USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson will be excused from spring practices in order to focus on his training to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, head coach Clay Helton told the Los Angeles Times.
“I've always believed if you're going to be a master at something, you've got to work at it — and don't be a jack of all trades,” Helton said. “When you get the opportunity to go work for the Olympics, you need to go work at that.”
Jackson, 20, is the reigning Pac-12 Conference champion in the long-jump with a winning mark of 7.71-meters (25' 3"). He went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a mark of 7.91-meters (25' 11").
Jackson will need to finish in the top three at next July's U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. in order to make the U.S. Olympics team. His personal best of 7.91-meters would have finished fifth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Jackson finished this season with five touchdowns, two of them coming on kick returns.
USC will play the Wisconsin Badgers in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.
- Christopher Chavez