2010 Intro: A.J. Marshall

DURHAM, N.C. --- While participating in the inaugural 7-on-7 Beast of the Hill Team Camp last July with his Durham (N.C.) Southern teammates, A.J. Marshall made such an impression on North Carolina's coaching staff that he was verbally offered a scholarship.

"They liked his closing speed and his knack for the ball – they really like how he drives to the ball," Southern head coach Adrian Jones said.

Marshall also eventually received scholarship offers from fellow in-state schools Duke and NC State. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback appears ripe to add more schools to his offer portfolio.

"It looks like ECU and Virginia Tech are also going to offer," Jones said.

Junior Season Highlights:

Besides the five aforementioned schools, Marshall is receiving significant interest from Alabama, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.

Marshall denied speculation that he is a UNC lean.

"I don't really have any favorites right now, because I really haven't looked into the academic part of the schools," Marshall said. "I'm trying to stay in-state. I'm not looking to go too far."

During the team camp and at several games at Kenan Stadium last fall, Marshall felt an undeniable comfort level at UNC.

"I really enjoy the environment," Marshall said. "I just love how they welcome me there every time.

"The defensive secondary there, they're so cool. The ‘Rude Boys' theme going on is so cool. I'm cool with Deunta [Williams], Kendric [Burney], and all of them – I talk them every once in a while."

During the next couple of months, Marshall is looking to attend junior days at – or at least make unofficial visits to – Duke, ECU, UNC, and Wake Forest.

This summer, Marshall plans to camp at all the in-state schools "just to show [his] face," as well as at Ohio State. In addition to UNC's team camp, he attended camps at Clemson, Duke, and NC State last summer.

As a freshman, Marshall earned varsity snaps, where he recorded three interceptions, ten pass breakups, and 25 tackles.

During the following offseason, Jones replaced Jeff Simpson as head coach of Southern and made Marshall a starter at cornerback.

"Being that I played defensive back myself, I demand a lot out of A.J.," Jones said. "We ask him to do a lot of man coverage where he's out there on his own."

Marshall went on to earn PAC 6 Conference Honorable Mention after ending his sophomore season with five interceptions, 25 pass breakups, and 65 tackles.

Additionally, Marshall took over punting duties for Southern and averaged 38.2 yards on 25 punts.

"Actually I played soccer when I was younger before I played football," Marshall said. "I started punting my freshman year, but I wasn't the starting punter. Ever since then I've just been kicking the ball. I'm pretty good at it, too."

Marshall had a breakout junior campaign, which landed him on the PAC 6 All-Conference first team at cornerback. He recorded four interceptions, 30 pass breakups, and 75 tackles.

In addition to continuing his punting duties – he averaged 42.5 yards on 28 punts his junior season – Marshall received reps on offense. He served as the backup quarterback and was under center for Southern's "Wildcat" formation.

"He has great exceptional hips and good footwork," Jones said. "He's one of those corners that when he gets to college, they're not going to have worry about him adjusting to the college life."

For all his on-field accomplishments, Marshall might be an even better student. His academic accomplishments put him in the top 15 percent of his class and he maintains a 3.8 grade-point average.

A.J. Marshall Profile

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