Five-star forward Jaren Jackson commits to MSU, Izzo

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Jaren Jackson Jr., right, averaged 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.4 blocks last season at Park Tudor High in Indianapolis.

After putting together arguably his best recruiting class in 2016, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has gotten a pretty good jump on 2017.

Five-star forward Jaren Jackson of La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., announced on Thursday that he had committed to play at Michigan State.

“My decision is to continue my academic and athletic career at Michigan State University. #GOGREEN,” Jackson posted on Instagram and Twitter.

Jackson (6-foot-10, 220 pounds) made the announcement on his 17th birthday and picked Michigan State over Georgetown, Maryland, Notre Dame and Purdue.

“I have done all my homework on each school,” Jackson told, “and discussed everything with my family, and the timing just happened to land on my birthday. When you have a Hall of Fame coach like Tom Izzo, it makes a statement about the program."

"Coach Izzo has established a culture and an attitude of winning and I want to be part of that. He does a great job at developing his talent too.”

Jackson is ranked No. 15 overall in the nation by while ESPN has him at No. 26 and ranks him No. 27

He transferred to La Lumiere this summer from Park Tudor in Indianapolis, and joins former Saginaw Arthur Hill standout Brian Bowen, also a top Michigan State target. Jackson averaged 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.4 blocks last season as Park Tudor reached the 3A semifinals.

Jackson is the just the first of what could be shaping up to be another outstanding class for Izzo, who went from being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last weekend to meeting with Jackson when the commitment was made.

Izzo and his staff are pushing for Bowen, and many believe the cousin of former Spartans star Jason Richardson is a virtual lock to head to Michigan State. The 6-7 small forward is No. 17 in the nation according to

Michigan State also is high on the list of several other top prospects, including five-star power Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) forward Brandon McCoy. Izzo visited McCoy this week along with assistants Mike Garland and Dane Fife.

The Spartans are also in on Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) shooting guard Gary Trent Jr., Philadelphia point guard Quade Green, and North Central (Indianapolis) small forward Kris Wilkes. All are five-star players.

Evanston, Ill., four-star forward Nojel Eastern and Grand Rapids Christian four-star forward Xavier Tillman are also in the mix. Tillman is scheduled to visit East Lansing this weekend.

This comes on the heels of Michigan State’s 2016 class that was rated No. 3 in the nation. It is led by forward Miles Bridges and guard Joshua Langford, both five-star players. Bridges, however, falls firmly in the one-and-done category.

Added to that class was U-D Jesuit four-star point guard Cassius Winston and Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln four-star power forward Nick Ward.

“It’s a completely different team which is kind of exciting,” Izzo said about coaching the 2016 class on the heels of last season’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament. “Scary and exciting.”

Twitter: @mattcharboneau