If you want a good analogy as far as what to call verbal commitments Daequan Cook and David Lighty, think of them as the main entrée. And now for the dessert, the Ohio State coaching staff is hoping to soon land Indianapolis stars Mike Conley and Greg Oden within the next few weeks following their visit this upcoming weekend.
So it stands to reason, with all four, getting a top 2007 prospect to commit early would be icing on the cake.
It just so happens there's a player in Ohio State's very own backyard with a sweet tooth to be his own piece of the Buckeye pie. And he sure isn't adamant about looking around on the menu, either.
Dante' Jackson, a 6-5 guard from Greenfield (Oh.) McClain, has been to several Ohio State basketball games over the last couple of years, and he can't seem to hide his excitement about a potential recruiting class that would sign, at very least, four players in the top 25 nationally, and what it would mean to the program.
So when someone gets excited about the possibility of Conley and Oden committing, they aren't alone. So does Jackson.
"It would be just really awesome to get those guys," Jackson said this past weekend in Ft. Wayne, Ind. about the idea of landing Conley and Oden. "You would just have to think Ohio State could win a national championship with those guys all together."
And you would think that adding Jackson, who averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists as a sophomore for McClain, could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy for he and the Buckeyes to possibly win a national title.
During the season, Jackson played mostly point guard for McClain. But during the spring and summer for his AAU team, the Cincinnati Cowboys, he's been asked to play more out on the wing.
"It's a lot different," Jackson said of the difference. "In high school, I've got to take care of the ball, bring it up, rebound, and all that stuff. Really, out here, I've just got a job to do by defending and take shots when they are open and create every now and then, but I don't have to force the issue that often. Mainly just defend and take open shots."
For college, Jackson projects as a two-guard, although he says he can also see himself playing on the wing sometimes.
Whatever position he plays, Jackson is listing Ohio State, Kentucky, Michigan, N.C. State, Xavier, and Dayton as the schools that he's considering. Jackson has put Ohio State and Kentucky as his leaders with only Xavier offering thus far of that group.
Right now, however, it's an Ohio State offer that he is most waiting for.
"We were actually talking about it earlier, and I made the comment that I would probably commit on the spot if they (Ohio State) got a commitment from a couple of certain people," Jackson said. "But I'll probably be at Ohio State in two years, but I'm just not sure right now."
Jackson was asked if Ohio State realized his feelings about them.
"I've made it pretty clear, but I don't think they are fully aware I would be ready to make the jump," Jackson added.
Although for all intents and purposes Jackson makes it sound like he could commit immediately, he did acknowledge it could be a good idea to take his time even if the offer from Ohio State and verbal commitments he was speaking about came to fruition.
Either way, Jackson understands Ohio State is concentrating first on 2006 and worrying about his class later.
"I totally understand that," Jackson explained. "I'm only a sophomore. When you've got Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, and guys like that, when you've got these juniors and seniors ahead, you've got to try to get them now and worry about me later. So, I totally understand that."
If Thad Matta is trying to build a fence in Ohio to the best of his ability with the verbal commitments of Cook and Lighty, he's off to a great start. In fact, Jackson would be eager to help in building such a fence.
"That would be great. That would be awesome," Jackson said of the idea. "I know not everybody is going to go to Ohio State, but with Coach Matta there, he's done an excellent job in his first year."
"It would be great to keep the players in state," he concluded.