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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

Point guard flips from national champ UConn to UGA

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UGA flipped a basketball commitment from UConn, the reigning national champions.

William “Turtle” Jackson, a 4-star point guard from Athens Christian, switched his commitment from UConn to UGA on Monday.

“A couple of weeks ago, he opened things back up,” Athens Christian coach Ron Link told the AJC. “He called me today and said that he committed to UGA today. I said ‘Great. I get to see you play more often rather than just on TV.’”

4-star PG Turtle Jackson (247sports)

PG Turtle Jackson (247sports)

The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Jackson is rated as the No. 9 overall prospect in Georgia for 2015, along with the No. 2 point guard behind Pebblebrook’s Ty Hudson (undecided). Jackson is ranked as the nation’s No. 19 point guard.

Jackson reopened his recruiting after another point guard, Jalen Adams of Ashburnham, Mass., committed to UConn last week. Adams is rated as a 4-star and the nation’s No. 6 point guard.

“Here’s a guess: When you win a national championship, you get about anybody you want,” Link said. “So UConn might’ve gotten a point guard just as good or better. Turtle keeps up with everything going on in recruiting.

“But he might’ve just had a change of heart, and just wanted to go to Georgia because all of his friends told him they want to be able to see him play in person. As long as he’s happy, that’s the most important thing. He’s the one who is going to be at college for four years, not all of his friends.”

Jackson attends Athens Christian, which is located only a few miles from UGA’s campus. Jackson has been a frequent visitor to the college campus for basketball events, and it surprised some when he didn’t pick UGA initially.

“Georgia is a rising program,” Link said. “Mark Fox is a way better coach than some people think. I’ve watched Georgia for 25 years. This is the first Georgia team that I’ve ever seen make free throws. It’s a simple thing, but it’s the little things that win games. I think he’s a good coach. He’s just got to get the right talent in there. The talent brings the people back because if you build it, they will come.”

How good is Turtle? “He’s the best I’ve ever coached,” Link said. “I coached 23 NBA players in the Boston Shootout. I’ve had 9 Div. I players. I’ve never had a more complete player in my life. This is my 45th year coming up. He’s a great passer, great distance shooter and a great finisher at the basket. And he can defend. He’s a leader.

“He makes every player around him better. That’s the true measurement of a great point guard.”

Jackson is UGA’s first commit for 2015.

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Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

mcarvell@ajc.com

– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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