Marriner Dabbling on Defense

Virginia prospect Josh Marriner is one of the top tailbacks in the state, but he tried his luck on the other side of the ball over the weekend while camping at the school he hopes to soon snag an offer from.

Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch running back Josh Marriner is up to seven offers to this point, but could number eight be at a different position?

While camping at Virginia over the weekend, the 5-foot-10, 188-pounder performed well during the drill portion of the camp, but when it was time to break into positions – the nearly 1,400-yard back dabbled on defense.

"I really don't play corner, but I was showing that I had good change of direction and I showed that I'm an athlete and I can play everything," said Marriner. "I played outside linebacker the last two years at my high school, but the new coaches coming in are trying to convert me to a corner."

"So I went out there and started working with the corners at the camp."

While he hasn't previously thought about playing defense in college, Marriner isn't ready to rule it out just yet.

"If I feel like I can be a batter corner than a running back, I would play it (in college)," he said. "But if I'm still a better running back, I'll stay at running back."

Before playing corner, Marriner put in work during the timing and measurable portion of the day in Charlottesville.

"First, it started off with the 40 (yard dash) and I wowed some coaches," he admitted. "Only one coach knew about me heading into the camp, but all the coaches were watching me on my second and third tries."

After hitting another sub 4.5 forty, the auxiliary drills were on deck.

"We did the broad jump and I opened up with a 9'11'', which was the further than everyone in the camp so far," said Marriner. "Right after that, I jumped a 10'2''.

"It was the farthest of the day and they said nobody has gone passed 10 (feet) in a while."

Not only has the talented back been performing well at camps, but he has attended several including West Virginia, Temple, North Carolina as well as UVA's. The only other camp currently scheduled is a trip down to Wake Forest in mid-July.

Coming off of a busy junior season and long track campaign, Marriner admits that he is used to the day-in, day-out tests.

"Basically that's how track season is for me," he said. "Camps are back-to-back sometimes, so I make sure I ice up and keep resting. Other than that, I just keep working out."

Of all the camps he's been to so far, one staff has surprised and impressed him more than the others.

"I'm glad I went to them all, I'm glad I got to see how the coaches operate," said Marriner. "The school I want to go to, I want all the coaches to be good, not just the head coach.

"UNC's new coaching staff kind of surprised me…I didn't get the right vibe from the last coaching staff. But how the new staff ran drills and how they handled everything, it was surprising and I liked it the most."

While Marriner still has no timetable for a decision, he plans visits to Connecticut and other schools that have offered while maintaining that every offer is still under consideration.

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