Franklin Regional golf star Palmer Jackson commits to Notre Dame

Monday, August 27, 2018 | 9:57 PM

Palmer Jackson kept his recruiting saga a secret for months. The Franklin Regional senior was pulling in offers from some of the top golf programs in the nation, but only teased to which ones they were by disclosing the conferences in which they play.

Patience, he said. The day will come.

The big reveal, the whole set of clubs, finally came Monday evening when Jackson made his decision: He’s going to Notre Dame.

His Who’s Who list of offers from NCAA big-timers includes Duke, Stanford, Virginia, Michigan, Penn State and West Virginia.

He even had attention from defending NCAA champion Oklahoma State, but declined.

Jackson’s commitment is of the verbal variety for now; He can sign Nov. 14.

He said he knew Notre Dame was his choice last week but took some more time to “process it.”

“This was an incredibly tough decision,” Jackson said. “It came down to Notre Dame, Duke and Stanford. Some people are going to say, ‘How can you pass up Stanford and Duke? But I chose Notre Dame because that’s where my heart is. I’m doing what’s best for me.”

Jackson’s whirlwind summer took his recruiting to another level. He played in the Junior PGA Championship, the U.S. Junior Amateur, and the U.S. Amateur, among other events, and held his own at daunting layouts such as Baltusrol, Valhalla and Pebble Beach.

“My freshman year I already thought I was big time,” Jackson said. “I thought coaches would be all over me but they weren’t. That really pushed me to work harder. I knew if I had a big summer (before his senior high school season) the offers would come.”

And they did. Duke, Stanford and Virginia all offered within the last couple months.

“It all panned out in a quick period of time,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want to put all the offers and stuff out there because coaches can see that and get the wrong idea. I had unrealistic expectations as a freshman. But as I started to play more tournaments, this summer playing in the Sunnehanna and U.S. Amateur really showed me I could compete with anyone.”

Jackson is one of the favorites to compete for WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles this fall. He spent most of his junior season under par.

He finished third in the WPIAL last year, two shots back of winner Chris Sabol. He finished fourth as a freshman, and 10th as a sophomore. At the PIAA tournament, he has three top 10 finishes.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at or via Twitter @BillBeckner.


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