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The North Carolina Tar Heels secured a verbal commitment from ESPN 60 junior Justin Jackson (Spring, Texas/Homeschool Christian Youth Association) on Monday night.
Jackson, a 6-foot-7 small forward who is ranked No. 14 overall in the Class of 2014, selected the Tar Heels over Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Virginia and Washington.
Jackson completed his official visit to UNC this past weekend. He also took an official visit to Arizona before deciding on the Tar Heels.
"I liked North Carolina a lot," Jackson said. "I had a feeling I would enjoy it, but the visit sealed the deal.
"Coach (Roy) Williams is one of the best coaches to ever coach. The atmosphere was amazing. The game, the fans were great and I got close with some of the players. Marcus Paige was my host, so we hung out most of the time."
North Carolina, which had been considered the frontrunner for Jackson, has now twice capitalized on a new NCAA rule allowing recruits to take official visits starting Jan. 1 of their junior year. Before Jackson, No. 12 overall junior Joel Berry (Apopka, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) visited and then pledged to UNC in January.
And Jackson believes UNC is far from done in the 2014 class.
"I think Coach Williams wants another wing," Jackson said. "There's a bunch of guys that they're recruiting, but that's the position they're still looking for one more."
This season, Jackson has averaged 30 points and 12 rebounds per game. A spindly offensive weapon, he has worked hard to perfect his signature shot, the floater, and he sees his patented move transitioning well to North Carolina.
"I'm keeping it," Jackson said. "It still works, so I might as well keep it in the repertoire."
Next up for Jackson this year is the home school national championships, an event that's responsible for his favorite basketball achievement when HYCA won last year. "Winning nationals has been the biggest thing to happen to me," Jackson said.
North Carolina is the only program so far with two top-15 commitments from the 2014 class. Berry is ranked the No. 3 junior point guard, while Jackson is the No. 3 junior small forward.