Offense. Defense. Special Teams. Normally reserved when discussing team excellence, it's a rarity when a player exhibits the capabilities to dominate all phases of the game. Future NFL Hall of Famer and collegiate superstar Charles Woodson had that capability.
During his three year career at Michigan, Woodson had 11 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and over 1000 all-purpose yards. He was a dominant force in maize and blue, and his number 2 jersey will forever live in Michigan history after leading the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship and winning the Heisman Trophy.
If anyone asks you who the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy is, you now know the answer.
If they ask you the player who beat Peyton Manning for the Heisman, you know that too.
If someone asks you who the second primarily defensive player to win the Heisman might be, Adoree' Jackson has the talent to be that man. He just needs the opportunity to allow his number 2 jersey to shine.
Jackson, who was born within one month of Woodson's first game in 1995, is the most athletic player on the field every time he steps between the lines, just as Woodson once was. As a freshman Jackson had 49 tackles and 10 deflections defensively, 3 offensive touchdowns including a 71 yard reception, and 2 return touchdowns while averaging 29.7 yards per return. He was the Pac 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Teams throw away from him on defense. They kick away from him on special teams. They need double coverage when he is on offense.
Woodson was primarily a defensive specialist as a freshman. He didn't have the production in 1995 that Jackson did in 2014. But he saw his role expanded in 1996 and more so in 1997. He started returning punts and kicks, playing offensively, and continued his stellar play. Yet for all the highlights he created, Charles Woodson only had 3 offensive touches per game.
Need an interception to beat rival Michigan State? Woodson's got you. Need a big offensive play and a punt return touchdown against rival Ohio State? Woodson's got you. Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr allowed Woodson to showcase his talents and lead his team to victory time and time again.
We have yet to see Jackson's role expanded in the same capacity. For all of his talent, Jackson isn't being under-utilized, and any Heisman dreams are just that. He is shutting down primary receivers. He is breaking off returns at an alarming rate. Yet he only has a catch in one of USC's first three games.
Adoree' doesn't need much to make a Heisman push, perhaps just the 3 touches that Woodson received. Coach Sark needs to allow him to use his gifts.
When watching the 2015 USC Trojans, it's abundantly clear Woodson and Jackson share more than just the number 2. But it is apparent that number 2 needs to be fully integrated in all three phases.