Tom Izzo already has verbal commitments from four players who will make his 2016 class the highest-regarded of his tenure if they sign as expected on Nov. 11.
And then the wait is on, for the player who could turn this class into one that’s measured against the best anywhere. Josh Jackson, the No. 1 recruit in the nation per rivals.com and 247sports.com, told Rivals over the weekend that Michigan State “definitely” helped its case by landing a verbal Saturday from consensus top-15 recruit Miles Bridges of Flint.
Before that, it was point guard Cassius Winston of U-D Jesuit. Those two join wing Joshua Langford (Madison, Ala.) and big man Nick Ward (Columbus, Ohio) in a class ranked No. 1 in the nation right now. And Jackson, who grew up in Detroit and now attends Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., said he could see himself joining to make it a quintet.
“Getting Miles and Cassius, you know, two guys I’ve been playing with since I was maybe 9 years old — it being a hometown (team), it’s definitely one of my favorites,” Jackson said of MSU. “Leaning toward Michigan State and Arizona and a couple of other schools. But I think Michigan State’s a real nice place. I love coach Izzo, I think he’s one of the best college basketball coaches there is right now. And the thing I really like about Michigan State is that out of all the times I’ve seen them play, I’ve seen them lose and win, (but) I’ve never seen them be out-toughed by another team. And I think that really fits into my style of play.”
The 6-foot-6 Jackson also had nice things to say about Arizona and Sean Miller, who coached him on a USA Basketball team, saying “I could definitely see myself playing there.”
He said he was “shocked” at how nice Maryland’s campus was on an unofficial visit and that he wants to find out more about UCLA, and that he loves Kansas coach Bill Self and his style of play.
Jackson has yet to set up any official visits and there’s no timetable for a decision. MSU will only have a scholarship available if someone transfers or leaves early for the pros after this season.
There’s a long way to go, but also more reason than ever to think MSU has a shot. Jackson said he wants to go to a place “where I feel that I’m around people I can trust, and someone’s gonna push me and make me better.”