Berryhill baseball standout commits to Arkansas
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, August 02, 2012
8/02/12 at 5:37 AM
Berryhill two-sport standout Zach Jackson has committed to play baseball at the University of Arkansas.
Jackson's commitment is nonbinding, but the right-handed pitcher and quarterback said he plans to sign with the Razorbacks in November.
"I planned on making a decision before football season started, and I knew Arkansas was where I wanted to be," he said.
Jackson also made unofficial visits to Wichita State and LSU and had recruiting interest from Stanford and Alabama, but he said Arkansas was always on the top of his list.
"(Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn) and all the coaches are great guys, but it wasn't one thing in particular. It felt like a place where I could help myself," he said.
Proximity to Tulsa and Arkansas' recent success factored into his decision. The Razorbacks' 2012 trip to the College World Series was their second in four years.
"They've got a good program, and that definitely helped," he said. "If you want to play baseball in the Southeastern Conference, Arkansas is the closest place to do it."
With a fastball clocked in the lower to mid-90s, the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder rates among the state's top pitching prospects for 2013. He said he still hopes to go high in the major league baseball draft, with the possibility of attracting a large pro contract. But he said it would take "a lot of money" to convince him to bypass his Arkansas scholarship.
Jackson went 13-1 this past season and is 26-2 over three seasons. He averaged more than two strikeouts per inning in 2012, leading the Chiefs to a Class 4A runner-up finish. In football, he threw for 2,570 yards and 23 TDs last season, leading Berryhill to a 3A semifinal finish.
"He's a stud, there's no doubt about it," Berryhill baseball coach Brian Hailey said. "I'm glad he's on my team. There's not a lot of worry when you have Zach on the mound."
Original Print Headline: Berryhill standout commits to Hogs
Mike Brown 918-581-8390
Berryhill pitcher Zach Jackson delivers against Sperry last season. Jackson plans to sign with Arkansas in November. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file