Mailbag: 5-star RB Keith Marshall includes UGA among his Top 12

mailbag(1)THE MAILBAG:

Those of you who visit The College Recruiting Blog regularly know I’ve been trying to run down 5-star prospect Keith Marshall to do a report on him. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back from Raleigh, who is a top target for Georgia as well as most of the SEC and ACC, is not a big fan of telephone interviews. Or, to be exact, his parents aren’t.

Keith Marshall prefers to run the football and correspond via email. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

Keith Marshall prefers to run the football and correspond via email. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

And that’s fine. I understand it. As a father, I could see why I wouldn’t want my 17-year-old son saying whatever he wanted to whichever media outlet happened to call every night. I think back to that time long ago when I was 17 and the things that were generally on my mind and, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing nobody was interested in interviewing me.

I ran into this email-only policy just last year when Tucker linebacker James Vaughters was being recruited by half the nation. His father, Jonathan, preferred that I either talk to him personally or email his son so Mr. Vaughters could read what his son was being asked and see how he was answering. And I didn’t have a problem with it. It can be helpful for both sides. The kid can’t be fed any tricky, misleading questions and the journalist can’t be accused of misquoting or taking out of context. So I’m fine with it.

But it is slow. I finally received young Mr. Marshall’s replies to my queries on Thursday. While I wouldn’t say his comments are terribly enlightening (I think I actually ask him in one question particular to “please enlighten me.” How corny is that?), he was polite, courteous and obliging of my quasi-homework assignment. So I’m going to give him a thumbs-up.

I’m also going to give Marshall the honor of kicking off this week’s Mailbag. I’m sure he’ll feel forever beholden and indebted. So please make note, in this case it’s me doing the asking and Marshall doing the telling. Here, then, is our modest exchange:

So, Keith Marshall . . .

Chip asks: (1) Obviously you have acquired the enviable position of being considered the No. 1 running back in the country this year. I say enviable but I imagine there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with that kind of expectation. So please tell me what it felt like to learn you were a five-star recruit and generally considered the best in the nation at your position?

KM: It feels great to be named the #1 running back for this class, but I try to stay humble and continue to work hard on and off the field.

Chip asks: (2) Please tell me the nature and the extent of your recruiting relationship with UGA and then with Georgia Tech. I know everybody on the planet has offered you so please enlighten me as to your genuine level of interest with each.

KM: I’m very interested in UGA. They are one of my top schools. I have visited a few times and have developed good relationships with the coaches. At this point I’m not interested in Georgia Tech.

Chip asks: (3) I know you recently visited UGA. Please share your general observations and experiences in Athens.

KM: I like the city of Athens as well as the college campus of UGA. Every time I visit I have a good time and learn more and more about the program and city. I have family in Atlanta so that’s another reason I like UGA.

Chip asks: (4) How many total offers have you received at this point?

KM: I have around 30 offers right now.

Chip asks: (5) You hinted on Twitter (@Truthh4) recently that you were going to come out this week with your top schools. Could you please share that information with me and possibly add a brief “why” to each:

KM:

Alabama – They have a great program and have produced a lot of good running backs

Auburn – They just won a National Championship and I really like the coaching staff

Clemson – Good tradition and usually have a good program

Florida – Great program and their new staff has had a lot of success in college and in the NFL

FSU – They normally have a good program and they are on the rise

Georgia – They always have good RB’s and I like the coaches.

Michigan – Great Tradition and good school

North Carolina – Program on the rise and a great school

Notre Dame – Great school, Great tradition, and they are on the rise

South Carolina –Have a good program and I like the coaches

Stanford – Good program but great school

USC – have a winning tradition and a tradition of having great RB’s

Chip asks: (6) Everybody knows you’re a great athlete and football player. Please tell me something about yourself most people don’t know. You know, hobbies you enjoy or if you sing or play an instrument or are a master at X Box or play cards or volunteer at the retirement home or whatever? Looking for something others haven’t delved into about you?

KM: I’m a really good student with a 4.25 GPA. My fastest forty is 4.22. Off the field I’m laid back. My favorite thing to do is to go fishing.

