Cyclone Staff Targets Explosive Texan

Don't be fooled by the final record of Texas' Crowley High School when judging the talent and potential of its star two-way lineman.

Iowa State looked past the 2-8 overall record and winless run in District 8-4A and has invited 6-foot-2, 290-pound Marquay Love to Ames for an official visit this weekend. Crowley coaches don't mince words when describing just how good he really is.

"He's the most explosive player off the line of scrimmage I've ever coached," said Crowley head coach Brad McCone. "He's got the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage. Off the snap count, he has that natural hip movement where his hips slide up underneath his chest and he's able to control folks."

Added offensive coordinator and line coach James Paul, "He is a dominant player in our football district. He is by far the best offensive lineman in the district. He's very explosive and quick off the ball. I think he's just as dominant on the defensive side.

"He's just amazingly quick for as big as he is. He's got great hands and hand speed. There is a lot of upside to him. He's only 17 years old and is young for his grade. He's still got a lot of maturing to do."

Although he earned postseason mention as an offensive player, it's becoming evident Love's services will be utilized as a defensive tackle in college. Wherever he ends up, Love will already have a wealth of experience from high school. He started 34 games over a three-year span playing fluently on both sides of the ball.

"Whatever he sets his mind to, I think he'll be able to do, whether he plays offense or defense," McCone said. "Some folks are shying away from him because he's only about 6-2, but he's going to play 6-4 or 6-5. Iowa State talked about him playing defensive tackle."

Because of his role on Crowley's basketball team, Love's trip to ISU this weekend will be his first official visit. In the coming weeks, Love has also set up visits to Arizona and SMU.

Without the benefit of seeing any programs, Love has struggled through the recruiting process, said McCone.

"He said he was confused and I said that's what the visits are for," McCone said. "He's been playing basketball, so this is actually his first trip. I think he's excited about going and seeing a University and what they have to offer. You can tell a kid, but seeing it is going to speak volumes instead of telling the kid what they have."

ISU's television exposure in Texas has paid off in its recruiting of Love.

"Iowa State was on TV several times this year and he got to see Seneca Wallace play," McCone said. "It's not like he hasn't heard of Iowa State."

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