USC wide receiver Adoree’ Jackson will not be participating in spring football practices in Los Angeles next year. The two-star athlete instead will be focusing his energy on training for a shot at Olympic glory. USC head coach Clay Helton said his star wide receiver will be given permission to miss spring football so he can train for qualifying in the 2016 Rio Olympics in track and field.
“I’ve always believed that if you’re going to be a master of something, you’ve got to work at it,” Helton told reporters, per ESPN.com. “Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades, be a master of something. He’s been a master at football this season. We said, ‘If you have the opportunity to go to the Olympics, you need to go for that.'”
Jackson finished in fifth place in the NCAA championships in the long jump event and he won the Pac-12 championship long jump event with a jump of 25 feet, three inches. He tacked on eight inches in the NCAA championships. In order to qualify for the Olympics, Jackson will need to extend his distance to the U.S. national team’s minimum qualifying distance of 26 feet, five inches.
Helton is holding true to his word to Jackson during the recruitment process by allowing the multi-talented athlete to compete in track and field in addition to football. It helps that Jackson has little to really prove on the football field. Jackson was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as a standout defensive back and wide receiver. The sophomore was second on the team with 382 receiving yards and he added 250 punt return yards and 664 kickoff return yards. He also picked off one pass and returned it 46 yards this season and he had 31 tackles in 13 games for the Trojans.