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Do Runnin' Utes Have a Shot at Frank Jackson?

Lone Peak guard Frank Jackson has officially re-opened his recruitment with the news that he de-committed from head coach Dave Rose and the BYU basketball team.

Runnin' Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak can score a major coup by landing Lone Peak guard Franklin Jackson for the 2016 recruiting class.
Runnin' Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak can score a major coup by landing Lone Peak guard Franklin Jackson for the 2016 recruiting class.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

In September of 2013, Frank Jackson, a 6-1 shooting guard from Lone Peak High School committed to play for BYU. Jackson had only finished his freshman season with the Lehi Pioneers and, at the time, was an unknown commodity. Not graduating until 2016 and planning to serve a two year LDS mission, Dave Rose was doing his homework and planning for the 2018 season, a season that would see Jackson teaming up with a returning Eric Mika, Nick Emery, TJ Haws, and Payton Dastrup.

Then Jackson and his family moved from Lehi to Alpine. He suited up for the Lone Peak Knights and began making a name for himself. He and teammate TJ Haws had led the Knights to a 5A state title, scoring 18 points per game, while adding three rebounds, two assists, and a steal to each contest. He went from there to score 30.2 points per game for his AAU team, the Utah Reign, in the MPAC Dubai Tournament, which he highlighted with a 50-point outing against the MPAC International All-Star team.

These performances got him noticed on a national level. Jackson is now ranked as the 31st best recruit in the 2016 class, by ESPN and Rivals, while the Scout rankings have him at 32nd. When talent scouts start to pick up your scent, you can be sure the college coaches aren't far behind, and, sure enough, they weren't. Jackson picked up scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, UCLA, and other big name programs. With schools like that knocking at your door, you have to at least listen to what they have to offer, and that is just what Jackson plans to do.

At the end of last week Jackson had gone back on his commitment to Dave Rose and BYU and re-opened his recruitment to a short list of schools including Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Stanford, UCLA, and Utah. Of course, Brigham Young is still on that list and likely will be as he narrows down his options. Dave Rose did his homework, and that tends to help in the recruiting game. There is always a sense of loyalty to the school from which you got your first offer, especially the school to which you first committed. Jackson is still around the BYU program too, as he was supposedly in attendance for Saturday's football game against UNLV. With the information we have at this point, BYU may be the most likely destination even after the de-commitment.

As for the University of Utah? They are an in-state school, playing at a higher level of competition, and can offer students the "LDS experience" that return missionaries want. Jackson is interested in Utah and Runnin' Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak is interested in him, but they're not likely a front runner at this point.

However, while the original Coach K and Utah's Coach K are both battling for a Utah County recruit, landing Jackson would be a huge coup for Krystkowiak. Lone Peak High hasn't been fertile recruiting ground for the Utes, and every significant recruit in recent memory has signed with the blue Rose. Krystkowiak, though, has been making tremendous in-roads to Utah recruits, landing two of the best in the last few classes in Roy High School's Brekkot Chapman and West Jordan High School's Jordan Loveridge. Wresting a recruit rated in the Top 30 by ESPN from BYU would signal the tables really have turned in Utah basketball supremacy, and not just on the court.