USC has brought in more than its share of big-name five-star receivers over the past decade, but former receiver Deontay Burnett proved that you don’t have to be highly ranked in order to make an impact for the Trojans.
The next three-star wide receiver who will look to find his way through four and five-star prospect on to the field for the Trojans will likely be Michael Jackson III (Las Vegas/Desert Pines). The 6-foot, 198-pound slot receiver already has a big-name comparison, as he said USC coaches have compared his potential in this offense to Amon-Ra St. Brown. And this summer, he’s been putting together big-time performances.
On Monday, he displayed what he’s been up to during the 7-on-7 sessions he’s attended.
Jackson has become quite the gymnast as he continues to work on his craft there, which has helped him with his dexterity and quickness on the football field. He’s also put in work this offseason to improve his speed and change of direction. He posted a video showing his hand-timed 40 and shuttle runs, of 4.41 and 3.95, respectively.
Jackson’s strength and agility makes him a perfect fit as a slot receiver in this offense, as he can stretch the field down the seam, hold his own inside against linebackers or burst quickly to the outside. He’s also very dangerous with the ball in his hands and can be a weapon in the screen game.
USC should be well-stocked at wide receiver in 2021, even though the Trojans could lose both Tyler Vaughns and St. Brown following the potential 2020 season, which could take place this coming spring. Of course, with the recent ruling from the NCAA that the 2020 season will not count toward and fall student-athlete’s eligibility, both Vaughns and St. Brown could return for the 2021 season–Vaughns for his sixth year, against as a redshirt senior, and St. Brown still counting as a true junior.
But even without those two, USC should have a fairly stacked roster at the wide receiver position, with Kyle Ford hopefully recovered from his ACL injury, Bru McCoy, John Jackson III, Munir McClain and Drake London as part of that loaded 2019 group of receivers, along with Gary Bryant Jr. and Joshua Jackson Jr., as 2020 signees.
The path to a starting spot looks tricky with so much talent there, but last season proved that a true freshman can step in immediately and play, as London did despite not enrolling early and also joining a loaded position group.
Jackson is one of two wide receivers committed to USC in this 2021 class, as he is joined by four-star prospect Quay Davis (Dallas/Skyline)–the nation’s No. 100 overall recruit.