Andover’s (Mass.) Alexander Marshall is one of the fastest-rising tight end recruits in the 2017 class, procuring offers from numerous power-five programs the last couple weeks. Nebraska, Kentucky, Temple, South Carolina, Pitt, Wake Forest, NC State and UConn have all anted up, and on Feb. 9 Maryland joined the fray.
“You know, I was really excited to get the Maryland offer. I was talking to Coach [Pete] Lembo for a little bit before, and he told me he wanted to talk [Feb. 9]. So I gave him a call, and he was telling me how the staff was going back and forth, just saying how I would be a great addition to the team,” said the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Marshall. “He was saying how things are really going in the right direction at Maryland, and he wants me to be apart of it. And I told him I agreed. I think Maryland is a great school and a great program.”
Marshall, who at one time was committed to North Carolina for lacrosse, said he was particularly intrigued by UMD offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense. The 6-7 tight end believes he could thrive in that two-tight, spread system.
“Just how they use the tight end there, they flex them out; they use them in-line to block; and they run them down the seam. That’s my game,” Marshall said. “I can block, but I’m also a matchup problem at 6-7, and I can get down the field and run like a receiver. I create mismatches against most linebackers. Obviously there are things I need to work on, but I believe Maryland can help me develop and take my game to the next level.”
The Massachusetts native offered up praise for his recruiter, Lembo, as well. He also talked up head coach D.J. Durkin, who Marshall’s spoken to before.
“Coach Lembo sounds like a great guy. His wife actually went to school up in this area, so we had that connection going. We were laughing, going back and forth, just talking about the experiences up here in this area and the places we knew,” Marshall. “He’s a great coach, a great person, and I look forward to meeting him in person.
“And I’ve talked to Coach Durkin in the past, and we go back and forth on Twitter. He’s a really good guy too, really energetic, and he has Maryland moving in the right direction.”
Interestingly enough, Marshall had an offer from Maryland about three years ago . . . from John Tillman’s lacrosse program. Marshall, of course, is no longer going the "sticks” route, but the early look from Tillman may have inadvertently benefitted D.J. Durkin’s crew.
“I was actually down [in College Park] the summer going into my freshman year, so I got to see the school then,” Marshall said. “And I remember learning about the internship opportunities around the D.C. area, the strong education they have and the great business program. I remember I felt like it could be a perfect fit for me at the time, just from an educational perspective.
“And now, it looks like they have a great football program too, and on top of that it’s only a $45 flight back home to Massachusetts. So it really does look like an ideal fit.”
Expect Marshall to return to College Park, Md., in short order. He said he and his father have already discussed a potential flight down, although nothing has been set in stone.
“We’re definitely stopping by [Maryland],” Marshall said. “But I have no visits actually set up yet. There are a few I’m looking at like Maryland, Clemson, Florida and some others that I might want to see. But I can’t say exactly where I’m going yet.
Marshall, of course, has already been to Michigan, Notre Dame, UNC, Clemson, UMD, Boston College and a couple others. But he insisted there wasn’t one “sweet spot” that stood out quite yet.
“You know, I don’t have any leaders right not to be perfectly honest,” Marshall said. “I can’t put one school above another yet. Maryland was definitely a top offer, as are some of the SEC offers I’ve gotten, but no one leader yet. I’m just looking forward to what the future holds.”