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Adoree' Jackson in Forefront of USC's Defensive Plans

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Following Josh Shaw's injury, Jackson looks prime to play cornerback.

Expect Adoree' to get more reps at cornerback.
Expect Adoree' to get more reps at cornerback.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In the aftermath of everything normal and extraordinary surrounding Josh Shaw, talented freshman Adoree' Jackson has now been slotted as one of the main players capable of fulfilling Shaw's now-vacant role in the Trojans' secondary.

Alternating on both sides of the ball throughout different portions of training camp, Adoree' Jackson has begun taking a large majority of his reps on the defensive side of the ball over these past few days leading up to the season opener.

"We are fortunate," head coach Steve Sarkisian said regarding the depth at the cornerback position, "Talking about Chris Hawkins (since Spring Ball), he's really improved for us. Kevon Seymour's experience is big for us, but I think it really pushes Adoree' to the forefront."

Already listed on the depth chart in the Trojans' secondary, Jackson continues to be flexible with his role on the team -- leaving those decisions up to the coaching staff.

"This will be another opportunity for a young player to step in and contribute when his number is called," Sarkisian said.

What Adoree' will bring to the table is incredible athleticism, especially covering speedy-quick slot receivers. While he may be very Deion Sanders making business to tackle opponents, Jackson can sure cover with the best of them.

His position coach, Keith Heyward, immediately slotted Jackson into the rotation during practice, opposing much-improved performer Chris Hawkins, who has been a standout corner over the course of training camp.

Jackson has taken a quick understanding to the playbook, allocating over 30 minutes per day to break down the offensive, defensive and special teams playbooks.

The coaching staff has been adamant they will manage Jackson's workload during the course of the season, but it is becoming more and more clear their plans involve him covering wideouts and returning kicks -- not catching as many passes.

True freshmen Lamont Simmons and Jonathan Lockett have each shown flashes over the course of camp, giving the coaching staff more confidence in a steady rotation of first-year defensive backs on defense.

But to be fair, Chris Hawkins redshirted last season and is equally raw in the game environment. Molded behind the experience of Josh Shaw and Kevon Seymour, the five-star prospect Adoree' Jackson will be asked to earn his stripes right from the start of the regular season against the Fresno State Bulldogs.