Visit Hits the Mark for Top Lineman

It was a big weekend for the Penn State football team. Not only was it the start of spring practice, but Happy Valley had a large contingent of the nation's top junior talent on campus for a Junior Day. One visitor was Josh Marks, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive lineman from Southern Columbia High in Catawissa, Pa.

Josh Marks had been to Penn State a couple times before for games and camps, but had never taken an official tour of the campus and facilities.

How did everything turn out?

“Everything went real good. I was up to two games this past fall and I went on a couple other visits there but I never got to see the entire campus,” Marks said. “I camped there, but I never took a complete tour of the campus. I was really impressed. The campus was beautiful. You go to some places and the football facilities are away from the rest of the campus, but at Penn State, the dorms you stay in as a freshman and the Nittany Apartments are real close to the football facilities and classrooms. Just the campus in general was beautiful. I love the coaches at Penn State.”

Expectation-wise, Marks said that his tour of the campus in Happy Valley went better than expected.

“I really didn't think about the campus, but when we took the tour, it exceeded my expectations,” Marks said. “It was beautiful. There are old buildings that are nice and then there are new state of the art buildings.”

During his visit, Marks had the opportunity to speak with some of the Penn State coaches as well as current players.

“I ate lunch with Coach [Mike] McQueary and Levi Brown,” Marks said. “[Brown] just talked about how he got moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle, and he just talked about how they're always going the best thing for the team. He said they're like brothers there. A lot of the questions I had about Penn State, he answered. Levi is a great guy.”

Then there is the issue about the written offer. Marks said in a previous interview with FightOnState.com that the Penn State coaching staff indicated that Marks was to be offered in writing on or around Junior Day. While Marks did not get the offer in hand this past weekend, he was told the offer would be in the mail Monday morning.

“The written offer, [Coach McQueary] talked to Coach [Joe] Paterno and we talked face to face, and he said that Coach Paterno did not want to single anyone out there,” Marks said. “That's just the kind of guy he is. The top receiver in New Jersey was there, and we were two of the names he mentioned he wanted to give offers to, but he's mailing them out Monday morning. He didn't want a couple of people walking around with offers in front of everyone the entire weekend.”

Presumably, the “top receiver in New Jersey” Marks referred to was Hoboken wideout Duval Kumara, although Marks was unable to specifically remember his name. Irrespective, Marks said that Penn State has been and continues to be one of his favorite schools in the mix.

“Penn State has always been one of my favorites from the beginning,” Marks said. “It's close to home, I really like the coaches and after seeing the campus, it definitely helped them a little bit and I definitely like Penn State a lot. We'll just have to see here. I'd like to make my decision in the next couple of months. I really like Penn State.”

As for the rest of Marks' plans, he is done with the majority of his traveling. He said he plans on taking only a couple more visits, likely to Pittsburgh and then to Penn State.

“As of right now, we don't have anything planned,” Marks said. “We were in West Virginia Friday then Penn State on Saturday. I'm probably going to take another trip out to Pitt and definitely another trip to Penn State before I make my decision. Sometime here in the real near future, right before I make my decision, I will take another trip to Pitt and Penn State.”

Currently, Marks said he wants to major in criminal justice in college. Despite Marks' family background in farming, his preference for degree is not in agriculture.

“I'm not exactly sure, but after talking to Coach McQueary, I'm looking at criminal justice, and he said that they have a good program in criminal justice with a brand new program in forensics,” Marks said. “They are sending me information on that. The agriculture thing, I don't know. I'm going to be involved in farming for the rest of my life. I guess it'd be good to go into something like that if I wanted a job with a farming organization, but I'm not really looking to do something like that. My dad is a full-time farmer, but I just kind of thought I've had plenty of hands-on training.”

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