Irish offer four-star forward on visit

Four-star junior forward Jaren Jackson added Notre Dame to his offer list on Saturday. The in-state product talks about his visit, relationship with Mike Brey and why Notre Dame is a contender.

Notre Dame offered junior four-star power forward Jaren Jackson last weekend during his visit to campus.

“I had been talking to coach (Mike) Brey and coach (Anthony) Solomon for a while, so the offer was just icing on the cake,” Jackson said. “I think they are great coaches and it was great to see them interact with their team. I hung out with the team as well at the game, so that was cool.”

Butler, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue and Vanderbilt have also offered Jackson. Brey first reached out to the Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor product last year, and contact increased over the summer when Jackson played with Indiana Elite.

“I like the connection that coach Brey has with his players,” Jackson said. “They respect him, he respects them. He gets them really good. They had a good player in Jerian Grant go the NBA and they have a good player this year in Demetrius Jackson, so I think they are going to make a good run in the tournament.”

The 6-foot-9, 210-pound athlete sees a potential fit in the system Brey implements at Notre Dame.

“His offense is mostly small ball, and you’ve got to be able to shoot,” Jackson said. “I think me, progressing and developing my guard skills, as well as being a presence inside helps with me fitting into the offense well. I can play the five, run the floor, and I can also space out and hit the three.

“I’m like clay. I can mold to whatever they need. I can work on all parts of my game. Four is my preference, and I think Notre Dame is recruiting me as a stretch four. I don’t think they know their class structure yet, so I haven’t talked to (Brey) specifically about my role.”

Jackson saw Notre Dame football up-close against Georgia Tech on Saturday, and it was an environment that caught his attention.

“It’s a great atmosphere, and going to the football game really helped me see that,” Jackson said. “They have great fans and they all support all the sports. Coach Brey wants the players to interact with the community. He doesn’t rope them off by having them stay in separate dorms. All the fans are with the players, and the players know the fans, and that’s great.”

On Tuesday, Georgetown, the program that his father by the same name played for from 1985-1989, and Illinois made stops at Park Tudor to see Jackson during an open gym session. Butler, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame have also made appearances since the start of the fall recruiting period, and UCLA is a program that has recently started to express interest.

“What’s important for me now are academics but also to see where I fit in the system,” Jackson said. “If I was going to play on the roster that year or if I was going to sit out. I want to be in the rotation, I don’t want to be sitting out behind four or five dudes.”

Jackson will visit Michigan this weekend. He expects to make a return visit to Notre Dame.

“I don’t know when, but I definitely want to go back because I loved my visit,” Jackson said.

 


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