Fall Signing Week '10: Withrow an Aggie in Maroon and White
by Ali Jones
, 11 November 2010
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College could not come any sooner for Jackson Withrow, the nation's 10th-ranked player. The blue-chip recruit from Cornhusker country has committed to play for the Aggies of A&M and is scheduled to be in Texas by January 2011.
"I'm really excited and grateful that I made the right decision," he said. "I felt like I connected best there, I saw myself at College Station for the next four years of my life. I'm just really looking forward to the opportunity."
At the 2009 Kalamazoo Withrow dazzled college coaches with his display of speed, skill and fortitude, particularly in the semis against Gonzales Austin, which Withrow lost 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. Recruiting emails and calls came pouring in later.
"I was being recruited by the Big 12 schools - Nebraska, Oklahoma - as well as Florida State, UCLA, Washington, Alabama, and Penn State - these were the schools who were interested in me and that I was interested in," Withrow said. He took his official visits to Oklahoma, Florida State, A&M and UCLA.
He said the process of recruiting was fun, exciting and exhausting, and he wanted to get the decision out of the way.
"[Committing] was always on my mind. It kinda affected my school work a little bit - my tennis - 'cause I couldn't really focus," he reasoned. "I needed to know what I wanted to do for school - and what I was going to do for the next four years."
Under the tutelage of Grand Slam champion and Aggie Head Coach Steve Denton and Assistant Bob McKinley, Withrow is sure that his "game will soar to another level," maybe even good enough to compete professionally. Under both coaches, the Aggies finished 10th in 2010, the school's highest national ranking since 2001, when the team finished 7th.
"They're two great guys, they know the game backward and forward," Withrow said. "I'm really excited to be part of a program where we can step it up even more. Junior Ore and I - we talked about what our team will be like together, kinda how we would impact the school if we went there." Junior Ore also has committed to the Aggies.
While the appeal of training in warmer places has lured away Withrow's fellow Nebraskans (Jack Sock and Andy Roddick among the notables), Withrow himself has stayed home to train with Rick Faust. He's been invited to train in Florida and Texas, but he never considered leaving his hometown before college. Now the time has come and he's going "as far south as I possibly can," he said cheerfully.