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Cassidy's Takeaways: G.G. Jackson previews decision at UCAAG

G.G. Jackson
G.G. Jackson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

ATLANTA – The 2022 Underclassmen All-American Games will take place on Sunday, but the teams got together to run through practices on Saturday afternoon. The rosters for this year’s event are star-studded and include multiple top-five prospects in the classes of 2023 and 2024. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy is on hand at the event and shares some news from the warmup day below.

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More: Junior wing Jordan Burks hopes big summer attracts more offers

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

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GG JACKSON PREVIEWS HIS DECISION

Top overall prospect GG Jackson is close to a decision and has been for a few weeks. Now, however, the top prospect in the class of 2023, says he’ll share his choice with the world shortly after the conclusion of the NCAA tournament.

More important than his timetable, however, is the coaching change that has taken place at South Carolina. Seen as one of the two favorites to land Jackson’s letter of intent just a few weeks ago, the Gamecocks hurt their chances significantly by deciding to fire longtime head coach Frank Martin, who spent years recruiting Jackson, on March 14. It seems obvious that South Carolina now has little chance to win the Jackson sweepstakes, but that doesn’t mean new head coach Lamont Paris has thrown in the towel.

“Coach Paris reached out and spoke with my dad,” Jackson said on Saturday. “He wants to come down to my high school on Monday to speak with me. I feel like that’s going to be pretty cool to get to know him. So we’ll see. I’m looking forward to it.”

Still, barring some sort of Palmetto State magic, Jackson’s college recruitment is a Duke-North Carolina affair. There are professional options in play. Jackson toured the Overtime Elite League facilities and got a final pitch from the OTE brass on Saturday morning and says he plans to consider what he heard. When he spoke about the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, however, things seemed more serious and a bit more detailed.

“I texted with [North Carolina head coach Hubert] Davis before they played the UCLA game and gave him my opinion on what that game was going to be like and all that,” Jackson said. “It’s always all love with him and all love around there. I liked watching them. They don’t play as many guys as other programs do, so this [tournament run] surprised me a little. Obviously Coach Hubert knows what he’s doing, though. It seems like all the coaches and the players are always on the same page.”

Jackson says he’s heard less from Duke than he has from UNC in recent weeks but notes the reasons for that are obvious

“I haven’t spoken to Duke coaches in a while because they’re all pretty locked into the tournament, obviously. I have been communicating with the players, though. But with the players and the coaches it’s constant love and feedback.”

No specific date for a commitment has been set, but Jackson says he and his family plan to announce his landing place in the days following the national title game.

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ASA NEWELL TOURS GEORGIA TECH HOPES TO VISIT UGA

Four-star sophomore Asa Newell worked an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech into his Underclassmen All-American schedule and took in the sights on campus prior to Saturday’s practice.

“I just finished my visit, like, four hours ago,” Newell said following his workout. “It was really good. The technology over there for athletics and academics is cool. It’s very serious over there. My mom is really excited about it. She went to visit with me. She loved the academics and the way the coaches do the little things and how everything is upbeat and positive there.”

Newell was seen as an early Florida lean before the Gators’ coaching staff departed Gainesville and landed at Georgia. The new UGA staff has wasted zero time reaching out to Newell, however, and hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to staying in touch,

“I’ve been talking to coach Erik [Pastrana] still,” Newell said. “He’s been in contact a lot even since they left. I want to go check it out. I’m excited to see what coach Mike White can do there. I want to see them turn it around. Plus, Georgia is my home state.

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JORDAN VICK SAYS WAKE FOREST LEADS HIS RECRUITMENT 

Class of 2024 point guard Jordan Vick doesn’t mince words when you ask him which of his early offers most interests him. He doesn’t stutter or think. There’s no list of teams or vague statements. Instead, he’s a bit more direct.

“My favorite is Wake Forest. Right now, they’re my top for sure. I also have offers from Vanderbilt, Illinois, Pittsburgh and one more that I can’t remember.”

“I like the way they play. I went to a couple games and they talk to me a lot. Plus, it’s close to home. I’d go far away from home, like a Kentucky or a school like that, but I’d like to stay close if I can.”

NC State may be a team to watch down the road if they decide to offer, as Vick has family ties to the program. His older brother Jackson, who plays football for the Wolfpack, is already selling the school during family conversations.

“He wants me there,” Vick said. “He just tells me how great it is and all that. He tells me it’s just like family.”