Prospect Becoming A Hot Name Late In The Process

This defender's head coach talks about his player and the schools he's considering.

Alexander City, Ala.--Benjamin Russell High Coach Carl Martin has been one of the top high school coaches in Alabama since his years as a defensive coordinator for the Wildcats. Now the head man for a team that won a state title in 2001 and fell just short of that goal in 2000 and 2002, Martin has seen his share of good players both for and against his teams.

One of the top prospects in Alabama suited up for Martin the last three seasons and is now garnering attention from some of the top programs in the South. Big defender Marquies Gunn visited Auburn two weekends ago and tripped to both Louisville and UAB last weekend. A player with tremendous upside, Gunn has schools trying their hardest to get him to consider them on signing day.

"Marquies had 23 sacks," Martin said of Gunn's tremendous senior season. "He's 6-4 ½. He runs a 4.6 forty and he's going to fill out on that frame of his and he's going to be a rush end for Auburn University or wherever he goes to school. I know his interest lies in Auburn right but he's been offered by everyone under the sun, including Alabama, who called me today. The new staff said they got in late but wondered if they had a chance to get Marquies Gunn. I said the kids haven't told me anything. He said our plane would be in the air and we'll meet with you in the morning at 7:30."

Marquies Gunn shown in action during his junior season at Benjamin Russell.

Once thought to be a long shot to qualify, Gunn has worked hard to improve both his grades and test scores during his senior season. The work has paid off as the 225-pound wrestler for the Wildcats is now on his way to qualifying. That news has made him one of the top prospects in Alabama at the end of the recruiting season in 2003.

Martin said the team that is lucky enough to land Gunn is going to get a special player and person for their program.

"He's been a team leader his senior year," Martin said. "He's a bellcow. He runs to the ball at all times. Marquies is a fine young man. He has no baggage. He comes to school with no problems, no discipline problems. He would come in there with a lot of class. He knows what he wants to do in life. He wants to be his own man and be able to work real hard in the summer program and make sure he gives it everything he can to have an opportunity to go out there and play this year on the football field."

Gunn is expected to choose between Auburn, Louisville, UAB and Alabama next week and it could come before signing day.

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Gunn won't be the only Wildcat receiving attention this week and next. Defensive back Eric Brock is also considering Auburn along with Arkansas, Louisville, UAB and Alabama is making a late push to get a visit out of Brock. Wide receiver Jonathan Russell is also expected to sign with a Division I school. He visited Louisville last weekend along with Gunn and Brock and received an offer from Coach Bobby Petrino. He also has an offer from UAB and Alabama has expressed some late interest in him as well.

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