Big PA Lineman Wants to Play Defense

With 13 scholarship offers already in hand, lineman <b>Marques Slocum</b> from St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia, Pa is amazed by all the attention he has received so far. Most schools are recruiting him for the offensive side of the ball, but he told GoBlueWolverine Magazine he prefers the defense.

"I like to grab the other guy and throw him down," Marques Slocum said. "And there isn't anything he can do about it. On offense you can't do that. I don't like playing offense."

The 6 foot 6, 335 pound big man says he is being recruited by most schools for the offensive line. He reports offers from Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Boston College, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, LSU, Michigan St, West Virginia, Tennessee, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Michigan. "Coach Bill Sheridan was at my school the other day and he told my coach they wanted me to play defense, I like that."

Slocum is in a bit of a transition now. The head coach at St. John Neumann was let go earlier in the year and Slocum is transfering as a result. "I'm transfering to West Catholic next year," he said. "They fired my coach and I don't know who the next coach will be, what kind of system he'll put it, or nothing. I know the coach at West Catholic and he's good."

The process seems to have caught the personable young man off guard. "I'm really surprised at everything, I haven't ever been through anything like this so it's great that schools are trying to get in contact with me. I get like 15 letters a day." Some of the schools that have visited during the spring evaluation period include Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia. "Some of the coaches are going to West Catholic so there's been some confusion," Slocum said. "North Carolina just offered."

Slocum didn't attend any camps last year but plans on camping quite a bit this coming summer. "I'm going to the Elite Camp at the Meadowlands on May 5, then I'll go to the Penn State Nike Camp on May 15." Are they any school camp in the plans? "Yeah, I'll probably go the a lot of camps. I hope to go to the USC (Southern Cal) camp. I have a coach, Will Cooper, that played at Temple and a former teammate of his is the running backs coach at USC and he's going out to visit, so he invited me to come along. I really want to go to the Michigan camp but I'll have to see how the schedule works out." He said he also wishes to camp at Oklahoma and Miami.

Slocum has an interesting story about one of his favorite teams growing up. "I was watching a game and I really like the colors of the team," he said. "But then I noticed the "M" on the field and I thought that was cool. My name starts with "M" and I liked that. Then, when I started really getting interested in football I realized Michigan has a great football program too." His other favorite growing up was Florida State. "I liked the whole Seminole thing and they always have great teams too," he said.

Grades will be an issue for Slocum and he has some work ahead of him in he classroom. "I thought I had a 2.5," he said "But I found out I only have a 1.8 in my core courses, so I'm going to be concentrating on getting that up this year."

Slocum says he's wide open now as far as his choice of colleges. "Everyone has a chance," he said. "I'll probably narrow things down to ten teams during he season, then I'll make a decision after the season is over."

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