So there you go. We now know Marshall likes to fish, is very smart, very fast, and very obliging. Don’t you feel more enlightened this morning? Now off to the real mail, of which there wasn’t a whole lot (useable anyway, ha, ha). . . .

Russell asks: Hey, Chip. Back in March, you reported that Kenno Loyal had committed to Auburn.  Is that still the case?  I haven’t seen that reported on ESPN.com or Rivals.com. Just curious if Georgia still has a shot at him and how hard are they pursuing? Also, what’s the latest on Keith Marshall?

Chip: I’ve moved slowly and deliberately on the situation between Loyal and Auburn. I talked to Loyal a couple of weeks ago and here’s what he told me: Auburn offered Loyal a scholarship and he accepted it. After the fact, Auburn began to look into Loyal’s academics and realized he’s not currently on track to be a qualifier. So Loyal’s recruiter, Curtis Luper, tells him him his scholarship offer is still good as long as he is able to to get his academics in order. That’s going to take some time, but Loyal says he has a plan and the ability to do just that. So I’ve chosen to just leave it at that. And as I’ve underscored here many times, schools shouldn’t offer scholarships until after they’ve thoroughly reviewed a prospect’s academics.

Ken W. asks: Any visits scheduled for Kevin Ware to UGA or any other school?

Chip: Not yet. The deal with Ware at the moment is he’s having a good time. He is actually on spring break in Florida, as I understand it. But when he gets back he’ll settle down to make his decision. Indications are that he may favor Louisville and he’s definitely planning on getting up there to check it out. He told the AJC’s Michael Carvell that he also likes UCLA and Georgia, respectively, so I suspect he’ll visit them as well. The contact period for men’s basketball actually started Thursay and runs through the 20th, so I suspect there will be a flurry of activity when Ware returns home his weekend. We’ll be following.

Ralph J. asks: Does Georgia have any offensive linemen close to committing?

Chip: I may be mistaken about this but I don’t think so. The Bulldogs have shot very high on its O-line recruitment for next year’s class. They’ve offered three five-star-rated tackles — John Theus, Avery Young and D.J. Humphries — and a five-star guard, Jordan Simmons. They’ve also offered four-star tackles Vadal Alexander and Jessamen Dunker and four-star guards Patrick Destefano and Joe Harris.

My point on that is rarely do such highly-touted prospects make early decisions. And what has gone largely undiscussed about Georgia’s recruiting for 2012 is this: Because of the perceived uncertainty surrounding head coach Mark Richt’s future with the program, top recruits are taking a wait-and-see approach on the Bulldogs. That is, they’re going to wait to see how the season goes before making a move.

The good news is nobody will likely have to wait long to get an idea. With Georgia’s first two games against projected Top 10 teams Boise State and South Carolina, we’re likely to have a good idea of where the season is headed by Week 3.

Emmanuelle Chriqui, aka "Sloan."

Emmanuelle Chriqui, aka "Sloan."

SUHatter94 asks: Looking ahead to the new season of Entourage this summer, do you think the show has “jumped the shark” or does it have some creative life left in it?

Chip: Well, if the show hasn’t jumped the shark yet it might as well do it now. There is rampant speculation that Season 9, set to resume this summer, will be the last for Entourage and that’s probably a good thing. It has been a great show but I’m not sure where else it can go. Last season they had Vince hanging out with porn stars and doing drugs (sound familiar?). This one I suspect will end with him somehow riding off into the sunset. In a recent interview, show creator Mark Wahlberg was asked what to expect. “Lots of craziness,” he said. “Vince is back on the success trail. He hit bottom and you know he’s going to come back with vengeance.” As long as Sloan (L) plays a major role I think we’ll all be happy.

128 comments Add your comment

Charlie Sheen's Red Panty Brigade

April 8th, 2011
12:15 pm

Am I the winner winner chicken dinner?? GO Dawgs!!

Stockdog

April 8th, 2011
12:20 pm

I shouldn’t have read the article, but very informative.
Thanks Chip

Charlie Sheen's Red Panty Brigade

April 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

Dawgs need this Marshall kid…explosive. If they can pull a handful of these big stud Olinemen from next years class…Marshall and Crowell could be one of the great backfield duos in CFB history. Hopefully the coaches can put all the pieces together. Just need Mitchell and Conley to grow into a stud pair of receivers early on. QB situation is set for awhile too. But can the coaches know how to implement the pieces? Somehow gotta make the playbooks simplified.

