Ball pledges, signs with ASU on NLI day

Sometimes family ties are hard to overcome in recruiting, but Arizona State was able to manage that aspect when pursuing Marcus Ball. The Westerville-South (Ohio) athlete, who's brother Ray Hall plays for Wisconsin, has decommitted from the Badgers in favor of the Sun Devils and made his announcement official today at a ceremony at his high school as he signed his NLI earlier in the day.

"When I went there to Arizona State (on his official visit) it was different scenario I guess," Ball stated. "It was 50 degrees so it wasn't hot. You think about seeing all the parties and the girls there, but it was so cold that I didn't see all of that. So it was blessing that it was cold because I got to see the real side of the school, if you will.

"I met Mr. Jean Boyd and a lot of people on the academic support staff there. I really was impressed the most by the academic support. Mr. Boyd is an amazing guy with high character that is going to be there for many years. Everyone I met there, coaches, players, seems very genuine."

Ball was hosted on the trip by ASU quarterback Michael Eubank and it was no coincidence that the linebacker was being hosted by an offensive player, since the Sun Devils can see the Westerville standout play on both sides of the ball, the only school that was pursuing Ball with that approach.

"They said that they like me at wide receiver too," Ball remarked in that interview. "They didn't say exactly what wide receiver role I would play. I don't know if it more appealing to me that they are recruiting me both on offense and defense. But what's good about that is that I can make an impact quicker on a team that is recruiting me for both spots because you're diverse and have more opportunities.

"If things don't work out at receiver, I know I can go to a defensive spot and do some damage there. The window of opportunity is expanded for me to make damage at either spot. They just want me to play at the position I would have the most success at."

The 6-3 205-pound Marcus Ball added that on offense he could be a mismatch for linebackers with his speed, and that he could use his height and speed on defense to come down and hit or blitz, and also be in coverage.

The Westerville-South athlete pledged to Wisconsin in November, but a coaching change in Madison naturally had the younger Ball brother explore his options. Ultimately, he felt that ASU was the better choice for him.

"When I look at a school I'm looking at the everyday life for a student," Ball explained. "You have to balance football with academics, and also social life. Academic support, the sincerity of the coaches and having a good relationship with them with an open door. You want to be comfortable with them so you can talk about anything."

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