Gardena (Calif.) Serra High is well known for putting out wide receivers, but one of the top players in Southern California is on the other side of the field for the Cavaliers.
Junior Adoree' Jackson emerged this spring as he was among the top defensive backs at the Los Angeles NFTC that included elite defensive backs like Max Redfield, Chris Hawkins, Tahaan Goodman, Tyler Foreman and Priest Willis. Onlookers and coaches alike agreed that Jackson was as good as any of them.
"Adoree is ferocious. He is real athletic, has good hips and is more physical than you would think. He has a bright future ahead of him. He will be at the top of his class and can go anywhere he wants," said Michael Fletcher, head defensive backs coach for the NFTC.
Jackson grew up in the South and moved to California from Illinois before last season. It wasn't long before he made an impact. He was an all-league player on the gridiron while also winning the state long jump championship with a jump of 25 feet, 1/2 inch.
Just a junior, Jackson will push for more honors this coming school year as he should be an all-state football player for a young and talented Serra squad.
"I just want to get better. I have a long ways to go to get where I want to be as a player. Our team is young and we have a lot of work to do together," Jackson said. "We were solid last year but really young. We're still young but we can't accept anything less than a state title."
For someone with such accolades at a young age, Jackson is among the hardest working and humble kids one will ever come across. His confidence is contagious but far from being cocky. He carries with him the perfect combination of swagger and focus for a cornerback.
"I feel like I'm the best any time I go out there," Jackson said. "I don't ever want to lose at anything. I hate losing a game and I hate losing a single rep. I like to study film of some of the greats and learn from them before putting into my game on the field."
At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, Jackson already has a college-ready frame and he only sees himself getting better in the next two years.
"I can't stop working because everyone else out here is working every day. I just need to work harder than them and keep the attitude that I don't ever want to feel defeat," Jackson said.
Coaches from LSU, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Ohio State and California are in constant contact with the Serra staff regarding Jackson.
To date, he has verbal offers from Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Northwestern, UCLA, SMU, Utah and Nebraska. That list will likely grow four or five times over as his career progresses.
This early in the process, Jackson has no favorites but is intrigued by Cal, USC and Oregon out West.
"Cal, Oregon and USC all have good defenses and put DBs in the NFL," Jackson said. "I like the style that Oregon plays with. They have a fast, aggressive defense. The way they allow their corners to battle on every play is something I pay attention to."
Being from the South, Jackson grew up a fan of LSU for a number of reasons.
"I grew up watching them win. The way they play defense in the South is impressive," he said. "Those guys are so big and fast and no one is a better example of that than LSU. They put out DBs like no one else and they compete every day. I would love to play somewhere like that."