Hawkeyes Jump in Race for Jesperson

Paul Jesperson held a modest list of offers for someone so highly regarded by scouting services. That changed last weekend when performances in Milwaukee and Chicago led to four new high-major opportunities. The Hawkeyes liked what they saw and offered. HI.com discussed the Iowa offer and the others and found out where the talented prospect stands in his recruitment.

In Class of 2011 prospect Paul Jesperson the Iowa coaches see many possibilities.

"(Coach Fran McCaffery) told me that they don't want to be a team that's limited at all," Jesperson said. "They want five guys that can handle the ball, shoot it, rebound it, whatever. They like players with diverse games and they said they like that about me."

Jesperson received an Iowa offer over the weekend. Notre Dame, Boston College and Oregon State also jumped in during the last few days.

"I'd been in contact with most of the coaches since last summer," Jesperson said. "They all said they wanted to see me again this summer and they weren't going to mess around if they liked what they saw. Four of them offered right away (during the July evaluation period), so I must have done something right."

Scout.com rates Jesperson as the 17th best small forward in his class nationally. He's a four-star prospect on the service's five-star scale.

Before last weekend, Butler, Minnesota, Virginia, Northwestern and Arizona State offered Jesperson scholarships. He also held opportunities from a host of mid-majors.

"I'm trying not to think about it too much," the 6-foot-7, 180-pounder said of recruiting. "It's great to get all of these offers, but I'm going to wait until the end of July to look over them. I'll sit down with my parents, hopefully narrow down the list to five or six and then take officials."

The Todd Lickliter staff pursued Jesperson before being let go by Iowa in March. He attended the Hawkeye Elite Camp last summer.

"The new staff saw that the old staff had offered me, saw film and contacted me to say they were interested but wanted to see me play," Jesperson said.

Jesperson's said he likes the up-tempo style of the new coaching staff at Iowa.

"I think I fit in it," he said. "Playing some in the half court isn't bad, but it's a lot more fun to watch teams fast break. And it's definitely more fun to play getting up and down."

Jesperson said he's most comfortable playing off guard and small forward.

Michigan, Purdue, USC and Washington State are keeping close tabs on Jesperson.

"They all sound really interested," he said.

Jesperson said all the schools recruiting him are even.

"I'm not going to eliminate anyone right now," he said.


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