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BYU offers Lone Peak’s Frank Jackson to kick off 2016 recruiting
- Updated: September 12, 2013
Why would BYU offer a 2016 sophomore? Meet guard Frank Jackson.
BYU basketball got off to an early start on its 2016 recruiting on Tuesday by extending a scholarship offer to incoming Lone Peak sophomore guard Frank Jackson.
Chances are that this is the first time many Cougar fans have heard Jackson’s name. He isn’t a widely known prospect, because he didn’t play for Lone Peak last season during the Knights’ historic run to a third consecutive Utah state title and national championship honors.
Why not? He was playing against them. Jackson spent his freshman season at neighboring Lehi High School, where he averaged 10 points per game and experienced a meteoric rise from benchwarmer to key contributor for the Pioneers.
Local hoops observers (and, undoubtedly, BYU’s coaching staff) first took notice of the young point guard in February when he dropped an astounding 30 points against — you guessed it — Lone Peak.
Despite lining up against a talented backcourt highlighted by Cougar commits Nick Emery and T.J. Haws, Jackson scorched the state’s dominant team, going 9-for-11 from the field and 11-for-16 from the free throw line. Jackson’s 30 points marked the highest individual offensive output allowed by Lone Peak all season — an impressive feat considering the Knights’ difficult national schedule that featured many of the country’s top players.
And let’s not forget: he did that as a freshman. Let that sink in for a minute.
It wasn’t a fluke. Jackson made that known by also turning in scoring games of 27 and 21 points against Pleasant Grove during his rookie campaign, effectively putting to bed any notion that the kid was a one-hit wonder.
Jackson transferred from Lehi to Lone Peak in May when his family moved residences, and he will be eligible to play for the Knights in the upcoming season. He’ll likely pair with Haws in the backcourt, gamely replacing the graduated Emery and giving the last remaining member of the vaunted “Lone Peak Three” the partner-in-crime he needs to succeed in his senior year.
You’d have to think Jackson’s move to coach Quincy Lewis’ squad bodes extremely well for BYU’s chances to ultimately secure his commitment. The program has been referred to by many (only half-jokingly) as the Cougars’ “minor league team,” and that description isn’t too far off-base — Jackson Emery, Tyler Haws, Nate Austin, Josh Sharp, Eric Mika, Nick Emery and T.J. Haws have all made the trip south down I-15 in recent years. There’s certainly a synergy there that can’t be discounted.
The demographics also seem to favor the Cougars. Jackson is an active member of the LDS Church and his father currently serves on the National Advisory Council for BYU’s Marriott School of Management. Interestingly enough, NBC’s Rock Center featured the family in a special report on Mormons in 2012. You can see Frank introduced at the 1:52 mark in the clip below.
This isn’t to say that the Cougars don’t lose out on active LDS recruits with BYU ties (they do) or don’t land less active ones with no prior relationship to the school (they do). But any observer of the state of Utah’s recruiting dynamics would agree that if a kid really buys into the Mormon faith and has plans to serve a mission, he’s often more likely to wind up in Provo than if he does not. At this point, it appears Jackson fits that mold.
The early signs are certainly promising. Dave Rose and his staff are in very early — it does not appear that Jackson currently holds any other D-1 offers. This may be a function of his relatively low profile or the simple fact that he is still just entering his sophomore season, but you have to think Rose sees something really special if he’s offering a kid this far in advance.
To be sure, Jackson’s got plenty of room to improve and mature. At 5-foot-10, he’s currently a bit small, even for a point guard — but he’s also only 15 years old, with several years of potential growth still ahead of him. As he does so, his game should continue to fill out as well, especially with coaching from Quincy Lewis and his staff at Lone Peak.
By the time 2016 rolls around, there’s no telling how good Frank Jackson could be. It appears he’s only just beginning to scratch the surface of his considerable potential — and the Cougars are banking on that.