"It was tough," Marks said. "I really wanted to go home and sit with my family. I knew they weren't going to give me much leeway on which way to go, they were going to tell me it was my decision. I went home and talked with it with my family and prayed about it. That was the decision I came to and I feel good about it.
"It was me, my mom, my dad, and my grandmother," he added. "Those are the main people in my life. There were some others like cousins that I'm not really close to. I just told them the situation and how everything worked. We all came to a decision. I just prayed about it. For some reason I felt good about the decision and felt it was the best way to go."
Each season the NFL allows potential players to gather input from scouts and management in the league on where they will be taken in the draft. Marks along with fellow juniors Antonio Coleman and Jerraud Powers put his name in to be evaluated. Even though he's made his decision he said he hasn't heard back from the NFL.
"Actually I haven't gotten the papers back yet," Marks said. "We kept waiting on the papers and I wanted to see what came back. I made the decision without even looking at the papers."
Projected by many scouts to be a first or second round selection coming into his junior season, Marks battled injuries as he played in 11 games and made 32 tackles, two sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. Even though his season was a disappointment, Marks said he's still confident he'll be taken high enough to justify leaving early.
"I wouldn't have left if I didn't think I would be a first day pick," Marks said. "I still figure I'll be a first day pick."
One of the factors many players have brought up is the possibility of a rookie salary cap being introduced into the NFL next season. While that is not true and won't be in place until at least the 2011 season, it's still something many players are hearing from interested parties. Marks said that wasn't a factor in his decision though.
"I've heard that, but it would only affect the Top 15 picks or something," Marks said. "It really doesn't matter. More money would be even better, but whatever kind of money you're going to get is better than what you had."
The 2008 season wasn't just a tough one for Marks on the field, but off the field he lost his coach Tommy Tuberville and had to go through the thoughts of playing for another coaching staff. He said while he's spoken with Tuberville, he had no problem playing for Chizik, but he just felt the timing was right for him to leave.
"Actually I talked to Coach Tub," Marks said. "I said I was going back to him for advice after the season. By talking to all the coaches it seemed like they didn't want to say one thing or another because they thought maybe I would think they were saying it because they weren't going to be there or on behalf of the university. Neither one of them gave me leeway on whether to leave or stay…they said to think it over and do what it best for me and my family. That's what I did."
Marks said he has not signed with an agent and has until Jan. 15 to decide if he wants to remain in the NFL Draft. He noted that while there is a chance he could come back, right now he's firm on his decision to be a pro.
"I'm about to fax my papers off," Marks said. "That's going to do nothing but put my name in the hat. I would still have to mid-January if I want to come back or not. I think I'm pretty sure of my decision.
"I just feel good about it," he added. "Once a man makes a decision and feels solid about it, he's going to feel solid about it."
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Marks said he has spoken with Coleman about his decision, but doesn't know what his teammate is planning to do when he announced at Saturday at Williamson High in Mobile.
"We always talk and always say if something happens we would go this way or that way," Marks said. "Talking with him didn't help me make my decision. I don't know what he's going to do from talking with me."
In addition Marks' roommate, Tray Blackmon, has also been the subject of many rumors about his future next season. Marks said he hasn't spoken with Blackmon in a while, but at last report he was planning on returning to Auburn for his senior season.