Adoree’ Jackson: Mr. Football for state

Adoree' Jackson from Serra of Gardena is the 2013 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year for his jaw-dropping play on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Photo: Student Sports

Adoree’ Jackson from Serra of Gardena is the 2013 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year for his jaw-dropping play on both sides of the ball. Photo: Student Sports

The wow factor is the difference as Serra of Gardena standout becomes honoree for 2013 and joins all-time state list that dates back more than 100 years and includes numerous NFL Hall of Famers.

There were players in California high school football during the 2013 season that arguably had more impressive statistics than Serra of Gardena’s Adoree’ Jackson.

But if there was a stat kept for awestruck reactions by players, coaches, recruiting analysts and sportswriters, then Jackson was a runaway winner.

Even in the one game that Serra lost, a 38-35 upset to Chaminade of West Hills in the CIF Southern Section Western Division championship, Jackson appeared on ESPN SportsCenter with a Top 10 play for a dazzling 92-yard punt return touchdown in which he reversed field. And in the same game, he also scored on a 93-yard kickoff return.

Jackson’s play on both offense and defense was a major reason for Serra going 14-1 and finishing No. 4 in the final overall state rankings. His game-breaking abilities in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – also are why he has been named today as the 2013 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year.

Jackson is perhaps compared most to 2004 Mr. Football honoree Desean Jackson of Long Beach Poly, now starring for the Philadelphia Eagles. His return game also has some comparing him to Devin Hester when he was playing in high school in Florida. Hester now holds the NFL record for most kickoff return touchdowns.

During Serra’s 14-game season that saw the Cavaliers go 13-1 and rise to as high as No. 14 in the FAB 50 national rankings, Jackson rushed for 639 yards and five touchdowns, caught 38 passes for 812 yards and seven scores and he had six more TDs on returns. On defense, Jackson had six interceptions, including three that were taken back for scores. One of his pick six TDs was from 104 yards out. Jackson even was credited with a 91-yard punt during the season.

In Thursday’s Under Armour All-American Game in Florida shown on ESPN, Jackson turned heads once again with a back-of-the-end-zone interception and on several other plays. He said during the week in Florida that he had narrowed down his college choices to Florida, Florida State, USC, Oklahoma, Tennessee, LSU, UCLA and Oregon.

Serra has had some other rather amazing athletes in recent years, but Jackson is the school’s first Mr. Football winner for the state. The last State Player of the Year from the South Bay region of Los Angeles was Michael Alo from Banning of Wilmington in 1980. Two of those previous Serra stars – Marqise Lee and George Farmer – were State Athletes of the Year. Since Jackson was State Sophomore Athlete of the Year for 2011-12 and State Junior Athlete of the Year for 2012-13, he’s also obviously out to a good start toward matching what Lee and Farmer did as seniors.

Jackson’s other sport is track and field. He’s already shown world-class talent in the long jump with a 25-foot mark as a sophomore and last year led Serra to the CIF state team title with a second-place finish in the long jump and running legs on two relay teams, including one that led the nation at 40.41 seconds in the 4×100. His top track sprint times are 10.68 in the 100 meters and 21.59 in the 200. Jackson has said he is not giving up track and field in college, either. He plans to compete in both football and track and is looking at an attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

In becoming Mr. Football for 2013, Jackson also had to win out over six other finalists. They were junior quarterbacks Jake Browning (Folsom) and Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco), senior running backs Tre’ Watson (Corona Centennial) and Royce Freeman (Imperial), option quarterback Asuani Rufus (Bakersfield) and two-way standout Donovan Lee (Chaminade).

Here is the all-time list of Mr. Football State Players of the Year (all selected by Cal-Hi Sports but done retroactively based on research prior to 1975 by our late founder, the great Nelson Tennis):

Michael Hutchings of Concord De La Salle won Mr. Football honors one year ago. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Michael Hutchings of Concord De La Salle won Mr. Football honors in 2012.
Photo: Scott Kurtz.

