Marian senior Demetrius Jackson will play basketball at Notre Dame.
Jackson joined WNDU Sports Director Jeff Jeff Jeffers to talk about the decision live on NewsCenter 16 at 5:30 after making the announcement worldwide on ESPNU.
"I feel like I can develop as a basketball player and as a person. And I feel like, at Notre Dame, it'll prepare me for life after college," Jackson said.
Jackson says he's excited about Notre Dame's move to the ACC and that certainly played a role in his decision.
"We'll be playing against some great teams," he explained. "I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to bringing a national title to Notre Dame."
Jackson had whittled his choice down to Notre Dame and Illinois.
Considered one of the best high school seniors in the country, Jackson gives Notre Dame one of its biggest recruits in decades. Demetrius is a big fan of Irish coach Mike Brey.
"I love him," Jackson said of Brey. "He's a great coach and he's actually really funny. I didn't know he was really funny until recently. And he does have a pretty good wardrobe, he shows me all of his collection and stuff like that. He's funny. Yeah, I like him. Good coach."
Brey's going to love Jackson--a fantastic player who is also a good person and a local kid. Brey now has his version of Skylar Diggins. And Jackson wants to live up to the comparison.
"I do," Jackson explained. "And I'm going to work as hard as I can and do whatever I have to do to make sure that happens. It's a blessing to be able to play here in South Bend in front of the people I've known all my life, and all the ND fans."
News of Jackson's decision was accidentally leaked by ESPN earlier in a video blog that was eventually taken down. Jackson says it was unfortunate that it was posted because he had yet to inform Illinois of his decision and they heard from the ESPN post.
"It was difficult because of how good of a relationship I had with the Illinois staff," Demetrius said. "I felt like I could depend on those guys for anything and, just a little disappointing for me not to be able to let them know myself what my decision was and for them to have to find it out from that."
Jackson says he told Brey of his decision Wednesday night and then slept on it to be sure, confirming the news to Brey Thursday morning. He says he still wrestled with the decision during the day Thursday but knew ultimately Notre Dame was the right choice.
Jackson had a great support cast with him when he made the announcement on ESPN including his older brother, some friends, his AAU coach Rod Creech and his foster family, the Whitfields, who took him in several years ago.
"It's been such a blessing to have such a great family in my life and take me into their family and accept me," Jackson said. "I thank them all the time. I love them to death and I really do appreciate everything they've done for me."
And now the Whitfields won't have to travel far to watch Demetrius play college hoops.