Two Jacksons, One Common Thread

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – Adoreé Jackson felt an early connection with one of the Tennessee Titans’ 2020 draft picks that he did not share with any of the others. And it has nothing to do with the fact that they play the same position and share a surname.

The two-sport star during his first two years at USC, took notice of the fact that Chris Jackson, the last of this year’s six selections, was a Florida state champion hurdler in high school.

“It just tells me he’s explosive from that standpoint,” Adoreé Jackson said. “I understand that he has the speed. To play football and run track is two different things. So, if you’re able to be able to adjust from just straight-line speed to have some agility and mobility – I know he did the hurdles, so I know he has a little – he’s coordinated.”

Chris Jackson was a two-time Florida Class 1A champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and a runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles before he focused on football at Marshall University. The decision worked out well as he earned all-conference recognition each of his four years in school and went to the Titans with the 243rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Adoreé Jackson stayed on track (literally) for his first two years at Southern Cal. He was a two-time All-American in the long jump and one of his team’s leading sprinters in 2015 and 2016. Following his junior season in football (2016), he decided to enter the NFL draft and spent the ensuing months preparing for his football career.

Now, the two Jacksons – both cornerbacks – will be part of the same defensive backfield with the Titans.

“He can go out there and compete and have fun,” Adoreé said of Chris. “That’s one of the guys that I’m excited to work with and to see and know how he plays.”

As he prepares for his fourth NFL season, Adoreé Jackson remains connected to track and field. He said he is disappointed that he won’t get to see some of his former teammates compete at the Olympics this summer (in March, the 2020 Games were postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

But he knows he has at least one new teammate with whom he can commiserate, and about whom he already has drawn conclusions.

“I know it’s not easy to run track,” Adoreé Jackson said. “So, for him to do that and play football, I understand what type of player and where he is.”