It may be halfway across the country from New Jersey, but Marcus Wilson sees a lot of his home state in Iowa.
"It's like we're making it into a little New Jersey out here," the wide receiver said.
Saturday, Wilson decided to add his name to the list of ‘Garden Staters' making the Hawkeye State their new home to play college football when he committed to Iowa.
"I was thinking about it on the plane ride here," said Wilson, who was in town for the Hawkeye Elite Camp this weekend. "As soon as I got here, it just felt great. So, I decided to commit."
Iowa brought in New Jersians Albert Young and James Townsend in last year's class. Nyere Aumaitre, Harold Dalton and Shonn Greene chose to leave the home of the Sapranos and will arrive on campus this summer.
"I knew Albert and I met James when I came out," Wilson said. "I also worked out with Shonn. And Nyere and Harold, we're like best friends. I've know those guys for a while."
Wilson (6-2, 195, 4.5) is the nephew of Iowa linebackers coach Darrell Wilson, who recruits New Jersey for the Hawkeyes. The younger Wilson was spending time at his uncle's house Sunday night when he agreed to talk with us about his decision to head west:
Had you been out here before Marcus?
Yes I have. I came up for the spring game. And I was there for the camp last year.
How much did your uncle (Marcus' mother his Darrell's sister) being a coach here play into your decision?
I'd say it played a big part knowing that I had family out here and that he'll take care of me. That was a big part of it.
What has he told you about Iowa?
He just said that it's a nice place. It's a quiet place where you can get your studies done. He also said that they treat you like kings out here. The Hawkeyes are like kings out here.
How nice is it to know that there are other players from New Jersey out here?
That's great. There's a lot of N.J. players out there, and there's more coming.
How would you describe your game?
I think I'm a physical, tall receiver that will go up for the ball when they throw it up. Just throw it and I'll catch it like Randy Moss says.
What type of statistics did you have last season?
I had 30-40 catches and 800 yards and seven touchdowns.
How did you guys (Camden Catholic) do as a team?
We made it to the championship. We lost to St. Joe's Montvale.
Was it important to you to make a decision before your senior season started?
That was another reason just to get everything out of the way. I won't be under any pressure this season. I can just play. Once I committed, everything felt better.
What other schools offered scholarships?
Was there any thought to stay back east with all of the schools from that area that offered?
No. Not really. My mom said that wherever I go that she'll be out there for the games. So, it didn't really matter if I was going far away from the east.
How attractive did it make Iowa that you would get a chance to play pretty early in your college career?
That was one reasons why I made the decision. They said that I'll probably play right away. It didn't matter to me, though.
Did you get to meet Trey (Stross, a receiver from Ohio that also committed to Iowa this weekend) when he was out here?
Yeah. We were talking during drills when we were running our routes in one-on-ones. He was a nice guy. I didn't even know that he committed until this morning.