At 6-foot-9 and 210 pounds, Jackson is ranked as the No. 1 power forward and No. 2 overall prospect for the Class of 2023 behind Camden, New Jersey, guard D.J. Wagner in the 247Sports Composite. Jackson is the highest-ranked recruit in program history.
“I will like to announce that I will be reclassifying to the class of 2022, committing to the University of South Carolina to further my career and education,” Jackson posted on Twitter.
He becomes the most important addition among the eight players first-year coach Lamont Paris has added to the roster since being hired March 22 to replace Frank Martin.
Jackson was named South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 22.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots last season in helping lead Ridge View to the Class 5A state championship.
“My family has stuck by my side since I was born and have been the biggest supporters in my life by guiding me in the right direction,” Jackson posted to social media on July 14 when he reopened his recruitment. “I have decided to decommit from UNC to explore other options that can help me grow from a teenage boy to an adult and to put me in the best position to reach my dream goal which is the NBA.”
According to ESPN, Jackson became the first North Carolina decommitment since J.R. Smith decided to go to the NBA in 2003.
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“There’s only a few (players) I feel like have that opportunity to stay home and kind of be that guy that uplifts their hometown, or whatever,” Jackson told The Greenville News after a Feb. 28 win. “It’s definitely an honor.”
The other players Paris has brought aboard are former Byrnes and The Citadel forward Hayden Brown, Ohio State transfer guard Meechie Johnson, Illinois transfer forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, Murray State transfer guard Chico Carter Jr. and Coastal Carolina transfer guard Ebrima Dibba.
South Carolina signed a pair of freshmen — forward Zachary Davis from Denmark, South Carolina, and forward Daniel Hankins-Sanford from Charlotte, North Carolina.