"It Was Great, I Didn't Want to Leave"

Big man Charles Jackson will sign his national letter of intent today to play for Bruce Weber's Fighting Illini. Get inside to read what Jackson had to say to Illiniboard.Com about his "new" school.

Charles Jackson knew the moment he set foot on campus where he wanted to spend four years of his college life. "It was great I didn't want to leave," said Jackson. Today the 6-8, power forward will sign his official letter of intent to play at Illinois. What many people didn't know is Jackson could have signed last week. There have been many people in his life that helped with his basketball career, and Jackson wanted to make sure that they all could be there for his special day. "My AAU coach has done great things for me along with my family and my high school coach, so I wanted to make sure they could all be there to share this special day."

"I had such a great time down there on my visit, it was great, and hanging out the fellas was great too." However, this decision leaves the tough part of recruiting, and that's calling the other coaches to let them know your decision. "Man, that was tough calling Penn St. and UNLV to say I wasn't coming there, but I told them my heart was at Illinois and I hoped they have a great season."

Jackson also knows he will have to work very hard to get better, "I will work on all aspects of my game, I want to handle the ball more and I can always get more rebounds. The players talked about championships and I want to make sure I'm ready so I can be a part of that."

"The fans up there love their basketball and made all the players feel really special," stressed Jackson. "My parents were just as happy as I was during my visit, they feel really comfortable with the coaches and Coach Jay Price did a terrific job of recruiting me." Charles Jackson, the Illini Nation welcomes you.

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