"He's definitely a power ‘back," Reynolds head coach Shane Laws said. "He's extremely strong and he's very hard to tackle. One guy normally is not going to tackle him. But at the same time, when he gets in space he can go – he can run away from people."
During his sophomore season, Marion was part of a running back rotation that helped Reynolds win the NCHSAA 4A State Championship. On the season, he rushed for 737 yards and nine touchdowns on 89 carries, and caught eight passes for 104 yards and a score.
Marion became the featured ‘back as a junior rushing for 1,815 yards and 24 touchdowns on 227 carries. He also had 23 receptions for 385 yards and six touchdowns.
"We're a spread offense, but we want to run the football," Laws said. "We try to get A.J. the ball a lot of different ways. We're going to run the inside zone and try to get him in-between the tackles. But we run a lot of option where we're pitching the football to him. A.J. is also good at catching the football coming out of the backfield."
Last October, East Carolina verbally offered Marion a scholarship. No other schools have followed suit yet, but he's receiving interest from Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina, NC State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, and Virginia Tech.
"I think he'll come out of the spring with several more offers," Laws said.
Marion hasn't made any recent recruiting trips, but he visited Clemson a year ago. He plans to attend a junior day at East Carolina in April and is looking at camps at Clemson, Florida State, Tennessee, and UCLA.
With so few visits, Marion doesn't have a hard list of favorite schools.
Marion grew up a fan of Southern Cal. "I just liked how fast their running backs were," Marion said… Following his freshman year, Marion transferred to Reynolds from Asheville High School. "I've wanted to be a Rocket for a long time," Marion said. "My uncle was a Rocket and my mom was a Rocket – it was just in my blood."… Marion is also a part of Reynolds' track and field team participating in the 100-meter dash, 4x100 relay, and shot put.
Video provided by Jason Pughe of AthleteVault.com.