After the Michigan basketball team's loss Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, it's safe to say that headman Tommy Amaker was not in a good mood. Going back to his office and focusing on getting his team back on the winning path was probably what he wanted to do most. That's why his trip to Greenfield, Ohio to see Dante Jackson later that same evening was so impressive to the folks at McClain High School.
"I know the weather was bad in Michigan and they were calling for bad weather here," McClain athletic director Pat Stevens said. "I think it speaks volumes for Tommy that he would, after a tough day at Purdue, fly back to Michigan, and then fly all of the way down here to Dante' play. We were very very impressed with that. It speaks volumes for what he thinks about Dante'…the fact that he would take a tough evening like that and still make it down here."
As taken aback as Stevens was with the fact that Amaker made it down, he was even more so by the way he interacted with the crowd. "I've got to say this…I was really impressed with 'TA' because he came in here, and man, he was a celebrity," Stevens said. "He had people coming up talking to him all game. 80-year old women, kids…he had time for everybody. He signed autographs for people, he took pictures with people…he was super. He really was. It was really impressive, especially give the day he had had. He was just super with all of our people. I know they bugged him to death, and I actually feel kind of bad about that (laughing). He represents Michigan very well."
Amaker is the latest in a long line of coaches to make it down to Greenfield to watch Jackson play this year. The interest in the 6-5 wing continues to grow, but his primary list of suitors has remained the same.
"He doesn't have any new offers," Stevens said. "Kentucky continues to be interested. We got a call from Wake Forest, so there's been some new stuff out there. Penn State was at our Miami Trace game last Tuesday night. There have been a few new faces around, but it's mostly the same schools. "
Of the primary schools on Jackson's list, , Michigan is the only one yet to receive a visit this year. That, however, will change very soon. He informed GoBlueWolverine in a recent interview that he would most likely be in attendance for the March 4th game versus Indiana. According to Stevens, that date is still a go.
"That is the plan as of right now," Stevens said. "We have had a couple of impromptu meetings about it and talked it over and it looks like that is going to be the best fit for us to get him up there."
For the time being, Jackson is focusing on his season and fitting recruiting in when he can. Making a decision on which school he'll attend is not a priority at this point in time. "I don't know that he has pinned it down," Stevens said. "I know he has made the comment to me that it will be at least spring…maybe longer. I don't think he wants to back himself into a corner right now and say, 'this is going to be the day.' I don’t' think he'll be in a big hurry when he makes his decision and I don't think he'll make a mistake. I think he'll make a decision and stick with it because he is a very loyal person also. But I think it will definitely be settled before we come back to school in the fall."
When Jackson does pledge to a school, Stevens has a pretty good idea of the attributes that program will have. "I think there are going to be a lot of things," he said. "I think he'll choose somewhere he feels at home…where he is part of a family. For a 17-year old kid, he sees things like an adult in a lot of ways. I think he will want to choose somewhere where his teammates are quality people. I also think he is going to look hard at if he has a chance to play. I think he will choose somewhere if he goes and blows out a knee on day one, he is still going to get a good education. That's the bottom line. "