After months of decision, Serra High's five-star all-purpose player Adoree Jackson chose the University of Southern California in front of hundreds of Serra students, parents, faculty and staff, along with the media Wednesday at the Serra High Gymnasium.
Jackson, a three-time all-American who played in the Under Armour All-American All-Star Bowl game on Jan. 2 in St. Petersberg, Fla., had his comittment and signing broadcasted on ESPNU at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Jackson's signing came after a night about a dream of playing for USC, who will be head coached by former West Torrance High, El Camino College and Trojan football standout Steve Sarkesian. "I just had a vision," Jackson said about playing at USC. "I dreamed about it and it was pretty much it."
Jackson chose USC over cross town rival UCLA, Florida and Louisiana State University. He will be expected to play cornerback for the Trojans.
Jackson will be joined by Cavalier teammates, quarterback Jalen Greene and linebacker Olajuwon Tucker.
Jackson is looking forward to playing for Sarkesian, who left the University of Washington for USC after being hired in December. Sarkesian assisted with Pete Carroll, who last Sunday guided the National Football League Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl crown with a 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Meadowlands, New Jersey, and Lane Kiffen before being hired at Washington a few years ago.
Jackson calls Sarkesian, "Pete Carroll based."
Carroll already has a national collegiate championship with USC in 2004 and the recent Super Bowl XLVIII crown with the Seahawks.
Also with his outstanding track and field record, that included a United States national best of 25 feet in the long jump from last year, Jackson plans to go out for the USC track and field team and is even seeking to get a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
With the prep track and field season starting in a few weeks, Jackson will be, not only seeking to break the United States national record of 26 feet, 4.75 inches set in 1989 by James Stallworth of Tulare, but becoming the first high school long jumper to go 27 feet or more. "I'm hoping to be among the world's greatest long jumpers," Jackson said.
Jackson has already run as fast as 10.47 seconds in the 100-meter dash, as well, and keyed Serra's 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams to California state championships last June. As an overall team, the Cavalier boys won the CIF-Southern Section Division IV title with a record 148 points and by a record 104 points (148-44) over second place Westlake Village Oaks Christian and their second state championship by downing runner-up Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 47-26. The Cavaliers won the other state title in 2000.
UCLA also picks up a pair of Serra standouts in U.S. Army All-American linebacker Dwight Williams (four star) and wide receiver-defensive back Jordan Lasley.
Lasley and Williams were attempting to get Jackson to sign at UCLA, but, according to Lasley, it was his decision.
They will be looking forward to playing against Jackson, Greene and Tucker.
"I'm already used to it," Lasley said about the rivalry that will include a little high school intersquad game inside it. "I'm happy to be a Bruin and Adoree is happy to be a Trojan."
"We have eight players who will be playing at major colleges," Serra head coach Scott Altenberg, who went to UCLA and his late father, Kurt, starred for the Bruins to the 1965 PAC 10 title and a 1966 Rose Bowl championship with an upset over then No. 1 Michigan State University, said. "I'm excited about where they want to be."
Other major college football signees from Serra include Sam Akoteu (Fresno State), Glen Ihenacho (Oregon) and Malachi Mageo (Hawaii).
Another premiere player who will be playing at USC is Narbonne lineman Uchenna Nwosu.
Other South Bay gridders who signed at four-year colleges include Zaire Andre (Inglewood, Washington State), Bobby Johnson (Carson, Fresno State), Don'Yah Patterson (Carson, Hawaii), Khalil Rashaad Brown (Narbonne, San Jose State), Owen Roberts (Narbonne, San Jose State), Will Scolinos (Palos Verdes, University of Chicago), Louie Soto (Bishop Montgomery, University of San Diego), Jamie Stewart (El Segundo, Harvard), Casey Sublette (Mira Costa, U.S. Naval Academy), Jahlani Tavai (Mira Costa, Hawaii) and Harry Whitson (Redondo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo). Whitson signed at Cal Poly as a walk-on.
There are more who are still undecided that will be expected to sign later, including Narbonne quarterback Eban Jackson and West Torrance defensive back J.J. Allen.