Mike Brey is parlaying Notre Dame’s pending move to the ACC into instant recruiting riches.
The Fighting Irish head coach received a verbal commitment on Thursday from in-state point guard Demetrius Jackson, marking the program’s biggest recruiting coup since 2002 (Torin Francis). Jackson, a native of Mishawaka, IN, committed to Brey and the Irish one week after taking an official visit to the South Bend campus.
He chose Notre Dame over co-finalist Illinois thanks in large part to the Indiana-based school’s closer proximity to his hometown. Florida State, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State and Kansas had also extended offers to the Mishawaka guard.
One of the five best floor generals in the 2013 class, Jackson is an exceptional athlete with one of the best change-of-speeds games of anyone, position notwithstanding, in the class. The 6-foot-1 point guard is unstoppable in transition, where he has shown the ability to stop on a dime and finish in traffic. A true scorer, Jackson also sports a lights out pull-up jumper and can be deadly from the perimeter, though he sometimes settles too much from behind the arc rather than attacking the rim.
Jackson is a physically mature playmaker with a college-ready body already. Though listed at only 170 pounds, he owns the muscle to body up smaller guards and finish among the trees down low. Jackson played his high school ball (Marian HS) surrounded by watered down talent—relative to what other highly prized recruits are playing with—so his inclination on the court has been to score, not distribute. At Notre Dame, he will have to improve his passing skills and refine his game to become more of a facilitating point guard than a combo guard.
Jackson is Brey’s third noteworthy pledge in the class of 2013, joining fellow in-state forward V.J. Beachem and Philly swingman Steve Vasturia. The South Bend-bound trio vaults Notre Dame into the Top 10 of the Class of 2013 team recruiting rankings.
It’s unclear yet when Notre Dame will join the ACC. Should that move happen in time for the 2013-14 season, it is clear, however, the Fighting Irish will be bringing ACC-caliber talent with it.