Linebacker Drake Jackson leaves USC football program, sets sights on NFL draft

USC linebacker Drake Jackson is headed to the NFL draft, he announced Saturday night on Instagram.

Jackson, a junior from Corona, California, recorded five sacks, eight tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games this season for USC. ESPN's Mel Kiper rates Jackson as the No. 8 outside linebacker prospect for the 2022 draft.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Jackson started throughout his USC career, earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2020 and 2021. He finishes with 103 career tackles, including 25 for loss and 12.5 sacks.

"I am beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to compete as a Trojan!" Jackson wrote on Instagram. "There is nothing like wearing that Cardinal and Gold."