BigGAdawg

April 8th, 2011
12:30 pm

Thanks for the work on Keith Marshall. It is good to get at least a little insight. Certainly hope to see him between the hedges as a Bulldog. With threats like him and Mr. Crowell combined they would open up the passing game and make us a serious threat on every offensive play. They would drive defenses crazy. GO DAWGS!!!

Well said

April 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

Duh, winning.

Victorious Sakrete

April 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

Auburn may not have a football program by next signing day. Lord, they are crooked as a bucket full of eels.

Rhall55

April 8th, 2011
12:43 pm

Thanks for the updates: “Any update on JC Players, other than Lonnie Outlaw and Jalen Fields”? This is an area that UGA needs to pursue much better!!!!

Bob Marley

April 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

Tink it definately da last season for Entourage Chip mon, only 8 episodes too. May7be be a movie later on, but not set in stone.

JM

April 8th, 2011
12:47 pm

Never do understand how running backs are not interested in an offense that consisently produces 1,000+ yard/season rushers.

ClinchCountyDawg

April 8th, 2011
12:48 pm

The odds of signing the #1 running back in the nation in back to back seasons has to be out of this world. I think that if Crowell gains over 800 yards then Marshall will not sign with UGA because he will be worried about getting playing time.

1990 = Fake National Title

April 8th, 2011
12:49 pm

Yessir! I’ll have a second helping of Sloan please.

Hoopster

April 8th, 2011
12:51 pm

I’m hearing Marshall to UNC, pretty much done.

jp

April 8th, 2011
12:53 pm

GT and a good offensive player? seroiusly chip?

Rob

April 8th, 2011
1:02 pm

4.22? *cough* BULLS***

Mr. Dawg

April 8th, 2011
1:04 pm

I’m glad to see the Bulldogs setting such a high bar for getting O-lineman. Look at Georgia’s history – any team’s history for that matter – and the offensive line of any championship team was a team strength. Georgia’s inability to control the line of scrimmage particularly on the offensive side of the ball has been a major factor in their regression the last couple of years. Considering how badly the season turned out, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the failure of last year’s O-line to come anywhere near their high level of expectation was one biggest disappoitnments in Bulldog history.

ClinchCountyDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

4.22 in the forty is very fast if it is true. Thats Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders speed.

ormewood

April 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

4.22 in the forty. 4.25 in the classroom. Wow.

UGASlobberknocker

April 8th, 2011
1:29 pm

@JM. If you are referring to Ga Tech..it isnt the offense that is a turn off..it is the place. I noticed several schools on his list who have fine offenses..the diff is that they are in the SEC , they run an offense not rooted in the 1970’s, and dont have a sourpuss for a coach.

McDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:36 pm

if we don’t get Marshall we are a bit behind the curve on RBs-Theus should be our #1 priority

and your fondness of Sloan is the only reason i read this blog (not really but it helps)

AU3485

April 8th, 2011
1:48 pm

Hey Victory Sac….that’s the only way your gonna beat AU. poor thing

Well

April 8th, 2011
1:52 pm

ClinchCountyDawg, they’re telling Marshall that they could be like Ingram and Richardson or like Brown and Williams where they both get plenty of touches.

DawginLex

April 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

Really AU?

Look back over the last 5 years and tell us how AU has fared against UGA.

Bubba J. Dawgman

April 8th, 2011
2:04 pm

I looked this kid up on Youtube, it looks like he’s in fast forward and everybody else is in regular speed. Maybe the 4.22 ain’t that far from the truth. I like what I see out of this guy. Come on to UGA Keith, there’s gonna be competition everywhere.

RRTDawgs

April 8th, 2011
2:22 pm

I don’t think its a done deal for Marshall and UNC a lot will depend on there season same with UGA but it is mostly a UGA and UNC battle but Richt has focus more on OLine and defense for 2012 we still do need WR more than RB though .

