No. 9 prospect Rickea Jackson commits to Mississippi State
The reigning Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year has led Detroit Edison to two consecutive Class C state titles and averaged 21.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.6 blocks last season as a junior.
"Coach Vic Schaefer is genuine. He will push me," Jackson said. "Finally I have a home and I'm happy."
Jackson, who chose Mississippi State over Rutgers and South Carolina, joins No. 88 Jayla Hemingway, No. 98 JaMya Young, Esmery Martinez and Aliyah Matharu in Schaefer's stellar 2019 class. Mississippi State was ranked 19th in the most recent recruiting class rankings. Jackson's signature will send the Bulldogs skyrocketing.
The process was anything but easy for Jackson. She took an official visit to Starkville at the end of September and was immediately drawn to the program.
"I was in the film room watching the hype video for the women's basketball team," she said. "It was moving. In fact, it brought me to tears. ... That was one of the defining moments for me on my process."
"The other was going to a football game, supporting the women's team as they were recognized during the first quarter of the game. I don't like football at all, so they should have known I was coming to Mississippi State if I did that."
But Jackson and her family also felt a tug toward Rutgers and legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer.
"My family loved [Coach Stringer], so, it made me think that maybe I made a mistake," Jackson said.
An unofficial return trip to Mississippi State earlier this month clinched it at last.
"It re-affirmed what I initially felt," Jackson said. "I knew I was right."
Expect Jackson to make an impact as a freshman with her explosive offensive game. She can beat defenders to the rim with a quick first step and she can hit jumpers to the arc.
She also has a work ethic that never seems to waver.
"In 16 years of coaching," Detroit Edison coach Monique Brown said, "I've never had a player who wants to be in the gym and get better as much as Rickea."