Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hoops Recruiting - Charles Jackson

Remember Lewis Clinch's buddy Charles Jackson? He's the big-man who could have played football anywhere, but loved hoops. He was recruited by Coach Hewitt, but was never made an offer. He ended up committing to Illinois, and check out the sales pitch by Bruce Webber:

Illinois’ only ranked freshman recruit, Charles “CJ” Jackson (121), recalls the
Sunday Weber called him into his office before his flight back to his Buena
Vista, Ga. home.“He looked me straight in the eye, and he was like, ‘Most
coaches are going to guarantee you 30 minutes a game,” Jackson says. “Coaches
are going to tell you you’re going to play 15 at least as a freshman. They’re
going to tell you that you’re the number one player coming up next season. I’m
not here to tell you that.“I’m here to tell you that you’re a good player, and
we want you on the Illinois basketball team, but we don’t need you. Our success
will not depend on you coming here or not. We would love to have you, but how
much you play depends on how much you’re willing to work and how much you’re
going to deserve. I’m not going to promise you anything.’“At first it kind of
scared me. I was like, ‘That doesn’t sound too good. I’m going to go somewhere
else.’ But on the plane flight home, I thought about it. He was the only coach
that was straight up real. You don’t need me, but they’d love to have me. How
much I play depends on how much I want to work. And that kind of sold me. That
means he doesn’t show favoritism to any players.”

Meanwhile, Coach Hewitt comments on Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar and his ability to nab recruits, including Philip Nelson, who had the Jackets as his 2nd choice:

"The guy’s got such high character and he’s got a way of being persistent without coming across as pushy," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "He’s a humble guy who’s done a great job."