Cats land big center for 2007

Alex Jacobson has favored the Wildcat all along. We first spoke to him last spring and at that time he had a list of one, Arizona. Along the way he never backed off the Cats and hardly mentioned any other schools. It came as no surprise that he verballed to the Wildcats. The only surprise is how early the pledge came.

"I just wanted to get it over with," Jacobson said.

The seven-footer made his third visit to Tucson for McKale Madness and the trip proved to him what he has considered for some time. His longtime favorite is now his school of choice.

"Since my first visit out there I've had it in the back of my mind that Arizona is where I wanted to go," Jacobson explained. "I've been out to other schools and Arizona is the best I've seen. The facilities and the school itself are great."

Jacobson is a legitimate low-post big man. He has a solid build and some nice moves. He's still a work in progress, but he's got a load of talent and you know he'll be fundamentally sound coming from the Mater Dei program.

Considering new assistant coach Miles Simon and recruiting coordinator Reggie Geary are both Mater Dei grads, it would be easy to assume that they had a huge hand in attracting Jacobson to Tucson. That is not entirely true. Jacobson visited Tucson before either were hired and began listing the Cats prior to the two former Cats joining the staff.

"I didn't take that into consideration," the big man noted. "It didn't hurt, but it didn't factor into it."

Although their ties to his school did not really matter to Jacobson, the coaching staff as a whole was vital in his commitment. While most recruits who choose the Cats point to Olson as a Hall-of-Fame legend or mention the great relationship forged by Josh Pastner, Jacobson was more swayed by their personalities.

"They are really different than the other coaches I have met," Jacobson said. "They are very interesting people. They will goof-off off the court. On the court they are very serious. The players are the same. They are all business on the floor and they have fun off the floor."

No player chooses a school solely on their midnight madness festivities, but that does not mean they do not get a kick out of them. Jacobson had a blast at the newly named "McKale Madness".

" I've seen others on T.V. and I liked it better than all of the ones I've seen," he said. "I liked how they introduced the players and how they ran the whole thing."

Jacobson participated in the Arizona elite camp over the summer and got to play some pick-up against current and former Wildcat players, but he spent much of those games facing fellow recruits. On the trip he played extensively with the team and got to match-up exclusively with the current Wildcat big men.

The way he was treated during the games played a big part in his decision.

"I was kind of nervous but they made me feel at ease," said Jacobson. "They'd help me out and tell me where to be. They helped me get acclimated and lose my nervousness. "It was fun. They didn't yell at me. They really encouraged me."

Although he is a four-star prospect and rated as the ninth best center in the nation, he knows he still has some work to do over the next two seasons.

"I have to work on my footwork and strength," Jacobson said. "I want to work on my back to the basket skills."

Jacobson is the first Wildcat commitment for the 2007 season.

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