Greatness of Jackson may be gone soon

first_imgNick Entin | Daily TrojanBigger and better · Junior three-way player Adoree’ Jackson became USC’s all-time leader in kick return yards on Saturday against Cal. Jackson is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft.It feels way too early to already be saying this. It’s just speculation at this point, and nothing about USC football is ever that predictable. Besides, you may even be staying in town over Thanksgiving break to watch the Trojans’ final home game against Notre Dame.But this Saturday will likely be the last time most students get to see junior three-way star Adoree’ Jackson play in a Trojan uniform.The ever youthful and energetic Jackson is now beyond the halfway point of his junior season. He has the talent and athleticism to be playing in the NFL right now, and I have to believe he will forgo his senior season to go pro. The nostalgia for me is already starting to set in.I faintly remember covering Jackson when he was still in high school at Junipero Serra, a powerhouse Southern California team. He had four tackles, an interception returned for 25 yards, two punts returned for 110 yards and two catches for 26 yards when Serra defeated my high school, Harvard-Westlake, 35-8 in 2012 — his junior, my senior year.When ’SC recruited Jackson, Serra had always been a steady source of talent for the USC football — think former USC wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, or the other eight Serra products currently on the team. Jackson was a five-star recruit, rated the best cornerback in his class and best overall player out of all of California. Before Jackson committed, USC had offered a scholarship and gotten a commitment from his teammate Jalen Greene, Serra’s star dual-threat star quarterback. It seemed like a bizarre move — USC had only ever really recruited pocket passers, and Greene seemed to fit much better with a spread offense. But there was some speculation that it was all part of the effort to incentivize Jackson to join Greene — who has since converted to a wide receiver here — and the other Serra graduates. Sure enough, Jackson signed here on National Signing Day, passing up on offers from LSU, Florida, UCLA and pretty much every other school in the country.The challenge for the coaching staff was to get him on the field as often as possible without wearing him out. He’s the first player to start a game on offense and defense since USC started keeping records on this in the ‘60s. Last year, he was in on 657 plays on defense, 157 plays on offense and 157 plays on special teams. He’s had plenty of exciting moments as a receiver on offense. Three of his 10 catches went for touchdowns his freshman year. He took a flat route 80 yards for a score at Arizona State last year; he took a screen pass 83 yards for a score at Notre Dame.He’s been a stalwart on defense since becoming a starter as a true freshman. It’s easy to forget that his primary position is still cornerback given how exciting he is with the ball. But what makes him such a valuable part of the team, and a strong NFL prospect, is how well he can stop opponents from getting the ball. His best work on defense is the kind of stuff that doesn’t show up on the highlight reel or stat sheet, but even then, he still has his memorable defensive plays, like taking back a pick-six at Cal last year. But easily, the most fun part of Jackson’s game is his kick returning. There’s no better way to start off a game than having him set up deep to return an opening kick. After every defensive stop, I’m almost as excited to see him get a chance on a punt as I am to see the offense get the ball.It’s hard to even keep track of every kick he’s taken all the way. He’s gone the whole 100 yards for touchdown on kickoffs at Utah twice — once in 2014 and once again to cue some major déjà vu this year. There was the punt that bounced all the way to our 21-yard line that Jackson picked up and took 79 yards for a score against Utah State this year. There were the two short field punt return touchdowns he had last year — a 41-yard touchdown return at Oregon and a 42-yard return to take the lead just before the half against UCLA. And of course, there was his touchdown to put ’SC on the board in the 2014 Holiday Bowl against Nebraska, when he took a kickoff 98 yards for the score, and capped off the return with a front flip. I’ve gotten to the point where the kicks away from Jackson resonate almost as much as the ones to him. When a punt by Arizona’s Josh Pollack sailed over Jackson’s head and bounced all the way for a 67-yard touchback three weeks ago, I felt like I had been cheated after driving 500 miles to see the game. When Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre started calling for Buffs kicker Chris Graham to start chipping short kickoffs away from Jackson in the second half, the wistful realization finally hit me — teams probably should, and probably will, start kicking away from such a dangerous return man going forward.Even if they do, Jackson earned a well-deserved distinction last week against Cal. With his 56 return yards Thursday, Jackson became USC’s all-time leader in kick return yards with 1,779. The previous record of 1,723 yards held by Curtis Conway had stood since 1992.There is of course the possibility that he stays for his final season, but it’s not like he has anything left to prove to NFL scouts. Fox Sports listed him as one of the seven “guaranteed” first round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, before this season even started. I’d be thrilled to see him come back, but I’ll be just as excited to see him debut in the League. Maybe the most touching moment we’ve seen from this whole season was Jackson’s postgame interview after the Utah State game with his mother, who had been battling cancer last year.“I wasn’t able to come to … games last year,” an emotional Vianca Jackson told reporters. “But God, He saved me in four months. He gave me back to my baby, so I can see every game and I can be the proudest momma.”I’m sure she’ll be even prouder when she gets the chance to see him play on Sundays. Luckily for us, though, we still get to watch him play in the Coliseum at least one more time.    Luke Holthouse is a senior majoring in policy, planning and development and print and digital journalism. His column, “Holthouse Party,” runs on Wednesday.last_img read more

