Donovan Jackson’s plans: Win two (or more) national titles

 AMES — The prospect of eventually following in NCAA record-shattering point guard Monté Morris’s footsteps doesn’t make talented Iowa Western sophomore Donovan Jackson nervous.

 Instead, it excites him.

 Jackson, one of the top JUCO point guards in the class of 2016, committed to Coach Steve Prohm’s Cyclones Sunday night.

 "I’m not worried about the pressure,” said Jackson, who averaged 13.6 points and shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range for the Reivers last season. “I know my abilities. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to try to keep the tradition going; keep trying to be a top-10 program and try to be the Big 12 champs. I’m just going to do my job the best that I can and possibly win a national championship.”

 Nope. No anxiety.

 Jackson doled out 67 assists to 32 turnovers his first season at Iowa Western. Not Morris’s crazy numbers by a long shot, but still awfully good and better than that hoped-for 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.

 The 6-1 Milwaukee native’s offers list reportedly included Oklahoma, Illinois, Wichita State, Ole Miss, Iowa and Virginia Tech.

 He said it was a relief to tweet out his commitment Sunday night — and he felt he owed to to himself and others to announce it sooner rather than later.

 “I’ve kind of been knowing for a while that I would love to be a part of Iowa State,” Jackson said. “I think it was best for me to commit early because I already kind of had my mind set and it would be a waste of my time and other schools’ time for me to visit anywhere else.”

 Jackson said he’s followed ISU’s success in recent years. It didn’t hurt that some fellow Milwaukee guys helped set the stage and then fuel the Cyclones’ renewed winning ways.

 “I have Diante Garrett and Korie Lucious and I’m pretty familiar with how Iowa State plays,” Jackson said.

 Jackson said he prefers an uptempo style, but can thrive in slow-down situations, as well.

 He prides himself on making “great decisions” (sound familiar?), yet recognizes there’s room for improvement across the board. 

 “This year is just keep my game tight and my mental part of the game has to be on a different level before coming into Iowa State, because it’s better competition,” Jackson said. “So that’s what I’m really working on, my IQ.”

 Jackson visited the ISU campus earlier this month and has a long-standing relationship with assistant T.J. Otzelberger.

 He noted that Prohm made a good impression immediately and continued to back that up.

 “Coach Prohm always called me or texted me to see how I was doing,” Jackson said.

 In the future, those check-ins will be face-to-face — and Jackson couldn’t be happier about his future prospects.

 “It’s over with,” Jackson said of sorting through his list of suitors. “Now I’m just ready to focus and try to win a national championship here.”


Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.