There aren't many higher priorities than spring football for returning college players, but Adoree' Jackson certainly has one: the Olympics. The USC cornerback is expected to miss USC's spring drills under new coach Clay Helton to pursue a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
"I've always believed that if you're going to be a master of something, you've got to work at it," Helton said on Sunday, per the Orange County Register. "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.'"
Instead of honing his skills as one of the Pac-12's most dynamic football players, Jackson will likely be a full-time member of the Trojans track and field team with a focus on the long jump. He's the Pac-12 long-jump champion, but will have to improve this spring to qualify for the Olympic trials next summer. Jackson jumped 25 feet, 11 inches in the NCAA Championships to finish fifth, but must reach 26-5 to make the trials.
As a sophomore this year, Jackson hardly ever came off the field as the Trojans' top cornerback and return specialist -- he had an expanded role as a wide receiver, too. However, Jackson said he'll focus more on playing cornerback beginning in 2016.
"I'm going to be permanently at cornerback," Jackson said, per The Register. "When (Helton) needs me on offense, he's going to use me, but at the end of the day, my decision was to specialize at corner and continue to be a specialist in returning the ball, and whenever I'm needed on offense, I'll go in there and go."
Jackson averaged 106 all-purpose yards per game and broke up six passes in the secondary to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors this season.
Soon after USC's Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl game against Wisconsin, he'll begin chasing a much bigger honor.