Florida DE picks Louisville

Marquis Haynes, a 6'3, 220 pound defensive end from Jacksonville (FL) University Christian, collected offers from Louisville, West Virginia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, USF and FIU this spring. Friday, the talented linemen announced his decision.

Marquis Haynes, a 6'3, 220 pound defensive end from Jacksonville (FL) University Christian, collected offers from Louisville, West Virginia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, USF and FIU this spring. Friday, the talented linemen announced his commitment to Charlie Strong's Cards.

"When I went up to Louisville it was a great experience," Haynes told InsideTheVille.com. "I saw them practice and the way they worked together made me want to be a part of their team. After I saw how all the coaches were and how they want me to really succeed in life I felt that Louisville was the best place for me. I want to be at Louisville because I know they're going to have my [best interests at heart]."

Haynes, who told InsideTheVille.com Thursday night about his decision, gave Strong the good news Wednesday

"It was a good conversation," said Haynes. "He said it's a good decision for me and he told me how excited his defensive line coach, Coach Hurtt, was to have me. He thinks I can bring more pressure and more speed to Louisville as a defensive end."

A two-sport standout, Haynes projects as a pass rush specialist from the weak side. He recorded 21 sacks as a junior, earning first team Class 2A honors.


Florida defensive lineman Marquis Haynes chose Louisville over several Big East offers.
"His first two steps off the line are hard to stop," University Christian coach David Penland said. "He gets an edge on people and he just gets by them. He's a very athletic player. He runs a high 4.5 or 4.6 [forty] and he's faster in the game."

Haynes was such a disruptive force as a junior that Penland had to move him from defensive end to linebacker so teams couldn't run away from him.

"A lot of teams ran away from Marquis last season and we had to move him to middle linebacker so they couldn't run away from him," said Penland. "He's just athletic."

Louisville plans to utilize Haynes as a 'stand up' end in obvious passing situations.

"They say I'm going to play a little bit at end and also outside linebacker as a stand up end in certain plays, like third and ten they're going to have me standing up and rush," said Haynes. "I feel like I can [reach] my full potential [at Louisville]."

Penland said that Haynes is stronger this spring despite losing weight during basketball season. Haynes coach expects a big final high school season from his standout lineman.

"In practice nobody can block him," said Penland.

Haynes says he uses his quickness, athleticism and moves to excel as a pass rush specialist.

"I'm a good pass rusher because I like to use a bull rush or a spin move or my speed to go around them," Haynes said. "I've been taught really well by some good coaches that have helped me improve as a pass rusher."

Louisville assistant Ron Dugans recruited Haynes. Dugans paid Haynes a visit just before spring practice and made another visit to Florida to see him this week. Haynes made an unofficial visit to UofL during spring practice, the lone visit he made before making his college decision.

"I know he really likes the coaches at Louisville and he felt like he was at home [during the visit]," Penland said. "Louisville is the same kind of coaches that we are and Marquis feels like he's dealing with us."

Haynes is excited about his decision to join Louisville's rising program.

"I feel like the program is going to be something serious to deal with," Haynes said. "Charlie Strong coaches the best of the best and he wants us to work hard like he will do for us. I feel like he can push all of us to reach our potential like he did last year when they won the Big East championship."

Haynes also said he felt as comfortable around the Louisville players as he did the coaches during his visit.

"I met Big Louie, Jamaine Brooks, and Calvin Pryor," said Haynes. "I had a good comfort level with Calvin because he's from Tallahassee. We've got a connection coming from the same area."

While Haynes is committed to the Cardinals, he still plans to visit several schools on his list this summer that have offered scholarships.

"I'm going to go out and look at other schools in June or July," Haynes said. "I'm going to visit Kentucky for their camp June 19, Louisville again, FIU and another school but I haven't decided who. USF wants me to come to their camp. I'm going to do some visiting around."


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