Reputations can be good things or bad things. In the case of Stephenson High School and Kadetrix Marcus, it’s a very good thing.
Marcus — who may end up being the best safety in the state before it’s over — literally landed of the Jaguars. Marcus transferred to the Stone Mountain school from Hillgrove High in Powder Springs between fall and winter semester and he’s currently going through spring practice with coach Ron Gartrell’s team.
And if you know anything about Marcus, you won’t be surprised to know that he’s now their starting safety.
“We were already moving into the area,” said Marcus, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back. “But football is a high priority for me so we wanted to go somewhere the football was good and I could grow as a player. There was no place better than Stephenson for that.”
Stephenson’s reputation for sending its players out with college scholarships didn’t hurt. The Jaguars had a record 29 seniors end up with football grants-in-aid this past February.
Marcus was already garnering attention before moving to Stone Mountain. But now he has double-figure, major-college offers and more than 20 offers overall
“I have about 13 or 14 offers that I’m considering,” Marcus said. “Pretty much I’m always in contact with the coaches. A lot of coaches have been coming through since I’ve been here.”
Marcus’ best offers so far are from Auburn, Maryland, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford and Vanderbilt. Most recently he visited the Gamecocks in Columbia during spring practice.
But he hasn’t gotten offers from some of his favorites yet. He grew up a Clemson fan and, of course, would be interested in in-state powers Georgia and Georgia Tech. UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner came through earlier this week. Tech and Clemson are well aware.
In general those schools and others are asking Marcus to come to their camps for further evaluation. He may or may not.\
“I plan to take some visits this summer,” he said. “I’ll probably go to a couple of the schools that are the farthest away first, then maybe get it down to five or six schools before the season. I hope to decide sometime before signing day.”
Schools are recruiting him as both a cornerback and a safety. But Marcus — known by family and friends as “J.J.” — makes no bones about the position he prefers. It’s the one he’ll play for the Jaguars this fall.
“I love safety,” he said. “I like to being in the center of the field and coming up to hit people or take the ball away. But I can play anywhere.”
For now, that will be at Stephenson.
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