Arkansas coach Tom Collen added to the second piece to a three-piece puzzle on Monday when Jacksonville small forward Jessica Jackson committed to the Razorbacks.
Tom Collen added a big-time talent to the Arkansas program on Monday.
Jackson, 6-2, is rated the No. 7 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2013 by Dan Olson's Collegiate Girl's Basketball Report. Jackson played AAU hoops with the Arkansas Mavericks and Coach Ed Durham. Earlier in the recruiting process, teammate McKenzie Adams, 5-10, committed to the Razorbacks. Adams is the daughter of former Arkansas quarterback Gary “Peanut” Adams. Adams originally played at Bryant, but then moved to Frisco (Texas) Centennial before her junior year.
Jackson chose Arkansas over Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas and Kentucky. Durham feels Arkansas is getting one of the best to ever come out of the state.
“She is an instant impact player,” Durham said. “She has all the tools to play anywhere on the floor.”
Durham feels Jackson's decision on Monday can make a lasting impact on Collen's program.
“This is really big for Arkansas,” Durham said. “This can make an impact for the next 10 years. Arkansas has lost some girls in the past and to get Jessica is something that will make others want to come to Arkansas and she was willing to put that on her back.”
Durham said that if Collen can add Texarkana (Texas) Liberty-Eylau standout Imani Wright, 5-10, to the class Arkansas will have a chance to be a force in women's basketball.
“That type class and we can see the return of Arkansas Basketball,” Durham said. “Imani is also considering Baylor, Texas and Louisville in addition to the Razorbacks.”
As far as Jackson's biggest impact as a freshman, Durham said she has all the tools but specializes in one area.
“She's the best out of the pick-and-pop,” Durham said. “She forces the defense to double team her. She can create too off the dribble. She will cause the defenses a lot of problems and she is dream to play with on defense. She creates off defense as well.”
Durham feels that Adams adds a lot to Arkansas as well.
“These kids hate to lose,” Durham said. “They have lost like four games in AAU since the seventh grade. McKenzie will do well at Arkansas.”
Durham said Adams and Jackson gives Collen two-thirds of the dream class.
“If Coach Collen can pull that off he will have put together a class that can compete nationally,” Durham said in reference to adding Wright. These kids are all battle tested and once they get their feet wet in the SEC you will definitely see the return of Arkansas Basketball.”
The Premier Basketball Report rates Wright the No. 3 recruit in Texas. Arkansas also targeted Bossier (La.) Parkway power forward Halle Washington, 6-3, but she opted for Georgia.