Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jaren Jackson, No. 26 recruit in ESPN 100, commits to Michigan State

Reprint from

Jaren Jackson, the No. 26 overall prospect in the ESPN 100 rankings, has committed to play at Michigan State.

Ranked the No. 5 power forward in the Class of 2017, Jackson chose the Spartans over Georgetown, Maryland, Notre Dame and Purdue on Thursday, his 17th birthday.

"I didn't plan it this way," Jackson said. "I have done all my homework on each school ... and discussed everything with my family, and the timing just happened to land on my birthday," Jackson said. "When you have a Hall of Fame coach like Tom Izzo, it makes a statement about the program.
"Coach Izzo has established a culture and an attitude of winning and I want to be part of that. He does a great job at developing his talent too."

Izzo was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend and made an immediate recruiting trip to see Jackson on Sunday after the ceremony. The visit made quite an impression on Jackson.

"It was crazy he came to visit me right after I was watching him on television from the Hall of Fame," Jackson said. "I heard he was coming but I did not know for sure he would show up. That meant a lot to me."

At 6-foot-10, Jackson's outside shooting makes him special. His skill level continues to grow and his versatility continues to impress.

"From a basketball perspective, he is extremely skilled, competitive and has unlimited potential," said Shane Heirman, Jackson's coach at La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana.

Both of Jackson's parents have a strong basketball background. Jaren Sr. starred at Georgetown (1985-1989) and played on multiple NBA teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, where he won an NBA title in 1999. His mother, Terri, also is a Georgetown grad and is the director of operations for the Women's National Basketball Players Association.

Michigan State claimed the No. 3 recruiting class in 2016, which included top-10 prospect Miles Bridges -- projected to be a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Izzo and his staff are also in pursuit of ESPN 100 prospects Brandon McCoy (6), Gary Trent Jr. (8), Brian Bowen (13) and Nojel Eastern (76).

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