Since 1985, the AJC’s Super 11 team has transformed into one of the nation’s most elite lists, consisting of the best 11 high school football players from the talent-loaded state of Georgia. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go over the top candidates for this year’s AJC Super 11, which will be released next month before the kickoff of the 2010 season)
The AJC Super 11 candidate: Wilcox County QB-DB Nick Marshall
The skinny: The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Marshall is considered the state’s No. 1 QB prospect but is going to UGA to play DB. Last year as a junior, Marshall led Wilcox County to the Class A championship, passing for 2,956 yards and 32 touchdowns. He was named as the AJC’s Class A Offensive Player of Year.
Colleges: Marshall, who has drawn comparisons to 1993 Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward, committed to UGA on a football scholarship in June after reportedly being a “silent commitment” to archrival Georgia Tech. Marshall agreed to play defensive back at Georgia, which will allow him to also play basketball for the Bulldogs. He had dozen of major-college scholarships offers in both football and basketball — without having to agree to play the other sport.
They said it: “[Marshall] is something special. He’s the best I’ve ever seen, simply the best we’ve ever played.” — Savannah Christian coach Donald Chumley to MaxPreps.
The lowdown: Last year, the state of Georgia had its best QB crop in more than a decade, led by Flowery Branch’s Connor Shaw (signed with South Carolina) and Lassiter’s Hutson Mason (UGA). But it was the junior from Wilcox County who had the strongest arm. He wasn’t as polished as Shaw and others, but wow does he have a rocket-launcher for an arm. Nick makes throws, especially on famously tough “deep-out pattern” passes, that are the envy of college quarterbacks. Have you ever seen Nick throw deep? His coach says he can chuck it 80 yards in the air, and he does it with a simple flick of the wrist. Nick still has a lot to learn about fundamentals and technique at the QB position, if he were to play it in college. He is able to get away with it now because he makes smart decisions and is almost always the best athlete on the field. Nick’s No. 1 quality is a gifted arm. No. 2 is his competitiveness. He always wants to be on the field, and has a talent for making big plays, even on defense after playing all those downs on offense.
If it was completely my vote: Yes. Nick may be the state’s best overall two-sport athlete, and already led his team to a state championship with one season left to play. With Marshall at QB, Wilcox County is the heavy favorite to repeat as Class A state champions. For me personally, it’s a bummer that Marshall won’t be playing QB at the college level. I can understand his reasons for switching to DB, but I’d still like to see what he could do at QB on Saturdays.
Note: The AJC’s Super 11 team consists of the state’s top 11 senior football players, and not college prospects. It is selected by AJC staff members in a partnership with our friends from GHSFD, based on observing the player either in person or on film. A very important part of the process is getting recommendations and feedback from high school coaches from around the state, along with running the names by a few college coaches. It’s an imperfect process, but we do our best. The AJC’s 2010 Super 11 team will be released next month.
What are YOUR thoughts on this AJC’s Super 11 candidate, Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall? Please post below.
Video of Nick Marshall playing DB, and returning an interception 95 yards for a TD ….