The Trojans star announced his intentions via Twitter on Monday, which is the deadline for underclassmen like Jackson to apply for early draft eligibility.
Jackson, a junior, is among the fastest players in college football, and he's been one of the Pac-12 Conference's top cornerbacks and return specialists since he was a freshman in 2014. The junior's explosive athleticism carried him to the U.S. Olympic Trials in the long jump event. However, while his speed has proven to be elite, his football skills are still something of a work in progress. One NFL scout sees Jackson as more of a second-round draft pick than a first-rounder, and NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has expressed concern about Jackson's lack of size (5-foot-11, 185 pounds).
Jackson started every game for the Trojans in 2016, making 55 tackles (46 solo) with five interceptions, 11 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He also broke two kickoff returns for touchdowns, averaging 29.5 yards per return, and returned 20 punts for 315 yards (15.8 average) and two more scores. He also played occasionally on offense for USC.