St. John Neumann Catholic High School is home to one of the biggest and best football prospects for the February 2005 signing class. Marques Slocum was named an Associated Press second team Class AAAA all state offensive lineman as a junior in 2003. He has already garnered a lot of very early recruiting interest in 2004.
At 6-6 and 334 pounds, Marques (pronounced Mar KEES) cuts an imposing physical presence in the Catholic League Southern Division. LionNews had a chance to talk to Neumann head coach Ed DiCamillo recently.
Coach DiCamillo told us that Slocum is one of the strongest linemen he has ever coached, but that it's his athleticism that has college coaches beating the drum to get film of Marques. "Marques is a former basketball player who is super strong, but he's just an athlete. He has great footwork for a lineman because his feet are so quick. He was actually a running back in grade school".
Marques currently bench presses around 325 pounds, but Coach DiCamillo kept going back to his natural athletic ability as the reason he's getting so much attention now, "We've never had a lineman here who could do the things Marques does. We run the Wing T here and Marques does all of our trapping and pulling. When he gets out in front of a play he always blocks more than one player".
Coach DiCamillo thinks it's only a matter of time before the offers start pouring in for Marques Slocum.
Slocum plays offensive guard and defensive tackle, and a little defensive end, for Neumann. When asked about the position he expects to play in college, Marques told us, "Most likely, being so big, they'll eventually move me to offensive tackle, but I would like to stay on defense."
Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Syracuse, Boston College, West Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa, Virginia, Virginia Tech and even Southern Cal are among the many colleges that have written letters to Marques. Michigan State is said to have given him a verbal offer. His first unofficial visit was to Maryland for their junior day earlier this month (2/1). How did he like the visit? "It was all right. I've been on the campus before because my dad lived down there, but it was the first time I actually met coaches down there. It was pretty good."
Marques expects to make trips to other junior days but nothing has been firmed up at this point. This spring, he is thinking about heading down to Virginia for their Nike Camp, but will probably not participate. He does, however, plan to take part in Penn State's May Nike Camp. Slocum also plans to camp at a few colleges this summer as well, "I do plan on going to the Maryland camp this year and I'll probably go to one or two more other camps."
Coach Ron Vanderlinden is recruiting Slocum for the Nittany Lions. What does he think of the Nittany Lions? "I really like the location. I think if I do go there, I think I would have a nice chance to start. That's what I'm really looking for. I'm looking for a good program where I can start, good coaches and good surroundings."
Slocum seems wide-open on his college choices. When asked who he liked, Marques rattled off a lengthy list of schools that included many of the top programs in the county.
"I do like Penn State, I like Notre Dame, USC, I like Florida, Florida State and Miami, I like LSU, Texas, I like Michigan and I do like Michigan State. I like Maryland too. I like how they stress the academics."
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