DC

April 8th, 2011
2:22 pm

Haha..keep saying last 5 years…we are laughing it up…

7576DAWG

April 8th, 2011
2:32 pm

I think that after the Tenn. game next year if we are no worst than 4-2 and especially if we beat Boise State and or South Carolina which would put us 5-1 or 6-0 and if we don’t suddenly start seeing a lot of players arrested , McGarity will decide that the program has made a lot of progress in the right direction and will give CMR a 3 year extension. Then we will see if any recruits care about the long term prospects of CMR and his program.

ClinchCountyDawg

April 8th, 2011
2:36 pm

UGA’s Top Targets

1. John Theus OT
2. Keith Marshall RB
3. Johnathon Taylor DT
4. Geno Smith CB
5. Jordan Jenkins DE
6. Josh Clemons OLB
7. Chris Black WR
8. Leonard Floyd DE
9. Joe Harris OG
10. Jordan Watkins DE

Blackoutanyone?

April 8th, 2011
2:36 pm

I believe if anyone has a chance to pull Marshall from UNC it will be UGA. Sounds like he has a better feel/relationship with the players and coaches due to the numerous visits. At this point I would even go so far as to say UGA sounds like his leader. That being said… ultimatley after all the recruiting visits are over and he’s had his fun with the process… I think he picks UNC. UNC may not even be his #1 school but once he starts to factor in the distance from mom and dad….well the home state school is always the betting favorite. Keep in mind Bama was Crowell’s self proclaimed leader numerous times through out the process last year. I would be cautiously optimistic….. but hope Richt has a good back up plan.

5 star DT Eddie Goldman from Washington D.C. to visit the Bama next Tuesday.

Blackoutanyone?

April 8th, 2011
2:38 pm

It’s great to be a Bama fan…. Roll Tide!!!

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
2:38 pm

More to the point: Look back over the past 5 years and tell us how any team has faired replacing half thier starters, including the QB and centerpiece of the defense.

I don’t see them falling off the charts or anything, but this isn’t really just a case of “ok Next” on the QB. Without Camera last year AU would have been just another decent team in the mix of a below average SEC. Would anyone disagree? I’m not saying Chizik isnt a good coach. I’m just saying he doesn’t win 3 or 4 games without Camera on that team. Good for coach for getting him, that’s part of being a good coach….getting the players and then doing something with them. (all of this ignores the obvious for the moment). Maybe he can find another one day.

Just saying. He ain’t there now.

You can plug in another big NG, and probably be ok, but its not a guarantee. Nor is replacing that O-line. I don’t see where they anything other than one of many teams that have recruited well, but have a lot of questions.

Lowndes25

April 8th, 2011
2:40 pm

Hey guys, sorry I have been away for a while but work and family call :) I am not worried about this class at all, just like I wasn’t worried about last year’s class. If we win, and Richt and his staff are retained beyond this year, then we will land a Top 10 class. Kids are going to be hesitant to go public for UGA right now with all of the uncertainty surrounding Richt and his staff. Plus, keep in mind that we are only going to be able to take 18-21 kids in this year’s class. Anyone else excited to see a backfield tandem of Crowell and Marshall ;)

ClinchCountyDawg

April 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

Lowwndes25

What is the latest on Josh Clemons?

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
2:48 pm

I’d bet the Richt extention comes very shortly after the season. I wouldn’t not want to see McGarity using a contract for anything other than its intended purpose, and I don’t think it would sway anyone one way or the other. Recruits are going to know if things are going well or not.

DC

April 8th, 2011
2:49 pm

we went 8-5 with Bynes year before…just saying…and he sucked…

RRTDawgs

April 8th, 2011
2:49 pm

Hey Lowndes25 good finally here from you again how you been that is good news here about Marshall any thing you hearing about John Theus and Jordan Jenkins also been rumor about Matt Jones maybe flipping .

Dawgturds R Us

April 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

A few salient comments about the Dawgturds:

1. Four different SEC teams have won the last five BCS championships.

2. UGA was not one of those teams.

3. During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship.

4. During that period, UGA did not even win its SEC division.

5. Red panties.

In other words, UGA has sunk into total irrelevancy both regionally and nationally.

