Dickerson to walk on

Defensive lineman Marquis Dickerson has accepted a walk-on position at Notre Dame and will enroll this fall. He talks about his decision to attend Notre Dame and why the Irish were a natural fit.

Defensive lineman Marquis Dickerson of Marianna (Ark.) Lee will join the rest of Notre Dame incoming freshmen on the football team this fall when he walks on to the football team.

Though Dickerson held an offer from Arkansas Pine-Bluff, he was planning to take a different route before Notre Dame presented itself as an opportunity.

"I was interested in Stanford, but I was pretty much set on going to Arkansas before Notre Dame called me up," Dickerson said. "Arkansas had offered me a walk-on spot and I was still waiting to hear back from Stanford."

"I first heard from Notre Dame right before their spring game from a member in their football office," Dickerson said. "I made the trip up to South Bend to see the Blue and Gold game. It was something I've never experienced before in my life. Notre Dame had everything that I was looking for as a student plus an amazing football program."

Dickerson said that the combination of athletics and academics put the Irish over the edge.

"[Defensive line] Coach Elston was really busy at the spring game, so a graduate assistant walked me around," Dickerson said. "He took a lot of time out of his day to make sure I saw all the facilities and campus. I plan on majoring in chemical engineering and I saw that part of campus. The academics are very important to me."

The nephew of Sam Perkins, former North Carolina and NBA standout as well as a member of the U.S. National team that took home gold in the 1984 Olympics, Dickerson mostly played basketball throughout his childhood.

"I thought I was going to play basketball growing up," Dickerson said. "But, as I got older, I figured out football was the right sport for me and I love playing it."

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive lineman says depending on where the Irish will need him most, he can project inside or outside on the line.

"I'm very versatile, and I can play pretty much any position on defense or offense," Dickerson said. "I utilize my strength, quickness and power on pass rushing, and I have a lot of experience run blocking."

Dickerson will arrive on campus on Aug. 1 in time for fall camp, but in the meantime, he's just looking forward to joining the Notre Dame family.

"Hopefully, I can get up there before August just for another visit," Dickerson said. "I fall more in love with Notre Dame each day."

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