about two weeks.
-- Three-star cornerback Maurice McKnight (San Bernardino, Calif./Arroyo Valley) could be on the verge of picking up a USC offer, according to source. The 6-0, 167-pound McKnight holds offers from New Mexico State, San Diego State and San Jose State, and would likely commit on the spot if the Trojans came calling.
-- ESPN Junior 300 defensive end Jashon Cornell (Saint Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), the top-rated player overall in the 2015 class, attended the USC-Notre Dame game Saturday.