In the weeks since Iowa Western C.C. point guard Donovan Jackson gave his pledge to Iowa State as the first 2016 commit, he has continued to build a relationship with the coaches and players in Ames.
The 6-foot-2 guard, who committed Aug. 30, received a visit at Iowa Western last Thursday from both Iowa State coach Steve Prohm and assistant T.J. Otzelberger.
“They were just checking on me, seeing how I was doing,” Jackson said. “Coach Prohm didn’t get to watch me play, but T.J. did. Coach Prohm was there probably like 45 minutes after open gym. Really they were just checking in on me, see how I’m living, see my workouts. Then just regular conversations like I would have with regular people.”
One day later, Jackson was on his way to Ames.
For the first time since his Aug. 7-9 unofficial visit to Iowa State, Jackson returned for another unofficial trip and the football game against in-state rival Iowa.
“The weekend was pretty fun, I kind of got a feeling of what it’s going to be like,” Jackson said. “So it was just a great experience.”
Jackson, who averaged 13.6 points per game as a freshman at Iowa Western on 46 percent from the field (he hit 66 of his 164 three-point attempts), has in some ways become a recruiter for the Cyclones since his commitment.
Iowa State has since landed forward Solomon Young, but the Cyclones still have four open scholarships to fill in the 2016 class and a number of prospects who could fill them.
“I’m just trying to get the best people,” Jackson said. “Whoever they say they’re recruiting or bringing in, I’m just going to do my job to help. Just help provide the comfort for the kids so they have a feeling for who their point guard is and whatnot.”
Jackson, who is expected to take over point guard duties if Monte Morris departs early for the NBA following his junior season, is also getting to know his future teammates.
“I talked to everybody about equally [this weekend],” Jackson said. “I talked to Matt Thomas, I talked to Deonte Burton, I talked to all of those guys. They were just telling me if Monte leaves I’m going to have to pretty much step up and be a great leader because those are some [big] shoes to fill.
“It makes it that much easier for me just to have a group of guys that I’m already comfortable with. Whenever I can come up here I’ll be up here hanging out with the players and the coaches just trying to have a good time.”