Clearing up the confusion over Georgia’s No. 1 QB’s early departure from state basketball semifinals game (UPDATED)

michael carvell

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Among the Georgia’s high school juniors, Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall may be the No. 1 football and basketball player. When is the last time that has  happened?

As with all great players, especially those being recruited as intensely as Marshall already is, there are always rumors circulating. There is a rumor going around that Marshall was ejected from the Class A semifinals because of a bad attitude.

That’s just not true, but we’ll let Wilcox County basketball coach George Kennedy clear it up:

“The (Wesleyan) kid was right there on him, and (Marshall) elbowed a little bit and the referee saw it and called a technical foul. I think it was a little bit of frustration from Nick about the second half (about fouls not being called). It was a close ballgame, and then it started slipping away in the third quarter, so some of it was frustration, which is no excuse. I’m not making excuses for him. There is no excuse for that.”

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So, yes, Marshall left the game for good, but it was only because the technical was his fifth and final foul. If you’ve ever seen Marshall play (and yes, it is worth the trip to wherever Wilcox County is on the map), you feel like you’re in the presence of greatness. He averaged 28 points per game, and dropped 52 points in the playoff opener. Marshall is very competitive, but the technical is more the exception than the rule, according to those who know him the best.

“Sometimes he’ll get frustrated, like anyone else,” Kennedy said. “But that’s the first time I’ve know of that he’s lost his calm and somewhat retaliated. He’s still young, and he’s a junior. At other times, he has shown frustration but he’s handled it better.”

The big difference between Marshall and 99-percent of the high school athletes in Georgia is that everybody is always watching Nick. Anything he does, whether it be good or bad, is greatly magnified. It’s part of the deal when you’re an elite athlete, whether they like it or not. However, one thing every kid wants to avoid at all costs is earning the reputation for having a bad attitude (like one of the state’s top senior basketball players who we won’t name). Kennedy strongly defends Marshall’s character.

“I talked to him individually the next day … He said ‘Yes sir, coach, I understand and I’m sorry (about the technical),’” Kennedy said. “He understands it. I’ve told him he’s going to be in a fishbowl for the rest of his career at the high school level. Everybody is going to be looking at him not only as he plays, but also at how he handles himself. He’s young, he’s learning, and still maturing. He’s a great, great kid.”

Note:  While we’re on the topic of rumors, Nick’s mom says she had to make people around town clear that Nick has not committed to Florida State.

Marshall’s offers include UGA and Georgia Tech in football, and UGA in basketball.

Correction: An online headline earlier said Nick Marshall was ejected from the Class A semifinals game. He was not. regrets the error.

54 comments Add your comment


March 16th, 2010
6:48 am

Shake it off, Nick. Other athletes are trying to get you to make mistakes, and you are the better man….a young man who would look great in Red and Black!


March 16th, 2010
8:24 am

The problem is that referees get confused and think everything is about them instead of the student/athletes. On the next deadball, talk to him and if he continues, nail him. It was the final 4, give some dang slack.


March 16th, 2010
8:34 am

Sounds like the kid is perfect for Athens and Richt’s felons in the making program. Straighten up your act and maybe Tech will take you next February.


March 16th, 2010
8:57 am

How did they lose that game?

Al Beeski

March 16th, 2010
9:06 am

First of all, I am only 37 years old, but man I long for the day of reading the sports section in the newspaper. Michael, I know you are only doing your job, by reporting on the hot topics and UGA football is the number 1 sports topic and creates the most buzz & feedback. But this internet crap has turned the AJC into this rumor spreading, gossip & blog writing trash from idiots who know nothing about sports, but sit up on a computer all day & try to be comedians.


March 16th, 2010
9:14 am

not really a big deal. He got frustrated and got a Tech it was his 5th foul and that’s all you get. He knows he’s got to be better. Wherever he goes I hope they let him play both sports.


March 16th, 2010
9:27 am

Michael, why don’t you ask the coach how many technicals Marshall recieved this year? Is a recurring trend? Something tells me you may rewrite your column.

AJC Sports

March 16th, 2010
9:37 am

We’ve deleted the offending post and banned the commenter who used language that isn’t tolerated on the AJC boards. We’ll do the same for anyone else who can’t comment without using offensive language.

Do not post using the names of athletes or coaches. If you do, your post will be removed. If you do it twice, you’ll be banned.

No personal attacks on athletes, coaches or other commenters in the blogs. Limit your discussions to the topics at hand and keep them sports-related.

