It's good to be young, talented and in LA.
Not a bad place to be this week for Adoree Jackson after his All-American finishes in two events at the NCAA Track & Field Championships including anchoring USC's 4X100 relay team that finished with the second-fastest time (38.75) in USC history.
He's also featured three times in the NFL.com's "15 for 15" series of profiles of the nation's most spectacular college players as one of the nations' 15 "Most Versatile," 15 "Fastest" and 15 "Most Freakish Athletes."
And he's not alone. Su'a Cravens joins Adoree in the "15 for 15" series as one of the 15 "Most Physical Players" in college football. Which shows how good it is to play in LA, where NFL.com happens to be located and play at USC, which has produced the most NFL draft picks, first-round picks and Hall of Famers in history.
Here's what they have to say about Adoree who is listed as therir No. 1 "Most Versatile Athlete":
1. Adoree' Jackson, USC: "The encore performance for one of college football's most dynamic freshmen last year promises to be a big one. The Trojans' three-way player is primarily a cornerback, and a very good one, but also caught three touchdown passes on offense and had the fifth-best kickoff-return average in the country (29.7). Just for good measure, he long jumps for the USC track squad. Jackson's role on offense could expand this fall, and if it does, he'll be the closest thing to appointment television the Pac-12 has on Saturdays."
And as highlighted by Adoree anchoring a relay team with both BeeJay Lee and double-NCAA sprint winner Andre DeGrasse, he's also on the list of "College Football's Fastest Athletes" at No. 8.
"Already one of the most versatile and freakish players in college football, Jackson is as fast on the football field as he is on the track. His time of 10.48 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Pac-12 Championships was good enough for a seventh-place finish against some of the top sprinters in the country. His time ranked fifth among college football players in the event nationally. He also took home the Pac-12 men's long-jump title (and fifth in the NCAA), and has the quickness to match his speed in just about everything he does."
And finally, and as expected, he's No. 4 on the NFL.com's list of "College Football's Most Freakish Athletes".
Here's how they say it: "The skinny: Jackson was a two-way player for the Trojans last season, starting 10 games at cornerback and one at wide receiver. His best position long-term appears to be corner. Jackson also played basketball and was on the track team in high school in the L.A. area. Jackson has qualified in the long jump for the NCAA outdoor track championships and also runs on USC's 4x100 relay team. Jackson won the long jump at the Pac-12 outdoor championships (25 feet, 3 1/2 inches) and was a finalist in the 100 (he was clocked in 10.48 seconds).
But Adoree isn't alone. USC teammate Cravens is on the list of NFL.com's "College Football's Most Physical Players" at No. 3.
Here's what they have to say: "The skinny: Cravens was a highly touted high school safety who was known even then for his physical nature; that physical nature has carried over to college football. He started at strong safety as a true freshman in 2013, then was used in a hybrid strong safety/linebacker role last season. This fall, it's likely he sees most of his time as an outside linebacker. One thing that has remained constant wherever he has lined up: The dude brings the wood. He should be able to dole out even more punishment this fall as he spends even more time closer to the line of scrimmage."
New Look for Brian Kennedy/Howard Jones Fields
Steve Sarkisian was talking last week on Sirius Satellite's College Football Show and wondering if colleges weren't making things too nice for their athletes with the explosion of new facilities and programs to cater to them. And he was hoping that at USC, athletes would continue to understand how hard they have to work and how much is being done for them now.
And how when he was here early in his career, USC was winning national championships with some of the worst facilities in the nation. But that doesn't mean USC is going back there. As we can see this week with the debut Friday of the new-look Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Fields for the summer camps.
The new Brian Kennedy artificial turf looks like a game field. There's also a new artificial turf apron as you enter te newly sodded Howard Jones Field. But it doesn't end there.
The familiar cardinal walls surrounding both fields now have slick graphics highlighting the history of USC football and featuring large photo posters of so many great Trojan football players. If this is what upgraded looks like, USC looks good upgraded here.
AP not all in on USC bowl pick
But in all this summer euphoria, maybe it's best not to get carried away here. Everyone isn't all that blown away by the prospects of this 2015 USC team. Take the AP, which the other day released its bowl projections by national college football writer Ralph Russo, who doesn't think all that much of the Trojans' chances. Especially in light of where he sees Pac-12 rivals and archrival Notre Dame finishing up.
Notre Dame, he sees, making it into the four-team College Football Playoffs with Auburn, Ohio State and Baylor. Oregon will head to the Fiesta Bowl while Arizona State will represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl.
USC, meanwhile, heads off to San Antonio and an Alamo Bowl date with Oklahoma, which would have been a decent destination a year ago, maybe. But probably not this season, especially behind Notre Dame, Oregon and ASU. The only good news: The AP has UCLA heading to the Cactus Bowl, which we believe is somewhere in Arizona.
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