Prospect of the Year: Zeb Jackson

Grassroots
Ohio

Posted On: 08/3/18 7:00 PM

Zeb Jackson is the runaway choice for Prospect of the Year for Ohio’s 2018 grassroots season.

C2K Elite’s 6’3” combo guard has received over ten high-major offers since the end of the high school season, most of which came during the grassroots season itself. In order, Providence, Ohio State, Illinois, Xavier, Butler, Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Iowa, Arizona State, Marquette, and Wisconsin have extended offers to Jackson from April until now.

The 2020 guard from Maumee Valley in Toledo is an efficient wing scorer equally capable of hitting a pull-up jumper off a crossover as he is an athletic lefty finish through traffic. He has an uncanny ability to get separation, which has drawn the interest of UCLA in recent days, who would like him to come on campus for a visit.

For colleges, his scoring opens their eyes from the jump. But it’s Jackson’s personality and ability as a teammate that closes the deal on scholarship offers.  

“You won’t find a better kid,” said Dave Clarke, Jackson’s C2K coach for the second year in a row. “He’s very competitive. A lot of the kid’s in his situation are in it for them. And he’s in it for the team. … He was very upset when we lost out in Vegas. You can see it on him.”

“Having someone that is one of your best talents but also one of your best kids, that plays a big role.”

As Clarke mentioned, C2K’s season ended in Las Vegas at the UA Finals. They were eliminated in the Elite 8 of the Under Armour circuit championship bracket after going 2-0 in pool play.

Throughout the previous eight UAA circuit games leading up to the Finals, Jackson averaged 13.5 points (43-39-81 shooting splits) and 3.8 rebounds with a circuit-leading 3.1-1.0 assist/turnover ratio.

“He’s definitely a scorer. That’s his mentality, that’s how he plays. But he’s definitely in it to make other guys on the team better,” Clarke said.

But those numbers only reflect one end of the floor. Jackson also became a better defender this season, showing high-IQ in the help-side, elusiveness in defending a ball-handler in the pick-and-roll, and lateral quickness against the ball.  

“This year he took a big jump defensively,” Clarke said. “Last year playing up on our 16s, there was time he struggled on the defensive end one-on-one. If you’re going to play at a high-major level, and you know he’s that type of kid, he’s going to have to guard a kid and keep people in front of you. I think this year, especially July, he did a phenomenal job of doing that.”

With offers from Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, and SEC powers already, the recruiting scene for Jackson will be a frenzy next season, especially as he continues to grow physically.

 

Others considered:

Alonzo Gaffney (2019), 6’9” W/F, All Ohio Red / Brewster Academy (formerly Garfield Heights)

Andre Gordon (2019), 6’2” G, C2K Elite / Huntington Prep (formerly Sidney)