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G.G. Jackson’s Commitment to North Carolina Enhances Hubert Davis’ Standing in Recruiting World

Jackson, a probable one-and-done prospect, picked the Tar Heels over Duke, South Carolina, Overtime Elite and others.

Four weeks ago, North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis was solidifying his place as one of the top college coaches in the country with an unexpected run to the national championship game.

On Wednesday, Davis sent a figurative flex once again, this time making his mark as a major player on the recruiting scene landing Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.) forward G.G. Jackson.

Sports Illustrated’s recruiting rankings for the 2023 class are set to be released later this summer, but Jackson will undoubtedly hover near the top, as a 6’8” all-everything big with the ability to dominate the game in a variety of different ways.

Jackson picked North Carolina over Duke, Auburn, Georgetown, Overtime Elite Professional League and South Carolina.

Davis offered Jackson on June 15 of last year, the first day college coaches are permitted to contact rising juniors per NCAA rules.

The gesture prompted tears from Jackson and his father, Bishop; always a good sign when trying to feel out the mutual interest of a prospect.

Now that he’s actually landed Jackson, Davis’ standing as a major player in the recruiting world is firmly entrenched.

Yes, just like that.

Be clear, Davis has always had a strong presence in grassroots, first as an assistant for Roy Williams and now as a head coach.

Davis played a major role in landing each of his three signees in the 2022 class, which checks in at No. 10 in the SI All-American Top 25 Basketball Team Rankings.

G.G. Jackson about to shoot a basketball

GG Jackson will be a difference maker at North Carolina from day one.

Still, landing one-and-done talent like Jackson while Davis is running the proverbial ship puts him in a different realm from multiple perspectives.

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On one hand it achieves a pattern; in October, Davis reeled in Roselle (N.J.) Catholic shooting guard Simeon Wilcher, a consensus top 15 prospect in the 2023 class.

“My relationship with Coach Davis was a major reason that I committed,” Wilcher said. “He’s a great guy; I feel like I could talk to him about anything.”

Six months later, he’s upped the ante with Jackson, and, typically in recruiting, to the victor go all the spoils.

Davis following up his national championship game appearance with a precise and calculated rollout of individual videos from his current players announcing their return, all but ensuring their No. 1 preseason ranking next season, and now a commitment from a probable one-and-done prospect in a 30-day span couldn’t have been scripted better.

In year one as North Carolina’s head coach, Davis’ name has managed to ring out with elite prospects around the country, but with Jackson under his belt Davis will have a better chance of competing against fellow blue bloods like Duke and Kentucky for one-and-done talent in a way they haven’t consistently in the past.

Sure, North Carolina has had pre-planned one-and-done players in recent years, but the sell of, “Come showcase your talents for a year and win a national title before the NBA,” is much different than, “See how we turned this perceived multi-year player into a one-and-done prospect.”

Much different.

“He was coming to watch me every week,” Wilcher said of Davis’ relentless style. “I knew that he really, really wanted me there.”

A year ago, at his introductory press conference, Davis said publicly that he was going re-recruit Walker Kessler to return to the Tar Heels after Kessler announced his intentions to transfer weeks prior.

Ultimately, Davis’ attempts to sway Kessler failed, the 7’1” center left for Auburn, where he starred for the Tigers this past season.

Most coaches wouldn’t have said that publicly without knowing where they stood, but Davis’ eagerness to swing for the fences devoid of ego will serve him well with top tier talent.

“I can talk about this place because I love it,” Davis told SI last year regarding his love of recruiting. “I can talk about this place because I’ve lived it and I’ve experienced it. One of the things that I love about the coaching staff that we have here is that all the coaches here, every one of them, went to school here, played basketball here and all of our wives went to school here.

“I don’t think there’s a staff in the country that has that, so when we’re talking to recruits and we’re talking to families and we’re talking about what this place can mean to them we actually know what we’re talking about. Our love and appreciation for this place speaks in the way that we communicate with them.”