Ball in No Rush

Emerging from the large shadow of his older brother, Westerville-South (OH) HS senior Marcus Ball is working on whittling his 22-plus offers down to five, and knows which schools are sticking out.

MADISON - Around Westerville-South (OH) High, located on the northeastern side of Columbus, Marcus Ball is known as ‘the man.' The 6-2, 205-pound quarterback/safety and basketball star was a big part of his school's success last season - passing for 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns, running for 500 yards and intercepting seven passes with a touchdown.

Around the area he's known as ‘Ray Ball's Little Brother,' as his older brother starred on the offensive line for several seasons, grabbed over a dozen offers and eventually committed to Wisconsin.

But when he volunteers with kids at youth basketball camps over the summer, he's simply known as ‘Marcus.'

"It's very humbling and a lot of fun," Ball told Badger Nation of working the camps. "Working with little kids let's you see how far you came. You don't always remember being that little and working with them makes you better. They don't worry about scholarships or anything. They just have fun."

That's the approach Ball – a three-star prospect rated the No.46 safety by – is taking with his recruiting process. With over 22 scholarship offers, Ball's list of choices stretches across the country from Arizona State to Boston College. The positions he's been offered at are also a mixed bag, as Ball says he's been offered as a quarterback, safety, receiver and a hybrid linebacker/safety.

Ball says it's too early for a top five, but says he is trying to narrow down his list and that Arizona State, Illinois, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin are the ones sticking out.

"It's a blessing to have this many choices," said Ball. "It does get hectic, so narrowing it down has to be done. I want to make a top five before I take my officials so I can do research on the schools."

One school that Ball won't need to do a ton of research on is Wisconsin. With his brother attending the school, Ball has visited the school a handful of times and has developed a good relationship with the Wisconsin coaching staff.

"I probably have the best feel for Wisconsin because of my brother," said Ball. "Coach Azzanni has been recruiting me for awhile now. The new coaches are on board with what they are doing. They are hardworking coaches. The tradition behind Wisconsin won't change at all. It's still a good program. A great program and still has the same head coach. It's a school that is going to keep winning."

Ball admits that having his older brother – who will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall – is a definite positive if he would pick Wisconsin, but doesn't make the Badgers necessarily the favorite.

"When you are a high school player and your brother goes to Wisconsin, it's something that you are going to look at," said Ball. "What's best for your brother isn't always the best for me, so I can't make the final decision based on that. It's definitely a good thing to have a family member, somebody you look up to, to lead the way and let me know how the coach likes things."

With various summer visits tentatively scheduled around the Midwest, Ball plans on continuing to better his game. Attributing some of his success to playing basketball with the hand-eye coordination and footwork carrying over to the field, Ball says most of his success comes from playing a quarterback position that demands a mature leader for a successful team.

"The safety is the quarterback of the defense, so I push myself looking at it from that side," Ball said. "Both positions come natural to be because they are so much alike. I enjoy both of them equally. I like the pressure that comes with playing quarterback and there is nothing like hitting somebody on defense. Both positions take great leadership."

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