Ohio State has started dipping its toes further into the waters of the 2020 recruiting class. Last week, that led to the latest scholarship offer to a player preparing to start his junior year of high school: Zeb Jackson, a point guard from Maumee (Ohio) Country Day School.
Rob Conover, his coach, told The Dispatch today that Jackson projects as a true point guard at the collegiate level although he plays off the ball during AAU season.
“The ball is in his hands a lot,” Conover said. “He can distribute. He averaged five assists per game this year on top of 19.5 points per game. He started to rebound more. He’s a big point guard. He’s starting to fill out. Muscle and all that is coming along and he’s only a sophomore. I think he’s going to grow a little bit more yet. He’s got great explosion. His skill level is off the charts. I think that’s what a lot of the college coaches are seeing is just his skill, his knowledge of the game.”
247Sports.com lists Jackson as 6-2, 160 pounds, but Conover said he’s at least an inch taller than that despite measuring in at 5-9 as a freshman. That year, he scored a school-record 49 points in a win against Parkway during a holiday tournament.
Conover credited Jackson’s personal drive for his success.
“His work ethic is by far the best I’ve seen,” he said. “He just lives in the gym.”
It’s led to a number of high-level offers. According to 247Sports, Butler offered him a scholarship after an unofficial visit this past weekend. The Buckeyes, with assistant coach Ryan Pedon working as lead recruiter, did so in early May.
“I know that he and his father walked away really impressed with the entire coaching staff and coach (Chris) Holtmann,” Conover said. “I think the comments that were made were that they’ve got a clear vision for where that program is going and how Zeb would fit into that mix. Obviously Ohio State’s facilities and things like that are some of the best in the nation, but the majority of their takeaway was how impressed they were with the coaching staff at Ohio State. They really liked campus. They got to go check out the student union and things like that. Ryan Pedon’s been doing the majority of the recruiting on Zeb’s side, so I think they’ve got a pretty strong relationship building, which is obviously important to both sides.”
Blessed to receive an offer from Coach Holtmann and The Ohio State University! #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/chyoNtDgIZ
— Zeb Jackson (@iamzebjackson) May 12, 2018
Ohio State has offered another point guard in the class of 2020, and he has ties to the program. Dom Penn, son of Ohio State hall of famer and current director of player development Scoonie Penn, received a scholarship offer last fall and is rated as the No. 85 overall prospect in the class by 247Sports. Jackson is unranked, while Rivals.com lists him as a three-star prospect.
Other schools known to have offered Jackson include Xavier, Cincinnati, Dayton and Illinois. Virginia is showing increased interest, Conover said, and is likely to offer.
As the attention has grown during the last few months, Conover said Jackson is in no rush to make a decision and that the school encourages all its students to take as many college visits as possible to assist with making their college choices.
“He’s on a path (to a decision) for sure and we’ve got a plan in place,” he said. “Part of that plan is getting out and getting an early start to seeing campuses and meeting coaches. Obviously they’ve got to do that on their own dime, but his dad said, ‘We’re going to do whatever we need to do to make sure he finds the right fit.’ That’s the process right now is just going out and checking out as many campuses as he can. That way when next year comes around he can maybe narrow it down to a smaller group and then his senior year make a decision. There’s really no timetable to that. There’s no date set in place or anything like that. We’re just in that mode right now where he wants to get out with his mom and dad and check out some of these places.”