A familiar face approached Quentin Jackson Jr. while he visited Temple University.
Sophomore forward J.P. Moorman II hopped in his car and drove from Delaware to greet the junior transfer during his official visit in May.
Moorman and Jackson, who both went to high school in North Carolina, have known each other for 12 years.
Jackson joined the roster in June after playing his sophomore year at Tallahassee Community College, a junior college in Florida. During his freshman year, he played at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte at the Division I level.
Moorman’s honesty convinced Jackson to commit to Temple.
“[Moorman] just shot straight with me,” Jackson, a 6-foot-2-inch junior guard. “He told me this is what we do here, this is what we don’t do… Once I heard all of that, I knew this was a good place for me.”
The coaching staff was transparent about what Jackson’s role would be on the team. This helped win over Jackson as well.
“We had a need for a guy who could play a little bit of point guard and some additional perimeter depth,” assistant coach Shawn Trice said. “And that is what we told him.”
Coach Fran Dunphy said he wants his team to be better defensively, and Jackson will help that goal.
In his quest to return to the Division I level for his junior season, Jackson committed to Florida Gulf Coast University in November 2017. But in April, the Eagles underwent a coaching change, causing Jackson to reopen his recruitment.
Trice and the rest of Temple’s coaching staff contacted Jackson right after he reopened his recruitment to gauge his interest in the program.
The Owls’ impending transition from Dunphy to associate head coach Aaron McKie after the 2018-19 season didn’t dissuade Jackson. McKie made him feel right at home.
Jackson could potentially fill former guard Josh Brown’s responsibility of defending the opponent’s best player, Trice said. Last year, Brown was second on the team in minutes and steals and third on the team in blocks.
“[Jackson] just brings the athleticism and energy that we need from that guard spot,” said Moorman, who played against Jackson in Amateur Athletic Union competitions.
In practice, Jackson and sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis make “a great defensive duo” and they can play full-court defense when on the floor together, Moorman said.
Jackson’s energy and growth as a person since arriving at Temple stands out to his coaches.
Jackson transferred to Tallahassee Community College due to “personal immaturity,” he said. At UNC Charlotte, Jackson wasn’t working hard enough on his game to excel at the Division I level, he added.
“He…has shown some leadership of whether it’s trying to motivate his teammates or doing the extra work,” Trice said. “He is really competitive in practice on the second unit, and it is something that really pushes the starters.”
He sought to develop himself on and off the court and found Temple as the right place for him.
“Everyone here seems like they are trying to work toward something bigger every single day,” Jackson said. “I just wanted to be around people that are going hard every day and not taking days off. …And I felt that in the culture here.”