Marian's Jackson, Penn's Torres officially sign with ND Hoops

It's official.

Mike Brey has not one, but two local players joining his program for the first time since becoming Notre Dame's head coach 13 years ago.

It's a very very powerful day for our program," Brey said Wednesday.

Demetrius Jackson from Marian and Austin Torres from Penn signed their national letters of intent on Wednesday as the early signing period began across the country.

"When I'm out in town, no one ask me much about my current team--usually it goes to, 'hey the two local guys--we have to guys coming' and that's awesome," Brey explained. "I love that. There's been a buzz about that."

Jackson is a 4-star point guard with exceptional talent. Many believe he can become the Skylar Diggins of the men's basketball program.

"We haven't had a local kid in 30-some years and to have one right here that is so talented, it's such a great story," Brey said. "It's going to be a great Notre Dame story. I just love the fact that he's a gym rat that wants to work on his game and get better."

Jackson is very good friends with Torres. The two may be high school rivals, but they are teammates in in AAU. The relationship helped lead Brey to signing both. As he continued to recruit Jackson, he saw more and more of Torres and liked what he saw.

"Different schools were calling about him because they knew I saw him play," Brey said. "I'd hang up the phone after selling him to another school and say, 'you know what, I think I'm talking myself into this guy.'"

Torres signed his letter of intent Friday morning along with eight other student athletes at Penn High School.

"I'm a hometown kid and I've always wanted to go there," Torres said of Notre Dame. "It was a dream. There was no other option that could have exceeded Notre Dame."

Torres is also pumped to play alongside Jackson.

"We play all spring and summer together," Torres says. "We already have that chemistry together. It will be pretty cool when we get there. Getting to play with me and continuing our friendship is going to be pretty exciting."

Brey sees the chemistry between the two.

"Their relationship is very much a key," Brey said. "They play well off each other. I think they will help each other mature and grow here at Notre Dame. They will be support systems for one and other. That was really apart of the equation too as we evaluated putting this class together."

Notre Dame also signed VJ Beachem out of New Haven High School in Fort Wayne and Steve Vasturia of St. Joseph's Prep in Medford, NJ.

Beachem is a 4-star player as well who will challenge Jackson for Mr. Basketball honors in Indiana. He's a 6'6" 180 pound small forward.


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