Thanks for keeping the discussion civil – AJC Sports


March 16th, 2010
9:41 am

Anyone who would judge this kid based on this has never played any kind of truly competitive sports. Sports are filled with emotions, especially when you are given 100% effort. That’s why people enjoy watching them so much. Get a life


March 16th, 2010
9:42 am

Would vote on this, but I can’t say I know who this kid is. I am usually more on top of my game that this.

old man

March 16th, 2010
9:50 am

Perhaps, Pinkins from Mitchell County was no. 1 in both, not sure though.

old man

March 16th, 2010
9:54 am

Sorry, meant Mitchell-Baker, or Ward from Thomasville.

Class A

March 16th, 2010
9:59 am

I was at the game and for the record I am a Wesleyan Dad. I was excited about seeing Nick Marshal and Lonnie Outlaw play since i am a UGA grad, even though I was assuming they would defeat our Wesleyan boys team. It was a hard fought game with a lot of physical play, in fact i noticed that as we moved deeper into the playoffs, the refs let the guys “play” and called only the most blatant fouls for the most part. In other words, both teams had adapted to the physical play but the difference in this game was that Wilcox County ran into a bunch of disciplined and well-coached guys who were determined not to let the star status of the other guys take over the game. Yes, Nick Marshal had at least 4-5 breakaway slam dunks that energized the crowd, but beyond that, Wesleyan held him pretty much in check. The Wilcox County team got frustrated when they couldn’t put Wesleyan away and the final score was not indicative of the closeness of the game.

Bottom line, Wilcox County got frustrated. They began making fouls that drew the officials notice and simpy let it get out of hand. There were 3 technical fouls called and one i believe was on the bench. Marshal got called for his fourth foul and then when hit with a technical, he fouled out.

I was more concerned about the fact that Wesleyan held him well below his season average than his technical foul. It was a hard game and we shouldn’t be thinking he is a bad kid since he had a technical at a critical juncture of the game. Did he lose his composure? yes. Did i do the same thing when i was playing HS basketball? Yes.

Does this make him a bad kid? Absolutly not.


March 16th, 2010
9:59 am

Come on, it’s a high school game (albeit a big one) played by high school kids. The kid has a competitive streak. Any coach would want that kind of attitude on their team. He got a little frustrated, but the other team had been banging him all night. It happens to seasoned pros, so why do we expect so much more from a teenage boy?

Home boy

March 16th, 2010
10:09 am

The headline writer for this blog should be ejected for a misleading headline saying he was ejected instead of fouling out. AJC monitor your own people as well as the bloggers.

Coach Johnsons Paul

March 16th, 2010
10:12 am

Do you think I would get T’d up for punching a UGA fan in the face?


March 16th, 2010
10:13 am

He wants to come to GEORGIA, but the DAWGS have so many top quarterbacks wanting to be coached by Richt and Bobo, we aren’t ready to make an offer. Hang in there Nick, your dreams may still come true.

Too Easy

March 16th, 2010
10:14 am

But, Class A, did it make YOU a bad kid? You left that one unanswered. ;)


March 16th, 2010
10:18 am

If he really does have an attitude…and I SAY IF…then hopefully he chooses somewhere besides UGA to bide his time. We want team players that are also gracious of both the game and the fans. Jesus is all about forgiveness not retaliation.

C tha 1

March 16th, 2010
10:37 am

Yeah, Al Pickens was the last GA high school athlete to be number 1 in both football and basketball. I believed he played baseball too. Whatever happened to him? If you saw him play either sport the man was from another planet.

Piso Mojado

March 16th, 2010
10:44 am

Get a life, people.


March 16th, 2010
10:48 am

Nick could be another Charlie Ward at FSU, but not at UGA.


March 16th, 2010
10:57 am

Al Pinkins is an asst coach at MTSU I believe and Michael Rochelle aint that hard to find you just have to know where to look lol


March 16th, 2010
11:03 am

Remember Reggie Ball getting frustated and hitting the UGA coach out of bounds. That was stupid and uncalled for.

But I never knew a player I played with that did not get frustrated and at a minimum deserve a “T” for getting back at a player.

I got ejected for pinning a player down and was about to lay him out. But he kept going under me every time I went for Rebound. during a break I told the ref to watch him, he’s crazy. So leter I went to Block a shot, he was behind me and took my legs out, I flipped over him and pulled him down with me, when I had him down I lost it and was about to lay him out and got stopped. ejection, happens to the best of us.


March 16th, 2010
11:08 am

The headline needs to be rewritten. Extremely misleading…why am I not surprised…

Voice of Reason

March 16th, 2010
11:35 am

I, once again, say journalism does not exist at the AJC anymore. In fact, it started to disappear before Furman Bisher retired, but has really gotten out of hand. This headline is out of place and a slight toward the kid.
To use my favorite word when referring to the AJC – PATHETIC !


