One of the best defensive backs in Atlanta is off the market.
Kadetrix “J.J.” Marcus committed to South Carolina on Sunday. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound athlete plays safety for Stephenson High.
“It’s great. It feels good,” Marcus told me on Monday. “It’s something I don’t have to worry about any more.”
Recruiting had gotten to be a fairly big ordeal for Marcus. Although he never landed an offer from in-state schools Georgia and Georgia Tech, he ended up with more than a dozen from ACC, SEC, Big East and Big Ten teams. He said he ended up choosing the Gamecocks over Tennessee and South Florida.
South Carolina were among Marcus’ top choices from the beginning.
“They were the first school that offered me,” said Marcus, who went to Gamecocks’ junior day last spring. “They kept pushing toward me and they never swayed away. That was the main reason I went with them. They stuck with me.”
Marcus is just one of a contingent of players heading east to South Carolina. He is commitment number eight from the state of Georgia.
“I know a lot of the guys over there,” Marcus said. “I noticed that [Pepperell offensive lineman] Kyle Harris committed over the weekend. We’re the ‘Georgia Boys’ and we have to represent.”
Other Peach Staters planning to sign with the Gamecocks include Carver-Columbus OL Quincy McKinney, Maynard Jackson DE Lorenzo Mauldin, Peachtree Ridge TE Angelo Watley, South Gwinnett OLB Edward Muldrow, Ridgeland DE Mason Harris and Clarke Central QB Martay Mattox.
With recruiting out of the way, Marcus can focus on trying to help Stephenson win its first state championship. The Jaguars (9-1) open the playoffs Saturday as the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AAAAA and take on Hillgrove, the school from which Marcus transferred this summer.
“I think it’s great,” Marcus said of playing his former teammates. “It’s going to be fun. It was probably going to happen sooner or later anyway. I know they’re a good team and we’re going to have to be at our best.”