Michigan State Lands Five-Star Power Forward Jackson

Blake Froling

Jaren Jackson, a five-star power forward from Indiana, verbally committed to Michigan State on Thursday, on his 17th birthday.


Jackson is Tom Izzoโ€™s first recruit in the class of 2017, and he sure opened up on the right foot. Jackson is ranked near the top of several scouting servicesโ€™ 2017 lists:

ESPN: Four stars, No. 26 overall, No. 5 power forward

Scout: Five stars, No. 29 overall, No. 5 power forward

247Sports: Five stars, No. 27 overall, No. 9 power forward

Purdue and Maryland were said to be the other strongest contenders for Jackson, with Notre Dame and Georgetown also in his final five schools.

Jackson is a stretch four with three-point shooting range, something the Spartans have been lacking since Adreian Payne graduated. At 6-foot-10, 220 pounds, he still has some filling out to do if he wants to contend with some of the bigger power forwards in the Big Ten. But his slender frame will also allow him to get around those slower defenders and truly make him a matchup nightmare.

ESPNโ€™s Reggie Rankin said Jackson reminds him of Miami Heatโ€™s Chris Bosh or Indiana Pacersโ€™ Myles Turner, two other slender power forwards with an outside shooting touch. Pretty good company for a 17-year-old to be in already.

Donโ€™t forget, Jackson still has a year of high school ball left to refine his skills and bulk up before heโ€™s thrown into the fire of Big Ten play. If Miles Bridges sticks around for his sophomore year, MSU could have the deadliest frontcourt in the Big Ten, and certainly one of the most athletic in the nation.