March 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Why are private schools in the same division with small public schools? This is not even close to fair and equitable.
This class A division is “cooked” toward private schools with dominant budgets and “offers to participate” for the best athletes. I refuse to pay any attention to this class, and I feel sorry for the legitimate small public schools who have to play up with these schools.
Georgia needs a separate athletic system for private schools…period.


March 16th, 2010
11:51 am


March 16th, 2010
11:41 am
Why are private schools in the same division with small public schools? This is not even close to fair and equitable.. . . .Georgia needs a separate athletic system for private schools…period.


Or the dreaded multiplier. . .but high school athletics and politics are so closely tied together now, I doubt the state of Georgie will EVER get back to a multiplier again. . .

Voice of Reason

March 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Something I forgot, by way of explanation. The AJC, like many newspapers, is bleeding red ink. The misleading topic lines, encourage people to blog, which if successful and gets much attention, increases the AJC ad rate. The more people on here, the more money they can charge because of it.
I’m guilty of criticism of the AJC, which just adds another blogger. I suppose I should just quit with my condemnation (doesn’t seem to be doing any good anyway), but it is really sad that these so called sports writers are taking a pay check for “doing their job” by citing stories that many times come from the recruiting services like Rivals and others such as Sports Illustrated or The Sporting News. By doing so, they are able to drink their coffee at their desk, and get away for golf or whatever when they want. Guess what, that is PATHETIC !


March 16th, 2010
12:03 pm

47%+41%+17%= 105% who added up these votes?

Hard Truth Soldier.....

March 16th, 2010
1:17 pm

I wish all you posers would get off blogs about Uga/ and Potenial UGA players, go to your alma maters web sight, if there is one Sisssssssy’s!


March 16th, 2010
1:24 pm

Class A..good post.

There is however a real problem that hasn’t been brought up. The Wilcox County coach lost control of his team this year. There was a lot of showboating in blowouts and when Wesleyan tightened down on them Wilcox didn’t know how to react. There were, I think, 3 technicals called in the fourth quarter against Wilcox, including one on the bench. They just didn’t know how to handle the pressure.

Nick Marshall is a wonderful athlete. But, I don’t know that anyone will ever be able to effectively be a top college quarterback and basketball player anymore. The time restraints are to big and the crossover of seasons is greater than in past years. I think the time requirements are to much and that doesn’t even factor the academic side.

South GA

March 16th, 2010
1:36 pm

Watch a season’s worth of Wilcox County and you’ll see more technicals and multiple ejections. Fortunately, this attitude isn’t as common on the football field.

BullDawg Rick

March 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

Good luck to ya Nick… That was the competitive nature in you coming out.. Was it “right”? I do not know, I was not there.. But the post from Class A sounds reasonable & if that’s the truth, this is just a stepping stone in your maturation process…

Tony Flannigan from West Atlanta was the ‘motherload’ of all athletes in the mid 70’s


March 16th, 2010
1:54 pm

Wesleyan kids are rich, spoiled punks. Nick should’ve laid the brat out. I hope he drew blood.


March 16th, 2010
2:15 pm

BullDawg Rick@1:43pm…,

Anthony “Tony” Flanagan attended Southwest High School(now closed for many many years). he was one of the greatest athletes ever to play in atlanta. if i’m not mistaken, he signed to play with uga. for some reason all that potential went to waste(not sure why). maybe some of u old school fans can enlighten us, as to what happened at uga with flanagan. he was player of the year in football and basketball. he seemed to be a can’t miss prospect in either sport. i haven’t heard anyone speak of him in many years, i hope life has been good to him.

Monticello Dawg

March 16th, 2010
4:14 pm

Three subjects:
Al Pinkins was a great high school quarterback and basketball player at M-B, eventually played basketball at NC State. I am not sure he was the top QB in the state that year, since Eric Zeier was at Marietta HS.

Anthony Flanagan was one of the best athletes this state has produced. Tragically, he passed away a few years back. Came to UGA with a lot of press clippings, to play basketball. John Guthrie had also recruited Jacky Dorsey and Lucious Foster. Foster had academic troubles, and Dorsey left early for the NBA. Flanagan went out one spring for football, but Ray Goff was there, and I don’t think Flanagan ever played in a regular season game. Goff’s game was much more suited to Dooley’s run first offense.

Concerning Class A private schools, AAAAA is just as questionable. It is obviously not against GHSA rules, but to me the team that rounds up the most mercenaries usually prevails. Did 3 of the nation’s top 50 juniors happen to come up through the years in Milton’s district? Jelani Kendrick transfers in to Wheeler. Gani Lawal moves from Riverdale to Norcross. It may not be illegal, but I don’t like it.


