Columbus DT Impressed With Illini On Visit

The Fighting Illini football team began its final push for recruits this weekend, hosting seven players on official visits. Among the visitors was Terrell Jackson, a defensive tackle from Columbus, Ohio. Jackson was impressed with the campus, the new coaching staff and the Illini players.

Columbus, Ohio, defensive lineman Terrell Jackson visited Illinois this past weekend. The Marion-Franklin high school star describes his itinerary.

"I arrived Friday afternoon. I checked in to the "I" hotel. It was just recently built it and was really nice. I met some of the coaches and players. After that we had dinner. That's when I met most of the team. We hung around and played games and talked about the team and things of that nature.

"On Saturday, they gave me a tour and told me how I would fit into the University. Where would I be, what classes would I pick. It was a great experience. I liked it a lot, and I have no complaints about it. It's a great school with a great academic background."

The Illini have a new coaching staff. Jackson feels the staff holds much promise for the future.

"The coaching staff was great. I knew some from Toledo, Coach Beck (Tim Beckman, head coach) and Alex Golesh my recruiting coach. I could see the players and coaches are starting to get close to each other. They're starting to get a bond already. So I could see myself having some good relations there."

Illinois has just recently begun its recruitment of Jackson. Did the Illini improve his perception of the program this weekend?

"Yeah they did. It changed my mind a lot about what I thought about the school. It's a Big Ten school, and you can't beat that. I've always wanted to play in the Big Ten. That's why I want to take these visits, so I could check out the Big Ten schools."

He is listed as a "soft" commit to Duke, but he has two more visits after Illinois.

"I am still committed to Duke. Next weekend I'm going to Michigan State, and the weekend after that I'm going to Pitt. I'm committed, but I'm still keeping my options open."

The 6'-3", 260 pounder sounds like the type of defensive lineman all schools seek.

"I play defensive end and defensive tackle. My strengths are my quickness, the way I come off the ball, and the way I use my hands. I've always been fast for my size. I'm quick off the ball, and I use my weight pretty good. I use that to my advantage. I've been running since I was a little kid, so I'm a lot faster than the offensive linemen."

He wants to improve his run game support.

"I want to improve on reading my keys on the line, reading the running plays. And not going so far afield, not overrunning the play."

Jackson plans to major in Communications hoping for a career in some type of broadcasting. He will pick a school after he completes his visits.

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