|40 Speed:||4.5 seconds|
|Hometown/School:||Camden, Nj. (Camden Catholic HS)|
The weekend of May 15th, when Penn State hosted Junior Days on both Friday and Sunday, as well as the Nike Camp on Saturday, has already paid the Nittany Lions dividends with the verbal commitment Virginia's silky smooth receiver, Kevin Cousins. While Cousins is the lone commitment from that weekend to date, the possibility of a huge payoff could lurk in the distance for the Penn State football program, especially if they are able to land New Jersey star Marcus Wilson.
Wilson, a 6'2'', 195 lb wide receiver/safety from Camden Catholic HS in Cherry Hill, Nj., made the trip to Happy Valley with his mother to attend the Friday Junior Day. Although Marcus had been offered by Penn State previous to his trip, other schools occupied his favorites. The Nittany Lions, however, now stand firmly planted in his top two. What about the unofficial visit, made Marcus raise his interest level so high?
"I liked [Penn State] a lot. They showed us around the campus. It's a nice campus and they're rebuilding a lot of things. It's quiet up there. That's what I'm looking for, a quiet college to go to with a nice environment."
"When I went on the visit, that's when I really started liking them. I like the staff a lot. The facilities, they were nice, and especially the football field. I got to see the stadium and I like that a lot," said Marcus, who had the chance to partake in a tradition that the average fan would kill for.
"They had a little thing when you went through the tunnel and Coach Paterno was talking, telling about how they walk through the tunnel and what they do. So we got a chance to walk through the tunnel."
Marcus' mother also had a very beneficial visit, exploring what Penn State has to offer the student-athlete in the academic arena.
"The main thing she was looking at was academics, like do they stress that. And they showed us the little place, the study hall, that they have for the football players. She really liked that," explained Marcus, who had the chance to interact with Nittany Lion coaches Tom Bradley, Ron Vanderlinden, Brian Norwood, and Mike McQuery. "She liked the coaching staff and the facilities. She also liked the indoor practice facility."
Besides the Nittany Lions, Marcus has offers from Iowa, Virginia, Boston College, Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers, Louisville, North Carolina, and Indiana, along with interest from Ohio State and Michigan. He has been very proactive in the recruiting process, taking upon himself to visit as many schools as possible before he makes his final decision. Along with Penn State, Marcus has already seen the campuses of Iowa, Rutgers, Virginia, and Maryland.
Last season, Marcus attended a home game at Virginia. Earlier this year in April, he attended a Junior Day at Maryland, while he took in the spring game at Rutgers.
Despite his desire to see multiple college campuses before his senior year, Marcus has had the most exposure to Iowa, his co-favorite with Penn State and the school it seems he will have a difficult time saying no to in the end.
"My uncle (outside linebacker/special teams coach Darrell Wilson) is one of the assistant coaches, so I went out there two years for their camp. I went to one (regular) season game and then their spring game," explained Marcus, who has been to Iowa City an estimated six times.
"It's a quiet campus. No distractions. They treat the football players like kings because there are no pro teams. They really take care of the football team. And the atmosphere is nice," said Marcus, who explained Iowa also has a separate building for its student-athletes to concentrate on academics.
According to Marcus, most schools are recruiting him to play either wide receiver or safety, except the Nittany Lions, who have taken a unique angle.
"They're looking at me to play safety and be a third down receiver."
Despite his versatility on the field, does Marcus have a preference for offense or defense?
"No. Wherever I can play. Wherever they need me at," stated Marcus. "On the offensive side, I'm a tall physical receiver. I can't be stopped when I have the ball. Nobody can tackle me when I have the ball. Plus, I have great hands."
"On defense, I'm a physical corner. Coaches say I have great tackling technique. All I have to do now over the summer is work on my footwork, so I can get that much better."
With Iowa and Penn State as his favorites, does Marcus foresee distance being a factor so his mother can come see him play every weekend?
"Nope, she said she'll make every game. Driving or flying, she said she'll get there," joked Marcus about his #1 fan.
(Interview by Steve Curry)