J. Brady McCollough (LA Times) — Drake Jackson, who just turned 18 yesterday, has only been on the USC campus for three months, but his startling performance during six weeks of spring football already has some talking about his early departure.
“He’s a first-round talent, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he leaves in three years,” USC soph LB Palaie Gaoteote IV said. “He’s something very special. You see he had a one-handed pick [in the spring showcase] and took off with it? He could play tight end if he wanted to. I think he’s a three-and-out guy for sure.”
Gaoteote and Jackson now room together — by the design of USC’s coaches. “I definitely told him that, yeah, you’re young, but you’ve got to mature much faster than you think you do,” said Gaoteote. “He’s handled it, and on the field, he’s a monster.
“He’s a great kid. I love him,” Gaoteote said. “He’s like my little brother. We do pretty much everything together, whether it’s just kicking it at the crib playing video games or going out with the boys and having a good time.
Gaoteote said he quickly saw how much the confident Jackson would help USC from the first time he saw him work out. “This year,” Jackson said, “we’re going to make the offenses feel it.”
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