Marshall High On Ohio State

Urban Meyer's immediate goal when taking the Ohio State job was to fill out the 2012 recriting class. But that didn't stop Meyer from blocking off a large portion of time out of his schedule to recruit 2013 Middletown (Ohio) quarterback Jalin Marshall.

Focused on filling out a 2012 recruiting class that once was thought to be a lost cause for Ohio State, newly-hired head coach Urban Meyer didn't mind making time for one of the top players in the 2013 class – even if the player didn't have time for him.

That player – Middletown (Ohio) quarterback Jalin Marshall – was tied up with a high school basketball commitment when Meyer wanted to have him in for a visit in early December. That didn't stop the head coach, who instead invited Marshall's family to Columbus for a visit without the top prospect.

All the effort was worth it for Meyer given Marhsall is a five-star quarterback universally regarded as one of the top prospects in the nation. Though Marshall himself didn't attend the visit, his family came away impressed by Meyer and Ohio State now currently finds itself atop the prospect's list.

"They are probably at the top," Marshall told BSB when talking about the Buckeyes. "It meant a lot that he had my family in even without me. It means he really cares about me and what I do with my future and that is something I have taken into consideration and think about.

"He really impressed my family and he was really straight forward and they liked that. He didn't try to tell them anything different and he told them straight on what he thought about me and what ideas he had for me. That was pretty nice, too, that they came away impressed."

Marhsall's older brother, DeAnte, favors the Buckeyes because he currently lives in Columbus and wants to be near his younger brother. But after the visit with Meyer, DeAnte came away impressed with Ohio State for other reasons than just proximity.

"He just talked about the family environment they're trying to bring at Ohio State and my dad was really big on that," DeAnte said. "We all came away impressed. Urban has a great track record as a coach and his winning record speaks for itself. But we had the opportunity to see another side of him and my father was just most impressed with the family environment and doing everything as a big family."

Dubbed as "Mr. Excitement," Marshall has proven himself as one of the best playmakers in the country. Rushing for 296 yards in a playoff loss against Moeller, Marshall's accounted for 1,859 yards rushing in Middletown's triple option offense this season.

In doing so, Meyer found it appropriate to compare Marshall to two of his former players at FloridaTim Tebow and Percy Harvin. Given both players were vastly different – not to mention they played different positions – drawing comparisons to both is a great testament to what Meyer believes Marshall can accomplish at the next level.

"I think it says a lot about my game," Marshall said. "That's how highly he thinks of me and how much I can do for the team, so. That was pretty good to hear. It doesn't really matter where I end. I just have to see what I have to do before I can figure out where I want to play."

Though Marshall plays quarterback for his high school, Meyer stressed to him that he could envision him playing multiple roles at Ohio State. Though those roles have obviously yet to be defined, Marshall just knows he'll have the ball in his hands.

Meyer invited Marshall up to a camp this summer to work out throwing the football and showing off his skills, an invitation the quarterback believes he'll accept. When it comes to his passing skills specifically, Marshall acknowledged he has room to grow.

"I think I am pretty decent, but I think I can be way better than I am," he said of his ability as a passer. "If I want to play quarterback at the next level I have to work really, really hard throwing the ball. Coach Meyer told me he would like to develop me as a passer."

Even with room to grow there's no disputing Ohio State's desire to get a commitment from Marshall. Though Marshall has a tough decision ahead of him – he's also considering offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and others – the quarterback would like to come to a decision in the near future.

"I'd probably like to make one before the summer is over," Marshall said of his eventual commitment. It is a lot of work, I just have to take my time, look to my family and do the things I need to do. Ohio State is probably at the top. I like the tradition, how family-oriented the program is and how much they care about their players and the players around them."

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