Jackson redshirted his first year in the program, and earned a starting nod as a redshirt frosh. That year, he finished with 32 tackles, 11 for loss, and six sacks while earning Freshmen All American honors. Jackson earned All Pac 10 honors as a sophomore, after notching 46 tackles, 13 for loss, and ten sacks. His numbers dipped a little as a junior, where he had 43 tackles, 11 for loss, but only four sacks. Jackson’s numbers came back to normal as a senior, where he finished with 55 tackles, 14 for loss, and 9.5 sacks on the year.
Lawrence Jackson is a complete defensive end prospect. He has proven to be a legitimate threat off the edge as a pass rusher, but also has shown that he can contain the run as well. He is a good athlete that can change direction and uses his hands well to get past the tackle and into the backfield. In run support, he has the strength to hold his ground and get off blocks to bring down the ball carrier. Jackson has a ton of experience, including big game experience, so he should be able to provide an impact right away.
Jackson does not possess one true standout physical trait. He is a good pass rusher, but not because of amazing athleticism or blazing speed. He also does not have tremendous size or great natural strength. He is going to have to get bigger to live up to his potential as an all around end, because he may be pushed around by bigger tackles in the NFL.
Jackson has twice considered entering for the NFL draft, but has come back to USC both times. Last year, he almost had no choice. He had a down year for a player of his talent, although he did come on at the end of the year. He had a solid year and post season to pretty much lock up a first day selection.