Five-Star Back Enjoys Auburn Visit

One of the nation's top prospects Keith Marshall talks about visiting the defending national champion Auburn Tigers.

Raleigh, N.C.--Perhaps the top overall prospect in the Class of 2012, five-star running back Keith Marshall from Millbrook High has his choice of just about any school in the nation. One of the schools that is on his list is defending national champion Auburn and he decided to take a closer look at Gene Chizik's Tigers on Saturday.

"We watched practice and ate lunch with coach Chizik," Marshall said of his visit. "We talked with him in his office and talked to the offensive coordinator (Gus Malzahn). We watched some things on academics and also watched highlight films. I talked to the running back coach (Curtis Luper) and got a tour of the weight room.

"We didn't get to see the town as much but what I saw I liked it," he added. "I know they are doing a lot of construction (on campus) to make it nice. I like the way they practice. Everybody seems real close down there."

Having the chance to visit and take everything in Marshall said there are lots of positives about the Tigers at the moment beginning with the coaching staff.

"I like Auburn," Marshall said. "I've always liked Auburn.

"I like the coaching staff," he added. "They obviously know how to win. They won the national championship. They are doing the right things."

Being recruited for the Tigers by coach Curtis Luper, Auburn's running backs coach, Marshall said he likes what he sees out of the entire coaching staff.

"He's a real cool guy," Marshall said. "He seems like a legit, honest guy. I like coach Luper. He's real laid back and not in your face. I like that.

"It's good to see them practice because you can see how they are and not when they are recruiting you, when they are with their own players," he added. "It's good to talk to them rather than on the phone."

Watching Auburn practice also gave the chance for Marshall to see the lack of depth at the position on the Plains. With Michael Dyer and Anthony Morgan the only two scholarship players at tailback for the spring along with Onterio McCalebb's spot, the Tigers are looking to bolster the position in the 2012 class.

"They have some good running backs and I'm sure they'll bring in some good backs whoever they may be," Marshall said. "Right now they are kind of thin."

With 1,550 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior on the heels of a very strong sophomore year when he had 1,166 yards and 12 scores, Marshall has offers from just about every school in the country. Getting the full court press from everyone is tough to handle at times but he said he's just taking things in stride and very slow.

"It's hard because everywhere you go it's nice," Marshall said. "I guess you have to sit down and make a decision based on what you think is best for you because it's kind of difficult."

One thing that's helping Marshall is having a father that has been through the experience and knows what it's like. Warren Marshall played at James Madison and later with the Denver Broncos. Having a father with that experience is something Keith said he's taking advantage of.

"It helps me because he gives me a lot of advice about this process and just about football," Marshall said. "He also makes sure my grades are right because he knows football is not forever."

With so many opportunities and limited time, Marshall said at the moment the plan is to begin to narrow things down later in the summer as he heads into his senior year. Still looking at just about everyone on his list, he said things will progress pretty quickly once his senior year begins.

"We want to take more visits before we say anything," Marshall said. "It will probably be then (summer). I plan on enrolling early so I can't do the whole process."

Marshall said he plans to take his official visits during the season and enroll in school in January.

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