South 100 Athlete High On Duke

Heading into the 2005 season, one of the major strengths of the Blue Devils' roster will be the defensive backfield. As head coach Ted Roof and his staff eye the future, it seems as though Duke is looking to bring in several future high major defensive backs. One such prospect, Key West standout Laurence Marius, says he's very interested in what Roof and company have to say.

"Right now I've got around 10 offers from various schools," said 5-10, 165lbs Key West athlete Laurence Marius. "Of those schools, I'd have to say my top three are Duke, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, and Ole Miss could be considered on top, though I don't have a leader at this point."

And while those four schools may have a slight lead, Marius is quick to point out schools such as Florida State, South Carolina, Northwestern, and West Virginia are all working hard to gain favor with him.

Marius burst onto the national scene last fall after a strong junior campaign for Key West High in which he played both defensive back and featured tailback. He finished the season with 980 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns in just nine games. Defensively, he had three picks and returned two punts for scores. Perhaps his best stat is that nobody scored a touchdown on him and only four passes were completed on his side of the field all season.

A terrific natural athlete, Marius also competed on Key West's track team where he holds the school record in the long jump event (23'2") and runs three other events during the track season.

As has been their custom this recruiting season, the Blue Devils were in early for Marius and have stayed with him throughout the past year, which has earned Duke a place among the talented corner's upper echelon of schools.

"Duke was on me first and they've stayed with me. They are probably recruiting me the hardest out of everyone. They are down here as much as they can be, and that shows how interested they are. Plus, they are really building something with their program and the academics are great."

Marius, who has been clocked with a 4.45 forty, says a decision won't come until he finishes his official visits in the fall.

"I'm not going to rush into anything. I want to take my visits and figure out which school is really going to be the best for me before I commit."

Marius reports he has fully qualified academically for Division I competition. He is ranked as the No. 95 overall prospect in the South region by, as well as the No. 43 overall prospect in the state of Florida.

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