Marshall: "I'm Going To Duke No Matter What"

Despite being officially committed to Duke for nearly two weeks, the big boys aren't backing off of Mays High standout Jabari Marshall. Many of the SEC power programs have been in contact hoping to entice the future Blue Devil to waiver on his choice.

"Since I committed I've heard from schools like Mississippi State, Auburn, and Florida," says Mays High standout and future Blue Devil Jabari Marshall. "They are trying to get me to change my mind, but I've told them I am going to Duke no matter what."

According to Marshall each of the three schools has indicated that a scholarship would be available should the 5-foot-11, 175 pound defensive back decide to renege on his Duke pledge. However no other school who has recruited him has been able to put together everything he was looking for.

"The environment at Duke was exactly what I was looking for," said Marshall. "It was some where I could see myself playing for the next four or five years. I went to some of the other schools and just didn't fit in as well. I mean Duke's a big school, but it's all together where some of the other schools are like cities."

Once he began to figure out that Duke was the place for him, Marshall says some of the recruiters really began to turn up the negativity in their dealings with him.

"I don't want to name names or anything, but one school kept telling me how bad they were beating Duke, and that Duke was basically forcing me to visit. I told them that's not how it was, but they didn't seem to listen. It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth."

Aside from the environment in Durham, Marshall is also looking forward to playing in the ACC, and hanging out with his future teammates.

"Playing against the best competition in the country is definitely something I am looking forward to, because that's what the ACC has. Also I know most of the players going to Duke next year – it seems that most of us are from Georgia and have played or worked out together. I actually work out with Corey [Thompson] a bunch."

Sporting a sub 4.5 forty time, Marshall is one of the fastest players due into Durham in many years. The speed has also translated into a terrific track career where he excels in the 100 and 200.

"I'm actually running this weekend at Clemson," said Marshall. "I'll be running the 55 and 200. I think I'll do all right, but I haven't run the 55 in a year or so. In the 100 I run something like a 10.74 and was able to go to Nationals last year."

That speed could likely result in Marshall earning immediate playing time when he arrives on campus, though he is aware of what he needs to work on to be a true impact freshman.

"They've told me I can come in and immediately contribute on returns and at cornerback as a true freshman. I don't think I need to work on speed, but I do need to work on supporting the run on sweeps and pitches. I think I'm pretty good when it comes to coverage, but I know I can get better."

Off the field Marshall says he's looking forward to preparing himself for a career in dentistry while at Duke.

During his senior season Marshall says he logged over 800 return yards, along with 47 tackles, and the seven interceptions. He also spent time on the offensive side of the ball, catching nine passes for 99 yards and a pair of scores.

And who does he like in this weekend's Super Bowl?

"I've got to say the Panthers. I always pull for the underdog."

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