So why is UGA paying Mark Richt millions of dollars a year?

trupert

April 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

I don’t think Ga having Crowell on board will have much effect on Marshals decision because Crowell will be the only other big time back that will be on the roster and most teams are using two backs.

Sounds like a great fit for Ga and Marshall. You can tell Marshall knows his UGA history and yes, Marshall would be another good one in a long line of good backs.

Maby Crowell will host Marshall on his official.

ClinchCountyDawg

April 8th, 2011
3:05 pm

trupert

Don’t forget that Malcome will be in the mix.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
3:10 pm

OK. Well I’d say that aught to give you some idea since both of your co-ordinators have describe this spring as pretty much like thier first spring here as far an just trying to teach all the new faces the basic stuff.

And the only other QB that this staff put out there, not named Newton, sucked. Somewhere in the middle I guess is the goal for Trotter.

RRTDawgs

April 8th, 2011
3:12 pm

I guess you get few jerks on here i don’t mind if you hate UGA but dawgturds come on grow up UGA has won SEC championships and a couple of Sugar Bowls under Richt yes we have be terrible the past couple years but it has not been that all bad under him .

DawginLex

April 8th, 2011
3:14 pm

I just don’t understand why a loser like dawgturds r us comes on a UGA blog and spews his same old inane drivel.

What a loser.

Tell your momma to change her chaw. 6 hours with the same batch of Red Man is nasty. You won’t be able to kiss her tonight.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
3:15 pm

Malcolme would be moving to FB (or some version of that) next year, if Crowell catches on.

Dirty Dawg

April 8th, 2011
3:15 pm

The way Malcome is growing, he might be our next FB after Figgins graduates. Figgins gonna be a load coming out of the backfield for teams…plus he’s got great hands. Like Sutherland did.

Blackoutanyone?

April 8th, 2011
3:18 pm

Call America’s Most Wanted and let John Walsh know Lowndes25 has come home!!! All is right with the world. If this is the original Lowndes25 (and I wasn’t so sure with those first few comments about Richt’s job security) glad to have you back. Those comments about Crowell and Marshall in the backfielf… yep it’s the original Lowndes25!!! UGA cool-aide for all!! I was hear to eat my crow on signing day when we lost Crowell…. where were you on X. Dickson and LaMichael Fanning? It’s all good… hope you stick around for a while. Roll Tide

Blackoutanyone?

April 8th, 2011
3:22 pm

DawginLex… this is NOT a UGA blog. It’s a recruiting blog. Ignore the flamers like that milkdud dawgturds. This is a great blog with good info from time to time. Just have to weed through the BS.

Vick=Dog killing thug

April 8th, 2011
3:23 pm

Sloan is HAWT

RRTDawgs

April 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

Hey blackout don’t dis Lowndes25 now he was right about most of the dream team expect Dickson and Fanning you have to give him credit about Drew , Crowell, Mitchell , Swann and Turrene .

Why Not?

April 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

As an Alabama fan, I will go ahead and say it, I like the fact we recruit the big boys first and then focus on the DB’s, TE’s , WR, then running backs. It is a proven formula to winning SEC Titles, National Titles and everyone knows Defense wins Championships( maybe the exception of what Cam Newton did this past year was a little different) but I will take my chances with good defenses.

RRTDawgs

April 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

In my opinion i think Bama will be the favorite to win the west this year with AU down but LSU is very dangerous sleeper will be MSU in the east i guess you have to go with SC but the east is wide open .

Lowndes25

April 8th, 2011
3:38 pm

@Blackoutanyone?, good to see you are still around. There are a few reasons why we lost out on Dickson, but it is water under the bridge at this point. Congrats on the pickup. We quit recruiting Fanning months before NSD due to some things I will not put on this board. He and Dickson both have some work to do in the classroom (Fanning moreso than Dickson), but will be good pickups for the Tide when they get on campus.

@RRTDawgs, if Richt is here next year then John Theus will be a Dawg.

@ClinchCountyDawgs, Clemons is scheduled to be in Athens this weekend. We are his #1 school and have been for a very long time.