Story was updated with quotes from Alex Jackson Monday evening.
By Michael Bower
Rancho Bernardo High’s Alex Jackson, the No. 1 junior prospect in the nation, verbally committed to the University of Oregon Saturday evening.
Jackson, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 210-pound, right-handed slugging catcher, was also considering UCLA and the University of Arizona, but ultimately decided he would like to play for three-time National Coach of the Year George Horton and the Ducks.
"Oregon has everything I can ask for: the atmosphere, the people, just everything," Jackson said. "I just felt comfortable there and it was the best fit for myself."
Jackson was named by Cal-Hi Sports the Freshman State Player of the Year two years ago and the Sophomore State Player of the Year last season. He was the top hitter at the Area Code Games last summer and is a Baseball America All-American.
Jackson hit 17 home runs last year and through Sunday is hitting .471 with three home runs, four RBI and 14 runs scored out of the leadoff spot for the Broncos.
Oregon is in the Pac-12 Conference. Horton, who coached at Cal State Fullerton before leaving to help start the Oregon program in 2009, has appeared in six College World Series, winning one in 2004. All of those were with the Titans. In 15 seasons as a Division I head coach, Horton has coached 17 players that have made the major leagues and 23 All-Americans.
"I am sure I will learn a lot playing underneath a guy like that," said Jackson, who spoke with a few Oregon players before committing, including Poway High graduate Brett Thomas.
"They just said they absolutely love it and the coaching," Jackson said.
The Ducks went 46-19 last season, falling just short of reaching the College World Series. They lost 3-2 to Kent State in the third game of the best-of-3 Super Regional.