Henricksen: Uplift sophomore Markese Jacobs commits to Kansas

SHARE Henricksen: Uplift sophomore Markese Jacobs commits to Kansas

There were rumblings a week ago Uplift’s Markese Jacobs, a breakout performer on the club circuit in the Class of 2019 this past summer, was close to committing to Kansas.

It turns out a trip to Lawrence and experiencing “Late Night in the Phog” was enough for the sophomore to end his recruitment before it really even began. The explosive 5-10 point guard gave a commitment to coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks while on his unofficial visit this weekend.

While such an early commitment may have come as a surprise so many, Jacobs didn’t see any reason to wait.

“This has always been a dream school for me growing up,” says Jacobs of the Kansas basketball program. “So when there is a chance to have your dream, you take it. There was no reason to wait.”

Uplift coach David Taylor believes Jacobs and his family felt it was important to show Kansas they were clearly committed.

“It’s not every day a program like Kansas comes calling,” says Taylor. “They are at the top of the mountain in college basketball, and I think Markese and his family wanted to show they were as serious and committed to Kansas as they showed Markese with the early offer.”

The trip to Kansas and all that the legendary program and Self had to offer him as a player opened Jacobs’ eyes while on his unofficial visit.

“Being able to watch Late Night [at the Phog], watching them practice and seeing how they are with their guards and how hard they get on them and want to make them better, that impressed me,” says Jacobs. “It’s all about basketball here. You can see and feel the passion.”

Jacobs put together an impressive season as a freshman for Taylor. But aside from his production and his numbers –– he averaged 15.7 points a game as a freshman –– the upside of Jacobs was showcased with his elite explosiveness and athleticism.

Kansas and assistant coach Jerrance Howard locked in on Jacobs in July, with the Jayhawks extending an offer before anyone else.

Now they have another strong, athletic lead guard from Chicago after thriving with one several years ago in Crane’s Sherron Collins, who helped lead the Jayhawks to a national championship in 2008.

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