Duke has its point guard for the class of 2016.
Five-star point guard Frank Jackson gave a verbal commitment to the Blue Devils Tuesday, staging a low-key, non-televised announcement at his high school (Lone Peak High) in Highland, Utah. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Jackson is rated the 14th-best prospect in the country by ESPN and is a top-20 recruit according to all the major outlets.
Jackson saw his stock rise considerably during the summer of 2014, going into his junior year. As a freshman, he had been offered a scholarship by Brigham Young University—and he accepted on the spot, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Jackson rethought that decision and decommited in November 2014. Ultimately, he chose the Blue Devils over Stanford, BYU and Utah.
Originally, the Blue Devils sought Fayetteville’s Dennis Smith Jr. as their 2016 point guard, but their focus changed this summer. Duke offered Jackson in late June of this year, making him a priority on the summer circuit. He took his official visit to campus the last weekend in August. Assistant coach Jon Scheyer was his main recruiter.
“It’s Duke Basketball," Jackson told Evan Daniels of Scout.com while explaining his decision. "The history behind the school is amazing. They’ve had so much success. They’ve been a powerhouse for so many years now."
Jackson has the skills to play either guard position, but he will fill the point guard need for the 2016 class. He is an athletic scorer with a strong jump shot that can break teams down off the dribble. And while he is considered a score-first point guard, he is a capable distributor, too. He will likely be used on and off the ball his freshman year, as current freshman point guard Derryck Thornton is not expected to be a one-and-done player (at least that’s the case right now).
Jackson is a practicing Mormon, but he is not expected to go on a mission trip, and he will definitely enroll next fall. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Jackson has spoken with another famous Mormon who played at Duke—Jabari Parker—about forgoing the trip.
Duke already has five-star wing Jayson Tatum in the fold for 2016—Jackson’s commitment increases the likelihood that Duke will once again have a monster recruiting class. ESPN has ranked Duke’s last two classes as the best in the country, and the Blue Devils are well on their way to making it three in a row. Five-star forward Harry Giles, ranked No. 1 overall in the class, is considered a Duke lean, too.