Coming off Washington State’s best season since 2011-12, Kyle Smith has added one of the top-rated prospects in program history to an already robust 2020 recruiting class.
Dishon Jackson, considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com, pledged to WSU on Saturday night, choosing Smith and the Cougars over Pac-12 rivals Arizona and California, in addition to notable midmajors such as Nevada, Saint Mary’s, New Mexico, San Francisco and Montana.
Jackson, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center from Vallejo, California, lists a 247 recruiting grade of .895, making him the ninth-highest-rated recruit in school history, behind Klay Thompson, Michael Harthun, Xavier Thames, Derrick Low, Que Johnson, Ike Iroegbu, Jeff Varem and Brock Motum.
The Cougars haven’t signed a four-star prospect since Johnson inked with the program in 2012, and Jackson is set to become the first four-star center to sign at WSU. The St. Patrick-St. Vincent big man is the nation’s 188th-ranked prospect, the 26th-ranked center and the 21st-ranked recruit in the state of California.
According to MaxPreps.com, the long, athletic center averaged 13.8 points per game and 9.5 rebounds for SPSV, and he’s averaged between 2.9 and 3.3 blocks per game his past three seasons with the Bruins.
Jackson boasts a 7-foot wingspan, per CaliHoop, and in addition to his elite rim protection, he displayed touch around the rim in high school, making 52 percent of his shots as a senior, 51 percent as a sophomore and 56 percent as a freshman.
Jackson’s Bruins fell one game short of playing for a state championship last month, losing 62-61 to Weston Racnch of Stockton in the Northern California Division II Championship game. Jackson scored 16 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and swatted four shots in his final high school game.
The Cougars lose four seniors from the 2019-20 team but only have three scholarships available because Tony Miller was awarded one midway through the season, essentially taking the scholarship that Deion James had after James’ season and career ended because of heart complications.
Nigerian center Efe Abogidi, playing at the NBA Global Academy in Australia, and T.J. Bamba, a combo guard from New York, have signed letters of intent for the Cougars. Canadian combo guard Jefferson Koulibaly committed to WSU in late February after reclassifying, meaning Jackson is the fourth player expected to sign with the Cougars in the 2020 class.
With only three scholarships available, the Cougars could be anticipating that someone from the current team will transfer, though Smith told The Spokesman-Review two weeks ago that nobody had informed of plans to leave the program.
WSU may also have a scholarship available if top scorer CJ Elleby elects to leave for the NBA. Elleby hasn’t made an announcement regarding his future.