Campuses turn to high-tech alerts

first_imgSECURITY: Texting and Facebook are used to get the word out quickly at universities. By Verena Dobnik and Ryan J. Foley THE ASSOCIATED PRESS This week’s incidents at St. John’s and UW-Madison – both of which ended without bloodshed – underscore how campus security has changed since Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in April. Cho shot his first two victims just after 7 a.m. More than two hours later, he massacred 30 people in a classroom building across campus. It was not until 9:26 a.m. that the school sent the first e-mail to students and faculty. An investigative panel concluded that lives could have been saved if alerts had been sent out earlier and classes canceled after the first burst of gunfire. Since then, hundreds of schools’ administrations have installed text-messaging systems to communicate with students. Omnilert, a company based in Leesburg, Va., saw its business surge after the Virginia Tech rampage. It is now supplying more than 250 colleges and universities around the country with instant messaging capability – a system called e2Campus. St. John’s purchased its inCampuAlert text-messaging system from a California company called MIR3 Inc. over the summer, also in response to the Virginia Tech slayings. The system sends a message not only to cell phones, but also to digital signs in public places like student unions or dorms, as well as to computers, PDAs and beepers. “Nearly every major college and university in the country is either in the process of implementing a text-message warning system or seriously considering doing it,” said S. Daniel Carter, senior vice president of Security on Campus, a nonprofit organization based in King of Prussia, Pa., that pushes for safer college campuses. School officials have not completely given up more traditional ways of communicating with students. Last week, after two students were shot and wounded at Delaware State University, campus police and residence hall advisers knocked on doors and told students to stay in their rooms, and warnings were posted on the school’s Web site and at dorms. But it is clear that schools are taking advantage of every innovation they can. In Wisconsin, officials paid the popular social networking site Facebook $100 to post a flier on the UW-Madison social network. The ad asked users to click on a link for an update on the campus emergency. That took them to the university’s home page, which carried the latest information on the search for a suicidal gunman. Authorities still had not located the man as of Thursday. In the St. John’s incident, text messages were sent so quickly that a student who helped subdue the suspect felt his cell phone vibrate with the information while he was restraining the gunman. The message to students read: “From Public Safety. Male was found on campus with rifle. Please stay in your buildings until further notice. He is in custody, but please wait until the all clear.” The text messaging “worked like a charm,” New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said a day later at a ceremony to honor the student, a police cadet, who helped restrain the suspect. “Young people today are incredibly wired, and administrators have the technology at their fingertips – once they put it in place,” said Amanda Lenhart, a researcher for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a Washington-based nonprofit organization. More than 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds own a cell phone, and 92 percent of them text message, according to a 2006 Pew survey. “What better way is there to get in contact with people who always carry technology, or are within shouting distance of it?” Lenhart said. “This is a huge development in terms of school security.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – When a masked freshman came to campus at St. John’s University with what police said was a loaded rifle sticking out of a bag, the school alerted students via cell-phone text messages within 18 minutes. And when a suicidal gunman was reported to be on the loose at the University of Wisconsin, the school sent out mass e-mails and took out an ad on Facebook to warn students. As the school year starts, colleges around the country are applying the lessons of Virginia Tech and using high technology to get the word out fast in a crisis. “This was certainly a surprise. No one thought that we would be testing this latest technology this quickly for an emergency,” said James Pellow, executive vice president of St. John’s. The 20,000-student Roman Catholic school in Queens activated its new text-messaging system just three weeks ago. The scare came on the same day that the student paper ran a front-page story on the system, under the blaring headline: “In case of emergency.” last_img read more

Daniel and Majella leave Scottish tourists stunned

first_imgA group of Scottish tourists were starstruck when Donegal’s biggest celebrity couple made a surprise appearance during their trip to Dungloe.A tour group with Black’s Coaches of Brechin, Scotland, stopped off at the Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre last month to see memorabilia and videos celebrating the iconic Donegal singer.What they didn’t expect was to see the man in the flesh – as Daniel and Majella came out to greet the group. There was much excitement among the passengers who had a unique opportunity to meet their idols and take photos. They spent up to two hours talking with everyone in the group. Daniel and Majella had decided to greet the eager fans after coach driver Scotty tweeted Majella with news that they would be arriving at the visitor centre.“Going to Daniels visitor centre tomorrow with a coach tour lots of excited fans” – said the Tweet which Majella liked.That small act turned into a once-in-a-lifetime event for the group, who were lucky enough to meet the man himself and his wife.After the exciting day, driver Scotty posted online to thank the O’Donnells and reveal that many of his passengers were still in shock. “He and his wife were so gracious,” one of the visitors also commented online.Looking back on the event, tour organiser and Daniel fan Ann-Marie Black told Donegal Daily: “Daniel phoned the Visitor Centre to say he would be in but it was kept secret. We were asked to go upstairs to the room where you watch a video that tells his life story. When he came in, everybody screamed and lifted the roof off.”“It was just delightful. It was really kind of him and his wife to come, and him meeting our passengers was exceptional.”There was one member of the tour who was unable to make it upstairs, Ann-Marie said, but Daniel went out of his way to go down to talk to him.“It just shows how much of a lovely couple that they are,” Ann-Marie added. “As a result of him turning up, we have organised a tour to see him live in Edinburgh.”Ann-Marie and her fellow fans are hoping that Daniel will remember their great encounter and say hello again the next time they cross paths.Daniel and Majella leave Scottish tourists stunned was last modified: November 14th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more