Indiana is a fertile basketball recruiting ground, but it’s not that often that Notre Dame gets to recruit a prospect from its true ‘backyard.’ The Irish will have that opportunity over the next several months in 2013 combo guard Demetrius Jackson, who plays at Mishawaka's Marian High School.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Jackson currently has an offer from Xavier and Michigan has told him one should be on the way soon. He’s also hearing from Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, and Notre Dame among a host of others. So far, the contact has been much more than your typical form letters.
“All of the coaches I’ve been in contact with have all said they’re really serious about the recruiting process with me,” Jackson said.
Jackson has some time off from his MBA Select AAU team this month, but won’t stop working on his game.
“June is just getting better skill development and going through high school stuff,” he said. “We start back up in July.”
Jackson’s excited about getting back on the high school court after a successful 2010-11 season.
“I averaged 24 points per game and broke the individual single-season scoring record,” he said. “As a team, we set a record for Marian. Marian’s never won more than one NIC game and this year we won six. We had the best record at Marian since 1990-something.”
Marian will return its entire starting five for the second straight season. The group has developed a chemistry going back to middle school and is hoping it pays off next season.
“We really have big hopes and big dreams for the season,” Jackson said.
Jackson also has big hopes for his college destination and said academics will play a major role among other factors.
“Academics will be important obviously because I want to get a good education,” he said. “Skill development, how much are they going to develop me as a player because I want to be the best? It’s hard to be the best without developing. Winning because I hate losing, so being able to win and be surrounded by other good players, just being able to have a good atmosphere. Somewhere that feels like a home because I get homesick, me being able to be happy at a school will transfer over to the game.”
It’d probably be hard for Jackson to get homesick minutes from home, but je said location won’t be a major factor.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’d be nice to be able to have my family and people from my area come and watch me play. At the same time, I just want to go wherever I’ll fit in the best and develop the most as a player and win.”
The proximity to the school has allowed Jackson to drop by Notre Dame just to check out the campus, which he did last week. He already knows a decent amount about Notre Dame.
“It is a great school, great academics, great program,” he said. “I’ve grown up here, I’ve lived here my whole life. I know a lot about Notre Dame. I’ve always been a fan. I’ve always liked to go to the football and basketball games. I know a lot about the school and everything. I know they have great academics.”
Irish assistant Anthony Solomon is handling the local standout’s recruitment.
“He’s really nice,” Jackson said of Solomon. “Me and him have a really great relationship. I’ve been in contact with him since my freshman year.”
Jackson saw a boost in his recruiting recently.
“It all started to pick up a few weeks ago,” he said. “It’s really excited. Some people can let it get to their head, but you have to stay humble and hungry and keep developing as a player. You can never stop getting better.”
College recruiters have told Jackson they like his style.
“Most of them tell me about my penetration, how it’s non-stop attacking,” he said. “I’ve tried to develop this killer instinct over the summertime. I’m always a threat with the ball in my hands, not only creating for myself, but creating for my teammates.”
Jackson has already taken visits to Michigan, Purdue and Xavier. He expects to see Michigan and Xavier again soon along with Indiana and Michigan State. He doesn’t have a list of leaders yet.
“All of my schools right now are all equal,” he said. “I have no favorites.”
He isn’t sure when he’ll make a decision either.“I’m not going to force that, I just want it to come,” he said. “Right now, I just want to develop as a player.
“It’d be nice to be able to commit at a reasonable time so I can be able to know exactly what they want me to do in the game and I could get a head start. But I’m just taking it as it comes.”