Titans corner Adoree’ Jackson loves his ’Fortnite,’ his Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and his ‘Space Ja
@AdoreeKnows. On his Twitter feed, as well as at his Instagram, that’s how you can find Adoree’ Jackson, the cornerback and return specialist who dazzled at the University of Southern California before the Tennessee Titans selected him with the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. It’s a fitting social media handle for the second-year pro cornerback, who started all 18 of Tennessee’s games during his rookie season, because Jackson knows how to make the most of his time off the field. At just 22, the Belleville, Illinois, native has already co-founded an entertainment company, KOR Media Entertainment (KME), through which he’s been able to give back to the community.
During the offseason, Jackson hosted local high school students and Boys & Girls Club members at a Microsoft store in Nashville, Tennessee, for a night of Fortnite, the highly popular last-man-standing video game. Right before the start of 2018 training camp, Jackson and KME partnered with Microsoft for a charity Fortnite tournament featuring 25 players from the NFL. The event was livestreamed, and the Victory Royale-winning player, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tanner McEvoy, was awarded $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice. Jackson played for the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, but unfortunately his run in the game didn’t last too long.
On a recent day off from camp, Jackson chopped it up with The Undefeated about his foray into entertainment and philanthropy, how much he loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and A$AP Rocky, his celebrity doppelgänger.
What’s your favorite thing about training camp?
Being in the locker room with the guys. Getting to know each other, hearing stories, telling jokes. I think that’s what makes training camp go by so smoothly, even though it’s a grind — we’re there from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
And what do you hate the most about it?
The heat. Some days it just sneaks up on you, and some days it’s not there. The humidity gets us a lot. Yesterday, we practiced around the middle of the day. It was at Nissan Stadium. It was 94 degrees, and the humidity was about 42 percent. We were just out there sweating for no reason. It was like a track meet back in high school.
What was the toughest part about the adjustment from college to life as an NFL rookie?
In college, you go from school to practice to lifting weights and study hall. Now, it’s football … all football. If you heard the NFL is a job, that’s true. It’s on you if you wanna get better, if you wanna develop. They give you the tools, they give you everything that you need to succeed. But there’s nobody on you saying you should do this or you need to do this. It’s all about being a pro … And then once you’re done with football, you got so much time on your hands, it’s like, ‘Now what do I do?’ Because you don’t have to go to school anymore, you don’t have to go to study hall, no homework. Just balancing out your goals, your dreams, your priorities.
Your mom battled cancer while you were at USC. What was that experience like for you?
That experience made me see life differently and not take anything for granted. It brought me closer to my mom, and my faith. It’s always tough not having your support system there, but I’m thankful now that she’s able to come to all of my games in Tennessee.
How did you focus on football while also being there for her?
She was just a phone call away! Just to talk on the phone and hear her voice. … I always wanted to make my momma proud and keep her smiling, so I try to play well or do well so she doesn’t have to worry about me and can be in a positive state of mind.
What do you do in your downtime during the season?
Sometimes I play basketball with a couple guys on the team … or video games with my friends. That’s all we do in our downtime: play basketball, play video games and talk trash.
Which NBA player do you compare your game to?
That’s easy. I always tell everybody I’m like D. [Derrick] Rose. That’s a no-brainer. He’s my favorite basketball player. I’m a Chicago Bulls fan and have been rocking with D. Rose since he was there. I compare my game to his.
What made you want to start an entertainment company?
My business partner, James Moore, I had always heard stuff about him from afar, then I finally got to meet him in August 2017. I had a plan, he had a plan. It was just one of those things when the timing was right. … We were people that had a vision and wanted to make power moves … you always think about the end goal because the NFL stands for ‘Not For Long.’ When you have your foot in the door, you wanna be able to use your avenues and access as much as possible.
How did you come up with the idea for a charity Fortnite tournament?
I was just playing video games, and James was like, ‘Well, if you play video games all the time, let’s try to do something you love.’ It’s about being able to do something for the kids and making it relatable, help them understand that we all are the same. Some people see athletes and don’t understand that we’re humans just like them. So we go out there, play the game and do it for a cause. Kids getting to come play Fortnite? They get to enjoy the moment. And we’re also giving back at the same time.
Who’s the best Fortnite player in the NFL — besides yourself, of course?
I’ve seen John Ross play. He’s pretty good. I’ve seen Baker Mayfield play. He’s pretty good. … We have so much free time, so we get to sharpen our gaming skills. A lot of NFL players are pretty good with video games.
If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
My favorite movie is Space Jam. It’s the movie that got me into sports. You got the Looney Toons characters. You got Michael Jordan, when he was a Chicago Bull. And me growing up as a fan of basketball, which is what drove me to play sports.
Are you excited for the sequel?
It’s like The Incredibles. You always wanted to know what would’ve happened … and they got LeBron [James] playing in the sequel? That’s not a bad person to have in it. Hopefully Michael Jordan shows up in the Bill Murray role out of nowhere and saves the day for him. I’m excited to see how it plays out.
Is there a story behind how you got your first name?
I have a cousin. We’re the same age, and his name is Dahre [DAH-REE]. My mom and auntie pretty much played off that because it was the two of us. I’m glad I got Adoree’. My auntie suggested my name, and my mom loved it.
You’re obsessed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. When did you fall in love with them?
I remember when I was a kid, I used to go get the two-pack of Reese’s. I’d go to my grandma’s house and she used to always ask me for a Reese’s, and I’d get mad because then I’d only have one left. One day I told my dad, ‘If I’m gonna get Reese’s, and my grandma wants one, I gotta get the four-pack now … so at least I could have three and she can eat one.’ Ever since I was a kid, I hated sharing my Reese’s. And to this day, everybody knows I really don’t share my Reese’s like that. When I came out the womb, I guess, I was in love with Reese’s.
Would you be a spokesman for Reese’s?
Hands down. You ain’t gotta tell me twice.
Has anyone ever mistaken you for A$AP Rocky?
It’s weird, because when people ask me, ‘Are you Adoree’ Jackson?’ I’ll be like, ‘No, I’m A$AP,’ and they’ll be disappointed. If they ask me if I’m A$AP, I’m like, ‘No, I’m Adoree’,’ and they’ll be disappointed. I guess both of our names matter. A lot of people have mistaken me for him since I was in high school and one of his albums came out when I was a sophomore or junior. It’s pretty cool. One day I hope he takes me onstage, and I can be his stunt double or something. At a concert, people won’t know it’s me. … I’ve talked to him a couple times, but we’ve never actually met. One of these days, I’ve gotta meet A$AP … and Drake. Once I do that, I’ll be good.