Meet Quarterback Jacob Charest

Quarterback recruiting is an intense experience for major colleges and top prospects. Every school wants to secure the best one available, and quarterbacks feel pressure to select a top school before it runs out of scholarships. One top quarterback who shares a mutual interest with the University of Illinois is Jacob Charest.

The strong-armed 6'-4", 200 pound Charest is from powerhouse Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina, and he brings a sparkling resume into his senior season. Butler has several Division 1 prospects and is predicted to battle one other school for their state championship. But it is Charest who makes the offense go.

"Jake" is a humble fellow, so he doesn't remember his exact junior statistics.

"I think I had around 25 touchdown passes with 9 or 10 interceptions. I'm not exactly sure, but I think my completion percentage was around 65% to 70%."

Both schools and fans have to like how he describes his game. Most quarterbacks talk about their throwing/running style and statistics, but winning is most important to Charest.

"I definitely play to win. That's the biggest thing, do whatever it takes to win. I kind of grew up with that mentality. I was a wrestler so, if you don't wrestle to win you are probably going to get embarrassed. That attitude has kind of carried over to football."

Do you favor any types of throws over others?

"No, not really, a completion is a completion. I definitely don't want to make all 3-yard throws, those are kind of boring. But anything 10 yards or beyond is great."

Charest said he doesn't pattern his game after anyone. But he did reluctantly answer what other quarterbacks he enjoys watching.

"My favorite quarterback recently was Brady Quinn. I don't really try to be like him, but I like watching him. If I was compared with someone, I would like to be compared with someone like Brady Quinn."

Jacob had a busy summer including camps and unofficial visits. Illinois was one of his stops, but he didn't get to visit with Coach Zook when here.

"Coach Zook had something he had to do with his daughter. But I've met him before, so it wasn't that big of a deal."

Charest has already seen his college options altered by decisions of other top quarterbacks.

"Oh yeah, actually that happened to me a couple of times with Louisville and California. Those were my top two schools, but before the summer started I didn't even get the chance to visit one of them since other kids committed to them. Now that Illinois is involved with me, I think Illinois is great also, so I don't think it makes much difference."

Illinois, Iowa, Oregon and Boston College are some of the schools on his list of priorities. With the pressure of needing to make a quick decision, Jake has an early official visit scheduled.

"September 8th I'm scheduled for an official visit to Illinois (Western Illinois game). I think Iowa was thinking about a fall visit too, but Illinois is the only one I have scheduled right now."

With all the schools on his list being some distance from his North Carolina home, will distance be a concern for his parents?

"I think they were at first, but I think it has kind of lessened over time."

Does he know what he will study in college?

"I have no idea about a major. The one thing that sparked my mind at Illinois is the aviation program, but that would be really hard to do with football. You would have trouble finding time for all the hours of flight training. But I will find something to study."

What school wouldn't want a quarterback with a top completion percentage and a strong desire to win? Jacob Charest has a bright future ahead of him.

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