Iowa Remains in Picture for Lewis Jackson

Lewis Jackson was considering committing to Iowa back in October, and then offers came from Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and a host of other schools. Many recruiting handicappers felt Iowa would drop out of the picture when the Hoosiers and Illini came calling, but Jackson's mind remains open. Here what the rising prospect said about the Hawkeyes in this HN.com Premium Recruiting Update.

Popular opinion felt that Lewis Jackson would leave Iowa in the dust if he came up with an offer from Illinois or Indiana.

The 2008 point guard from Decatur, Ill. would like to dispel that idea.

"That's not the case at all," Jackson said of dropping Iowa down among schools under consideration.

"I just want to take some time to make sure it's the right situation for me. (Iowa is) still high on my list. I mean, I love the coaching staff. The players are great. It's a great town and school. They're still high with me."

When we last spoke with Jackson, he had visited Iowa this fall and was thinking about pulling the trigger on a commitment to the Hawkeyes. Then, the other schools came calling.

Iowa first offered Jackson the scholarship, and then Indiana followed shortly after that. When the Hoosiers grabbed highly touted '07 PG Eric Gordon away from his Illinois verbal, Illini extended a scholarship invitation to Jackson. DePaul and Tennessee also forwarded rides to the Decatur product and a host of other programs joined in.

"Playing with the Team Indiana (AAU), coaches see that I'm a competitor," Jackson said of why his offers came in bunches. "I know how to get the job done to get a win."

Jackson's Decatur Eisenhower High team is 15-6, having dropped three of those games at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Meyers, Fla. in December.

"I'm really not thinking about recruiting right now," said Jackson, who is averaging about 14 points, seven assists and three steals a game. "I'm trying to go through the season and not make that a distraction for my teammates."

The Hawkeyes have stayed in contact with Jackson, even if he's laying low on recruiting during his season.

"Me and (Iowa) Coach (Steve) Alford talked a couple of weeks ago," he said. "Me and Dairese (Gary) are close friends, so we talk a lot."

Gary and Jackson play together on the Indiana Elite team. Gary signed with Iowa in November and is a member of its '07 recruiting class.

Tennessee might be a long shot for Jackson's services, as he reiterated on Thursday night that he wants to stay close to home so his mother can see him play.

"But two hours or three and a half hours is not far," he said. "Also, education is going to be a big factor with my mom. If I somehow don't get to make it to the next level, I want to have a good job to fall back on."

Jackson hasn't even begun to formulate a Top 5 or name favorites at this point in the process. He plans on doing that after the season and then selecting a college before his senior year of high school begins, most likely this summer.

"I kind of want to (take official visits), but if I make the decision early and I feel it's the right situation, I won't have to," Jackson said.


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