Jackson Checking Out Champaign

High profile prospect Demetrius Jackson's visit to Illinois began Thursday, with plans to stay through the weekend.

Jackson's trip to Champaign is big news because he's a five-star guard and fits what coach John Groce is looking for as the Illini staff is actively pursuing a point guard in the 2013 class.

"It would be absolutely huge for Illinois to get Jackson," said Fox Sports recruiting analyst Brian Snow. "John Groce's system is extremely point guard driven. Everything is based on ball screens and the offense runs through the point guard."

The 6-1, 185-pound native of Mishawaka, Ind., has offers from schools across the nation, but it's hard to get a read on exactly where's he's leaning. He doesn't speak to the media all that often and hasn't discussed a time table in regards to making a decision.

"Demetrius does things his way. I don't say that as a negative, but nobody is going to know except him," Snow said. "His high school coach isn't going to know. His AAU coach isn't going to know. He's in total control of his own process. He'll decide when he's ready and on his terms."

Currently rated the No. 5 point guard in the 2013 class, Jackson has a scheduled in-home visit with Kansas set up for Sept. 10. Schools targeting Jackson like him for a host of reasons, according to Snow.

"He has elite athleticism, makes shots and gets into the lane," Snow said. "He has everything you need in an offense to make it run."

Illinois currently has two verbal commitments in the class – guard Malcolm Hill and forward Maverick Morgan. Point guard is the top priority to add to the list – and Jackson is the best available.

"Illinois has got to close strong with a player like Jackson or (Simeon shooting guard) Kenrick Nunn," Snow said. "If that happens, then you're looking at an absolute home run for coach Groce's first class. That would be a great class considering they got started so late."

Jackson is scheduled to be in Champaign until Sunday.


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