Marriner Surprised by Surge of Interest

Playing at a subpar high school in Virginia, Josh Marriner didn't get much recruiting attention before 2012. But with a solid combine showing, a coaching change and solid film – things have turned around in a hurry.

Western Branch (VA) running back Josh Marriner broke his leg during his sophomore season, then had a tough time adjusting in 2011 though he picked things up later in the year.

Still, he was left without an offer heading into the new year.

However, in January, a fully-healthy Marriner flashed his track-speed at the Proving Ground Combine in Arizona and the attention has been steady ever since. He snagged an offer from Old Dominion last month, and he picked up his second offer this week - from the Air Force Academy.

"Things have been very good, actually a little bit surprising at the same time," he admitted. "We have a new coaching staff, and they have a lot of good connections. Greg Gibson is the head coach; he coached a team called Northview (VA) who was 0-10 one year then 6-4 the next year because of him.

"He runs the triple-option, he's a great coach. The staff we have because of him is even better. Our linebacker coach was on the staff at the Junior Rank (Semper Fi) All-American game. "

The Bruins ran a spread look and some I-formation under the old staff, so the new offense will provide Marriner with plenty of additional opportunities. He also shared carries in 2011, something he won't have to deal with as a senior. The good news has continued to pour in for the 5-foot-10, 188-pounder throughout the current track season, microcosmic of how he learned of the Falcons' offer in the first place.

"With Air Force, I heard from them one time and I knew they had a little bit of interest in me," said Marriner. "Last weekend, it was a surprise to me. I was at a track meet and I just ran the 4X100, and I had missed calls and text messages from my coach, so I read them and one said ‘congratulations, you received an offer from the Air Force Academy.'"

Marriner says Appalachian State, Temple, Harvard and Notre Dame are slated to stop by Western Branch to see him in the coming weeks. Navy is also now showing interest in him.

Even with all of the schools new to the mix, three are sanding out at this point. Notre Dame and Air Force are similar for him based on academics and the ability to succeed beyond football, but the program to offer first is sitting well with him.

"I love ODU…I love the coaching staff," he said. "I've been up there three times, once for a team camp, once for practice and for the spring game. I like the environment they have at ODU, the philosophies and everything. "

With the new attention and potential to build on his pair of offers, there is no rush for a decision.

"I kind of just want to wait until the summer, because I haven't had the chance to expose myself in camps yet," said Marriner, who plans on attending a local Marine camp, the Junior Rank Diamond Flight Camp, Temple's camp, and the Junior Rank Prodigy Camp.

Stay on FOX Sports Next and Scout.com for the latest on Marriner and the rest of the Class of 2013.


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