Jackson Enjoys Visit, Sets Timetable

New Jersey's Cedric Jackson recaps his visit to West Virginia and talks about his plans for the coming week.

Jackson, whose soft spoken voice and polite mannerisms are the exact opposite of the image conjured up by his nickmane, "The Entertainer", made his first visit to the Mountain State on Wednesday.

"This was the first time I had been in West Virginia, and I saw a lot of hills and farms on the way," Jackson said with a soft laugh. "I wasn't sure what to think at first. But when we got there, it was a nice town, and I liked it."

Jackson, along with his parents, took a full tour of the campus, and the WVU Coliseum immediately caught his eye.

"The arena was huge, and I really liked that," the 6-2 guard said. "They took me everywhere, to the rec center and all the facilities, pretty much the whole campus.

"The thing I really liked was the people. The coaches were really friendly, and they cared about us. I got to meet and hang out with some of the players, and I felt like I fit in with them. Everyone was just really nice to me."

Two of the players that Jackson spent a good deal of time with were D'or Fischer and Patrick Beilein, and he felt an quick level of comfort with both.

"Those two were the guys I spend the most time with. They took me over to their apartment, and showed me where I would live. I had a good time, and they thought I would fit in well with the team."

Jackson is the son of a military man, whose father is a tech sergeant in the Air Force. He credits his father with keeping him on a solid path.

"My dad keeps me straight even with all the exposure I've gotten from playing basketball," Jackson said. "We go to church, and he makes sure I do the right things."

With strong parental involvement, the reaction of Jackson's parents to WVU was obviously important, and that worked out in West Viginia's favor.

"My parents enjoyed the visit a lot, and they liked Coach Beilein," Jackson noted. "The thing that impressed me about Coach Beilein is that he was concerned about my academics first, even more than what I do on the basektball court. I'm interested in computer science or coaching, and we met a lot of teachers and students. They told me a lot about what was involved in those classes, so I learned a lot about the academics there too."

Although the spring signing period begins in just a few days, Jackson isn't quite ready to make his college choice just yet. In addition to WVU, he has visited East Carolina, and will take a trip to LaSalle this weekend.

"I've had a lot of people ask me when I'm going to make a decision, but it might not be for a week or two," Jackson said. "Right now, my favorites are probably West Virginia, LaSalle and UNC-Wilmington.

WVU is somewhat of a late entrant in the recruiting battle for Jackson, but has made up ground quickly. Although Jackson said he wasn't looking at West Virginia at the start of his senior year, assistant coach Jerry Dunn has jumped into the recruiting fray and quickly made an impression on the New Jersey senior.

Jackson lists his strengths as "passing, shooting and defense" which gives observers an idea of his priorities. He's a well-rounded and athletic player who can create his own shot and drive the lane with confidence. Jackson notes that he wants to get stronger, but at 6-2 and 190 pounds, he has a solid base to build from.

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