You can never have enough great defensive tackles and that's one reason that Arkansas is putting the full-court press on Los Angeles (CA) Pierce Community College standout Marquel Combs.
Combs (6-3, 305, 4.9), a Memphis native, took an unofficial visit with his mom on Tuesday to check out the Razorback program and came away impressed with what he saw.
"I really loved the facilities – both the ones they have now and the ones that they are constructing right now," Combs said. "I also really love the coaches and the fans. I really love the fans. They are really supportive of Arkansas."
Combs' chief recruiter is defensive line coach Kevin Peoples and the Razorbacks are one of 13 teams that have already offered the junior college standout that is scheduled to graduate in December.
"The thing that I really love about Coach Peoples is that he is a really nice guy, but also a really straight shooter," Combs said. "He keeps it real and I respect that."
Combs, who had 10 tackles for lost yardage among his 34 tackles for Pierce last season, did not play football until his senior season.
He did so at the insistence of his uncle Marshawn Combs.
"I really wasn't much of a sports fan and hadn't played any sports," the younger Combs said. "He came into his house one day and said ‘you are too big to be sitting on my couch playing video games. You need to get up off that coach and go talk to the football coach right now.'"
Combs took his advice did and he found out that he was pretty good at the sport while earning All-Metro honors as a senior.
"It turned out to be a great move for me," Combs said. "Here I am now doing something that is allowing me to get a college education."
He first went to Georgia Prep in the fall of 2010, but left there to go to Fort Scott (KA) CC in the spring.
Combs decided to go to Pierce when the Fort Scott coaching staff left.
"I guess everything happens for a reason," Combs said. "I feel like I am at the right place now. We just went 3-7 last season, but we should be really good next season."
Combs also visited Ole Miss last Saturday and Memphis on Sunday.
"I was home from college for a few days and just wanted to check some places out," Combs said. "I am glad I did. I got a good look at some places."
Combs came away with a lead trio, but also notes that he is in no hurry to commit as the offers come flowing in.
"I would say that Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas Tech are at the top right now," Combs said. "I just got offered by Texas A&M and Baylor today. I am going to wait and just look at all my options instead of just jumping and committing someplace."
Those five schools join Tennessee, Memphis, Kansas, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Utah among schools that have offered Combs already.
"I have got 13 offers now and I feel very blessed," Combs said. "I am just trying to stay humble, keep God first in my life and get better every day. I am so new at this that I have so much to learn and I am trying to learn something new every day."
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