Four-star forward keeps ‘high’ ND interest

WESTFIELD, Ind. - Jaren Jackson isn’t ready to let the public know what programs are still in the race. But even if it’s confidential, Notre Dame is still working to stay on the four-star forward’s list coming out of spring.

WESTFIELD, Ind. - Jaren Jackson isn’t quite ready to make official moves with his recruitment.

But as the scholarship offers continue to arrive — Alabama is the most recent — Jackson has come to terms with the notion that some programs just aren’t the right fit. The four-star forward from Indianapolis is also starting to come up with a timetable.

“Obviously, in my head there’s some schools I eliminate,” Jackson said. “But as far as like a public list, I’ll have to wait on that. I don’t have a timeline for that. But I’ll probably be doing the early signing period.”

Notre Dame, Butler, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Xavier are among the other scholarship offers for the 6-foot-9, 210-pound athlete from Park Tudor.

Several of those programs watched Jackson run with Spiece Indy Heat during the second EYBL session over the weekend. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey did so Friday night. Assistant Martin Ingelsby then watched Spiece during their first Saturday game.

Jackson has a relationship with the Irish staff, including some time spent on campus.

“I’ve been up there before,” Jackson said. “They’ve offered me. I haven’t talked to them as much lately, to be honest. But I already know where their interest is with me. It’s high. Same with them. I think they’re a great school, great program. Great academic school too.”

During the season, Jackson kept tabs on Notre Dame as it navigated through the ACC then made it to the Elite Eight before bowing out of the NCAA tournament.

“They had a good run,” Jackson said. “Demetrius (Jackson) and Zach (Auguste) I think struggled a little bit at the end. Big guys in college are for real. But I’m happy with the run they made. I think they were all fantastic in the way they handled it. I think they were a little underrated, to be honest. I think (V.J.) Beachem and there were some key guys that didn’t get as much credit.”

Notre Dame finds itself in the mix with several other programs trying to make whatever cut Jackson decides upon in the future.

Maryland, Michigan State and Stanford had in-home visits with Jackson last week.

Stanford is new in showing Jackson interest with head coach Jerod Haase recently taking over. Assistant Adam Cohen joined Haase’s staff from Vanderbilt, which lost head coach Kevin Stallings to Pittsburgh, and had recruited Jackson at his previous stop.

“I haven’t talked to them that much because the move was kind of sudden,” Jackson said. “Coach Cohen’s definitely excited. You can’t pass it up really. That’s what he said. Those are his words. I’m also happy for coach Stallings at Pitt. That’s a great job, I reached out to him a little bit.”

Jackson also counts in-state programs Indiana and Purdue as expressing consistent interest.

Purdue was the first program to offer Jackson and the Hoosiers weren’t far behind, so those relationships are longstanding. Jackson will be taking a long look at his dealings with coaches over the course of his recruitment when it comes to crunch time.

“Definitely a program where I have a good relationship with the coach and they want me as much as I wanna be there,” Jackson said. “I don’t wanna go anywhere where I feel like I’m just another guy there, they don’t really care about me, they don’t know my game, don’t know how to spell my name, stuff like that.”


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