Having already established himself as a premier player in the class of 2016, Cleveland (Ohio.) Garfield Heights Small Forward Willie Jackson is seeing his hard work pay off in a big way. Now holding three Big Ten offers, the 6-6 freshman is finding out more success on the recruiting trail, equals more work behind the scenes.
“It’s been kind of hard,” Jackson told NY2LASPORTS.COM. “I have to pick up my workouts. I go from working out with my team to then working out with my coach.”
Jackson’s latest offer came from Head Coach Bo Ryan and the University of Wisconsin on Sunday. After attending the Badgers’ two-day elite camp, Jackson was admittedly shocked by his third scholarship opportunity.
"I was shocked," said Jackson. “It was a good camp. I was just shocked. I didn't know what to say. A lot went through my head. I didn't think I was going to get offered out of 120 players. There were some good players there. It was shocking."
Jackson also holds offers from Illinois and Iowa early on. Although he hasn’t been able to look into each school yet, both programs have been tracking him hard for quite some time already.
Illinois: “I haven’t visited yet. They just watched me in a tournament and offered me. I don’t know anything about them.”
Iowa: “I was shocked, but then I wasn’t, because they had been watching me play for so long. They’ve been watching me since eighth grade.”
Baylor, Xavier, Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, West Virginia, and Miami (FL) are all showing interest at this time.
Jackson will return to Wisconsin for their overnight camp next week, followed by a trip to Ohio State to camp with the Buckeyes.
Could Jackson’s fourth scholarship offer be awaiting him in Columbus?
“They called my coach and asked for me to come up next weekend for their team camp,” Jackson said. “I guess it will be based off what I do at the team camp.”
Jackson plays for All-Ohio Red during the grassroots season.
Note: Evan is a contributing editor for NY2LASPORTS.COM. He is also the football and basketball recruiting analyst for Badger247. Follow Evan on Twitter @Evan_Flood.