Doherty ready for UO/Mizzou official visits

Kansas City (Mo.) Winnetonka safety Marquise Doherty previews his two official visits to Oregon and Missouri and gives a peak into his possible decision plans.

Marquise Doherty’s senior season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion last week. Winnetonka High School fell to Fort Osage after a fumble inside the red zone while driving for the winning score turned into a scoop and score late in the fourth quarter and ended the Griffins playoff run early.

Although still a painful memory, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound three-star safety said he’ll take an important lesson from his final year of high school football.

“My senior year taught me how to not really take anything for granted,” he said. “Looking back on how my freshman work ethic is compared to now, I kinda realized that I have to work hard every practice from the time you step on campus. That’s definitely something I’ll take with me to the next level.

With his season in the background, Doherty can look ahead to recruiting with a narrowed focus. Since releasing a top five of Iowa, Oregon, Missouri, Louisville and Kansas State back in August, three have faded to the background.

“Since then, K-State’s informed my coach that they ran out of scholarships for my class,” he said. “So they eliminated themselves. I haven’t really heard much from Iowa in a couple weeks and Louisville is kind of off and on, so the only schools that have really been on me recently are Oregon and Mizzou.”

Doherty will take an official visit to both schools, first to Oregon for their home finale on Nov. 22 against Colorado and then to Missouri on Dec. 5.

With Oregon, he said his relationship with secondary coach John Neal has continued to grow over the course of the season.

“I talk to Coach Neal quite a bit,” he said. “Probably at least once a week. He calls me and we just talk about their season and their week and what they’re getting ready for, or if they just played then we’ll talk about how the game went and stuff like that. It’s the same with me. We talk about our opponents and how we're getting ready and what I think about it. We talk football philosophy, more or less, from a practice standpoint.

“We talk about a lot of (other) things too like my family and his family. I talked to (UO head coach Mark Helfrich) a couple weeks ago and that was a really good talk. I just asked him questions on how feels about the town from a coaching standpoint and a family standpoint. Just living standards and stuff like that. I really liked the talk I had with him.”

A dual-sport athlete, Doherty said he’s also stayed in regular contact with Ducks baseball assistant coach Mark Wasikowski.

“I like him a lot,” he said. “He calls me probably about once or twice a week like Coach Neal and I keep in touch with him and have a good relationship with him. I’m looking forward to seeing him when I get out there too.”

Doherty’s relationship with Missouri assistant coach Andy Hill has also proved to be beneficial as time has passed this season.

“Coach Hill and I have a very good relationship,” he said. “Actually, Coach Neal came down and saw me earlier in the season and Coach Hill came down and saw me later in the season as well. I talk to Coach Hill probably about the same amount as Coach Neal. We talk about relatively the same things.”

Doherty is familiar with what Oregon brings to the table in terms of flash despite never visiting Eugene before. He said he’s looking forward to seeing something new, but that he won’t get carried away with the updated facilities and will instead focus more on how he feels around campus and the team.

“It’s a top of the line program with top of the line stuff,” he said. “So that’ll be fun to see as well. But I mean at this level, all of these teams have top of the line stuff so it’ll be cool to see but it won’t really be like, ‘Oh they had the better locker rooms so that’s where I’m going to go’. As far as that goes, it’ll be how comfortable I feel on campus and if I can see myself being there for four years and being around those coaches and those players for four years.”

Doherty is a little bit more familiar with Missouri having visited their unofficially. That means he’ll have a different mindset and different things to analyze when he breaks down both trips, something that he views as a win-win.

“I’ve been over there a couple times,” he said. “There’s not really too much else I can see other than the dorms and campus lifestyle, more or less the players, and kind of a day in the life of a Missouri football player. So that’s kind of what I’m looking forward to.”

Without a specific timetable for making a decision, Doherty indicated that a good visit could cause him to pull the trigger. However, if he still has more to ponder after the rips things could get even more interesting down the stretch.

“If I go on those two visits and feel like I know enough to make my decision then I will,” he said. “But if not, I’ll probably call those other schools and see what’s going on with them and explore those options as far as visits go.”

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