Checking in with Charles

The recruitment of Charles Matthews is sure to be one of the most high-profile pursuits in the 2015 class.

Illinois kicked off it's 2015 recruiting class this week with the verbal commitment from Simeon High standout D.J. Williams.

That isn't the only Chicago kid the Illini are in on. Williams said he would actively recruit close friend and five-star 2015 guard Charles Matthews to join him.

Matthews, of course, is open to the idea.

"I was happy for him," Matthews said of Williams. "That's been my brother since day one."

Coach John Groce has been recruiting the 6-foot-6, 175-pound talent from St. Rita since he arrived in Champaign. Matthews was with Williams and 2014 five-star forward Cliff Alexander on campus in late October.

"I knew when I first met Coach Groce that he was going to turn that program around," Matthews said. "We have a really good relationship and he does with my family also."

The Illini are one of 10 programs still in the running. The list includes Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn and others. As you can see, Matthews is considering the best of the best, something he's not taking for granted.

"It feels really good and it's a blessing, but it just motivates me to continue to work hard to get better," he said.

He's not sure when he'll narrow his choices again, but he does know what he's ultimately looking for.

"How good of a relationship I'll have with the coaching staff, how they'll develop my skills, being able to compete for a national title and how they can help me get to the NBA," Matthews said.

Since August, Matthews has visited Illinois, Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, Wisconsin and others. Expect more visits to take place as college basketball season is set to begin soon. And look for his recruitment to continue to be one of the highest-profile pursuits in the 2015 class.

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