Jackson, a 6-foot-8, 270-pound power
forward, is a senior at Tri-County High School in Buena Vista, Ga.,
under the direction of coach John McFather. Jackson averaged 18
points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per game as a junior last year,
leading Tri-County to the Class AA state playoffs. He showcased his
inside presence and earned a reputation as a beast on the boards
this past summer at the NBA Players' Association Top 100 Camp.
A talented three-sport athlete, Jackson
is also an offensive lineman and tight end in football and throws
the shot put and discus in track and field. Before deciding to
pursue a college basketball career, he was recruited by a number of
football powerhouses as a defensive end and was a member of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Super 11 football team.
[to top of second column in
"Charles Jackson has a big body with
a terrific rebounding mentality," Weber said. "Now that he has
decided to concentrate on basketball, his upside is unbelievable. CJ
gives us another physical low-post presence. He's a physical
specimen for a high school player. CJ is a tremendous student and a
tremendous kid. He's had good success at his high school under John
McFather, which is one of the best teams in their class in the state
of Georgia. His AAU coach, Seth Berl, is an Illinois alum as well."
Jackson becomes the third player to
sign with Illinois during the fall period, joining 6-3 shooting
guard Jamar Smith of Peoria Richwoods High School and 6-2 point
guard Chester Frazier of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.
State University news release]