Adoree’ Jackson lines up with the offense wearing a white No. 2 jersey and he stands out.
Not just because of his quickness and playmaking ability or the fact that he was one of the most sought after recruits in the 2014 class, but because the rest of the offense is wearing Cardinal jerseys.
To make up for it Jackson, wears a yellow cutoff on top of his white jersey.
The offense runs a couple of plays with Jackson getting a few reps.
He then runs about 80 yards, alone, to an adjacent field where the defense is practicing. He takes off the yellow cutoff jersey and gets some reps on the defensive side. Like Jackson, the rest of the D is wearing white jerseys as well.
Defense is Jackson’s day job, if you will. It’s where he’s spent the majority of his time since USC opened fall camp at the beginning of the month. It’s those times he gets to touch the ball, however, when he turns heads whether on offense or returning kicks on special teams.
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Playing both sides of the ball is no easy task, especially for a freshman, but Jackson has taken on the challenge by diving into his playbook and making some sacrifices.
"It’s not really that tough if you sit down and focus on trying to learn it and want to get better and want to know it," Jackson said. "You need to want to know it and that’s what I been doing — studying and not getting distracted with the social media on Twitter or Instagram. I just been focusing on my playbook and trying to get better day by day."
If there’s been one surprise in camp among the freshmen, it’s been Jackson’s ability to juggle both sides of the ball.
And it’s lost on head coach Steve Sarkisian.
"For Adoree’ to be able to do both sides of the ball the way he has and not just physically handle it but mentally handle it has been really impressive to me," the first-year USC head coach said.
There were plans for other freshmen, in particular JuJu Smith (Long Beach Poly grad) and Rahshead Johnson, to play both sides of the ball as well, but Jackson’s been the only one to do it so far.
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Now that the Trojans officially have ended camp and are into the gameplanning phase of the season with over a week away from the Aug. 30 season opener against Fresno State, it appears less likely that it will happen for the others.
As for Jackson he’s happy for the chance.
"I’m just having fun with everything," Jackson said. "If you have fun with it than it’s going to become easier that way. If you’re not having fun that’s when it becomes difficult."