March 16th, 2010
4:19 pm

Sadly, Tony Flanagan passed away early 2001.

As a UGA student during that time, he was quite the heralded recruit and fun to watch on the floor. He was extremely talented in both basketball and football, part of the Lucius Foster, David McGarity, Bryan Draft, David Lucey et al years. One night they looked like world beaters, the next night they couldn’t beat anybody. Typical of the Guthrie years. I believe he played a little QB his junior/senior years and had a brief run in professional football.


March 16th, 2010
9:56 pm

Well i watched a season of Wilcox B-Ball, and i never saw multiple ejections, in fact i only saw one player get ejected, and i can there may have been 6 or 7 techs including the semi final game, so you people who don’t know what’s going on need to shut up, he’s a kid who made a mistake, show me a kid who hasn’t made a mistake and i’ll show you a kid who isn’t human!!!

hind tit

March 16th, 2010
11:11 pm

ghsa stinks from bottom to the top but thats to be exspected. it’s run by an out of control people that don’t know a thing about honesty and fair play and it’s easier to look the other way than to check out where these kids are supose to go to school but that’s the way of big goverment out of control.

Ted Striker

March 17th, 2010
3:18 am

@ 11:54 a.m. — You evidently think that every sports post on the AJC website ought to be some sort of “scoop.” Awesome. Maybe you could come up with your own news website that reports the most popular sporting events. Naturally all of your stories will be based on events that are all scoops by you, all over the globe.

Once you get that site up and running, you let me know. I’ll gladly surf over your way and pay you exactly what you’re paying AJC online right now.


March 17th, 2010
8:11 am

During my 26 years of basketball officiating, I’ve seen a few true two sports stars and a bunch of two sports stars wannabees. Someone earier mentioned a f’ball, basketball and baseball athlete who attended UGA; he was without a doubt NOT a basketball player. I ejected him from a basketball game, mainly because of his “I’m a star” attitude…ditto for that “pac man” guy…observed him receive a few “T’s”…not anywhere close to being a basketball player. I observed the Wesleyan vs Wilcox game and in my opinion the officials were consistent throughout…the Wilcox players got 100% fustrated because Wesleyan is a well discipled, basic basketball team and I believe some of the Wilcox players tried to get physical, hoping to get their opponents in foul trouble…didn’t work. Kudos for coach Kennedy for his comments of “no excuses for that kind of play”. Nick, I believe you’re a gifted athlete; just don’t let other people dictate how you conduct yourself…good luck with your career.


March 17th, 2010
11:29 am

Michael, you may want to hold off on calling Nick Marshall the states best junior basketball player. I think that title is up for grabs. Kentavious Caldwell from Greenville High School is defintely in the running for the title. I’m not sure what he averaged this season but he scored 57pts in a game this season and I know he went for 40+ in a playoff game this year. These two should be really fun to watch next year.

The REAL 51

March 17th, 2010
3:15 pm

The reason he is so good cus he’s playing Class A ball come up to 5 A and see how good you r playing so of these teams. If i had to relate this in football terms, this Marshall Guy is only good for his Division not the whole state and division. Hes in the Semi pro league us 5 A teams are the creme of the crop 5 A is where its at

The REAL 51

March 17th, 2010
3:16 pm

Im sure he is good but i just wanna see him step up his game a bit


March 17th, 2010
9:47 pm

the REAL 51–The two of the best football players every to play in the state played at the lower level not up with the big boys–also one was a track star the other a basketball star–MR WALKER of Johnson county and MR. ROGERS of Duluth

hind tit

March 17th, 2010
10:05 pm

marshall needs to concentrate on basketball that’s where his best chance in sports is. trying to love to two women is like a ball and chain.


March 21st, 2010
2:01 pm

Garrison Hearst was a Class A guy…pretty damn good!!! Washaun….Class A Guy…looks good so far?
What was the guy’s name…Walker…best ever….Class A…

Some of our best have come from Class A and AA


March 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

THE REAL 51 = Idiot!

Before you spit stupid out your mouth do your research first!

jesse james

March 21st, 2010
5:10 pm

We can make excuses for kids all we want, but there is a problem with coaches not doing their job in disciplining their kids. They expect referees to have to discipline their players. That way players won’t get mad at them. It is kind of like parents wanting to be friends with their kids instead of being their parent. That is society now. We want to pass the buck. Players are out of control when the going gets tough and especially in basketball. Coaches send players in the game with their shirts out and pants down knowing that the referee will make him tuck it in and pull them up. But they would rather the referee do it than them.