2013 — Adoree’ Jackson (Serra, Gardena) WR-DB
2012 — Michael Hutchings (De La Salle, Concord) LB
2011 — Deontay Greenberry (Washington Union, Easton) WR-DB
2010 — Dano Graves (Folsom) QB
2009 — Dillon Baxter (Mission Bay, San Diego) QB-RB
2008 — Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) RB
2007 — Milton Knox (Birmingham, Lake Balboa) RB
2006 — Aaron Corp (Lutheran, Orange) QB
2005 — Toby Gerhart (Norco) RB
2004 — Desean Jackson (Poly, Long Beach) WR-DB-KR
2003 — Sean Norton (Hart, Newhall) QB
2002 — Whitney Lewis (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) WR-RB
2001 — Derek Landri (De La Salle, Concord) OL-DL
2000 — Tyler Ebell (Ventura) RB
1999 — D.J. Williams (De La Salle, Concord) RB-LB
1998 — Kyle Boller (Hart, Newhall) QB
1997 — DeShaun Foster (Tustin) RB
1996 — Rod Perry (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) WR-DB
1995 — Chris Claiborne (J.W. North, Riverside) RB-LB
1994 — Daylon McCutcheon (Bishop Amat, La Puente) RB-DB
1993 — Keith Smith (Newbury Park) QB
1992 — Travis Kirschke (Esperanza, Anaheim) OL-DL
1991 — Amani Toomer (De La Salle, Concord) WR
1990 — Napoleon Kaufman (Lompoc) RB
1989 — Ryan Hancock (Monta Vista, Cupertino) QB
1988 — Tommie Smith (Antelope Valley, Lancaster) RB-DB
1987 — Bret Johnson (El Toro) QB
1986 — Russell White (Crespi, Encino) RB (Soph.)
1985 — Terry Rodgers (Sweetwater, National City) RB-KR
1984 — Aaron Emanuel (Quartz Hill) RB
1983 — Ryan Knight (Rubidoux, Riverside) RB
1982 — John Paye (Menlo School, Atherton) QB
1981 — Kevin Willhite (Cordova, Rancho Cordova) RB
1980 — Michael Alo (Banning, Wilmington) FB
1979 — Kerwin Bell (Edison, Huntington Beach) RB
1978 — John Elway (Granada Hills) QB
1977 — Marcus Allen (Lincoln, San Diego) QB
1976 — Freeman McNeil (Banning, Wilmington) RB
1975 — Charles White (San Fernando) RB
1974 — Myron White (Santa Ana Valley) RB
1973 — Frank Manumaluena (Banning, Wilmington) LB
1972 — Wally Henry (Lincoln, San Diego) RB
1971 — John Sciarra (Bishop Amat, La Puente) QB
1970 — Pat Haden (Bishop Amat, La Puente) QB
1969 — James McAlister (Blair, Pasadena) RB
1968 — Jesse Freitas (Serra, San Mateo) QB
1967 — Calvin Jones (Balboa, San Francisco) RB (Jr.)
1966 — Mickey Cureton (Centennial, Compton) RB
1965 — Greg Jones (South San Francisco) RB
1964 — George Buehler (Whittier) LB-OL
1963 — Tim Rossovich (St. Francis, Mountain View) LB
1962 — Steve Grady (Loyola, Los Angeles) RB
1961 — Mike Garrett (Roosevelt, Los Angeles) RB
1960 — Kent Nance (Madera) RB
1959 — Willie Brown (Poly, Long Beach) RB
1958 — Daryle Lamonica (Clovis) QB
1957 — Jim Josephson (Bellarmine, San Jose) FB
1956 — Randy Meadows (Downey) RB
1955 — Mickey Flynn (Anaheim) RB (Jr.)
1954 — Dick Bass (Vallejo) RB
1953 — C.R. Roberts (Oceanside) RB
1952 — Ronnie Knox (Santa Monica) QB
1951 — Marty Keough (Pomona) RB
1950 — Charley Powell (San Diego) E
1949 — Paul Larson (Turlock) HB
1948 — Johnny Olszewski (Long Beach St. Anthony) FB
1947 — Hugh McElhenny (L.A. Washington) FB
1946 — Al Pollard (L.A. Loyola) HB
1945 — Paul Haynes (Pasadena) HB
1944 — Jackie Jensen (Oakland) HB
1943 — Don Burnside (North Sacramento Grant) QB
1942 — Glenn Davis (La Verne Bonita) QB
1941 — Billy Agnew (Piedmont) HB
1940 — Tommy Fears (L.A. Manual Arts) E
1939 — Johnny Petrovich (Alhambra) QB
1938 — Jim Jurkovich (Fresno) FB
1937 — Frankie Albert (Glendale) QB
1936 — Mike Klotovich (San Francisco Mission) HB
1935 — Kenny Washington (L.A. Lincoln) QB
1934 — Doyle Nave (L.A. Manual Arts) HB
1933 — Vic Bottari (Vallejo) QB
1932 — Nello “Flash” Falaschi (San Jose Bellarmine) HB
1931 — Larry Lutz (Santa Ana) T
1930 — Charles “Chili” Bertoli (Berkeley) HB
1929 — Ervin “Cotton” Warburton (San Diego) QB (Jr.)
1928 — Orv Mohler (Alhambra) QB
1927 — Gus Shaver (Covina) HB
1926 — Erny Pinckert (San Bernardino) FB
1925 — Francis Tappaan (Los Angeles) T

Note: List continues back to 1890 in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book & Almanac.

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  1. James
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I see the POY awards are a So Cal thing!! Ha seems fitting So Cal has more love than Nor Cal

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      We consider Mendota to be Northern California instead of Southern California. Who in the north possibly could be higher than any of the ones we picked? Last year, Michael Hutchings was chosen tops overall. Ben Burr-Kirven, Adarius Pickett, Jake Browning, etc all pretty good but not ahead of anybody we chose higher.

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