Head Basketball Coach Mike Brey has received the 3rd and likely final verbal commitment for his highly touted 2013 class today from PG Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, IN - Marian). He is listed at 6'1" and 185 lbs and joins new teammates and backcourt mates VJ Beachem and Steve Vasturia in Notre Dame’s class of 2013.
Jackson’s recruitment has occupied much of Brey’s time for the better part of the last four years. He finally committed today following this past weekend’s official visit to Notre Dame that included him taking in the game against Michigan and sitting down with Brey and staff for a long conversation about his place on the Irish roster. He chose Notre Dame over the University of Illinois and had offers listed from Kansas, Michigan State, and Louisville, among others. I don’t for a second think I am overstating things when I say that he is by far the biggest recruit in Mike Brey’s career.
His recruitment has been a saga for Coach Brey, who has been seen at Marian and AAU games and open practices since Jackson has been playing for them. Jackson has been practicing with the Irish squad for the better part of two seasons in open gyms and scrimmages, and in joining VJ Beachem, has a tremendous comfort level with the choice in his own backyard. Despite all of Brey’s efforts, Jackson still has flirted with playing for Tom Izzo up at Michigan State and now more recently with becoming the "savior" of Jim Groce’s Illini squad. Ultimately, the comfort of playing close to home with the coach and team that he has become closest to led Jackson to select the Irish as his new home.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 5 star (#4 PG, #19 Overall), 90 Grade, ESPN 100
Rivals - 4 star (#6 PG, #27 Overall), Rivals 150
Scout - 5 star (#5 PG, #24 Overall)
247Sports - 4 star (#10 PG, #57 Overall), 95 Grade, Top 247
There is no shortage of Youtube highlights for Jackson, so I’ll show you him posterizing a poor Washington High defender.
He will play early and often. He may not be a one-and-done type player, but he is not far off either. Early playing time was actually a major sticking point in his recruitment with the Irish, with the Illini coaching staff essentially telling him that he will never start here. It’s a laughable claim, but something Jackson had to get past is the fact that he will be Eric Atkins’ backup in his freshman season. It matters little, however, as Jackson will log a ton of minutes as his backup and likely play alongside Atkins a great deal as well. He will slide seamlessly into the starting point guard role by his sophomore season.
I will over-excitedly say that his long-term future with the Irish depends on how long until the NBA comes calling. Obviously, I’m getting too far ahead of myself, but Jackson will have the starting point guard spot from his sophomore through senior years as the unquestioned leader of the Irish offense. Jackson is good at everything; he can run, he has outrageous athleticism (see video above), he has tremendous vision, and he can already shoot off the dribble.
This is an exciting day for Mike Brey’s program, who will move to the ACC as an immediate league contender. The elevation in pure talent that Brey has recruited in recent classes has culminated with the lynchpin in Jackson, who will make Brey’s offense run like never before. I think the Skylar Diggins comparisons are apt, with the local point guard ready to elevate the program to a new level. This is a day to dream about league championships and deep tournament runs as the Irish hoops squad for the next few years will be as complete and talented as it has ever been with Jackson in the fold.
Welcome to Notre Dame, Demetrius!