Recruiting & Scouting

Trishton Jackson's future is playing football at MSU but he continues to play basketball at West Bloomfield

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Trishton Jackson's future is playing football at MSU but he continues to play basketball at West Bloomfield

West Bloomfield – In an era of specialization, where many high school athletes prefer to play just one sport, Trishton Jackson is an example of why playing multiple sports can prove positive and possibly lead to more success.

Wednesday is National Signing Day and Jackson, a two-sport star at West Bloomfield, is set to sign his letter-of-intent with Michigan State to play football.

Even as he prepares to play receiver in East Lansing, Jackson has returned to the basketball court for the Lakers for his final high school season

Jackson said that the decision to play basketball his senior year was an easy one.

“I was always intending to come back and play,” he said. “It’s just the love for the game.”

A four-year starter in both sports, Jackson began hearing from Division I teams in both football and basketball almost as soon as he entered high school.

But going into the summer after his junior year, Jackson made the decision to pursue a football scholarship as a receiver, rather than quarterback, the position he played almost exclusively his first three seasons. After a strong showing in summer camps, Jackson received and accepted a scholarship offer from Michigan State.

West Bloomfield basketball coach Jeremy Denha said that he saw how special of an athlete and they type of work ethic Jackson had early on, and added that playing multiple sports is something that he encourages.

“People don’t understand,” Denha said, “Of course God gave him some gifts in terms of athleticism, being able to jump and run and do those things, but he’s taken that to the next level. That’s when you get special players and special competitors. He was always ‘Hey coach, come pick me up, I want to get some shots up’.

“I tell all my kids, I want them all playing sports in every season, so they don’t get sick of me and get burned out from me. It’s about options for these kids. It’s great that Trishton has the opportunity to go play at Michigan State, he had some mid-major basketball stuff, but he’s getting to play at the highest of the high. That goes with all of the extra work he puts in that no one sees. He’s been that kid.”

Jackson also entertained offers from Cincinnati, Iowa, Purdue and several others in football and he received an offer from the University of Detroit for basketball.

West Bloomfield football coach Ron Bellamy, a former receiver at Michigan, said playing multiple sports is something he thinks all kids should do. Bellamy played three sports in high school.

“I highly encourage kids to do it,” he said. “If you look at the numbers and the statistics, it shows you that some of the top programs, Division I programs, coaches will go after multi-sport athletes.

On the football field last fall, Jackson helped guide the Lakers to their first undefeated season.  West Bloomfield’s basketball team has a 7-4 record.

Jackson said that playing multiple sports has always been a way for him to improve at different sports and helped prepare him for upcoming seasons.

“It’s like what my dad always tells me and other coaches tell me now, other sports tend to get you better at other sports,” he said. “For example, getting up and going to get a rebound or being receiver, going up, catching a fade in the end zone is all the same. It just keeps your body mentally prepared for another sport and it’s just opened up everything.”

After Jackson signs with MSU, he will turn his attention to basketball for a while longer and he has advice for those wrestling with the decision of playing multiple sports.

“If you want to play the game, just go with your heart,” he said. “They get you better at what you want to do at the end of the day, so just go with your heart.”

Once his high school career is finished, Jackson’s attention will turn solely to football in college.

“I’m only sticking with football,” Jackson said. “(And) focusing on winning a Big 10 championship.”