Marks Prepares for the Next Step

Josh Marks is a pretty simple guy. As one of the first members of the current Penn State recruiting class, the four-star offensive lineman from Catawissa High School in Southern Columbia, Pa. has enjoyed quasi-celebrity status he's received since making his pledge to the Nittany Lions.

While he maintains that the recruiting process really never got out of hand in his case between coaches and the media calling, all in all he enjoyed the process.

"It's been really different," Marks said. "[The recruiting process] didn't get annoying. It was a good experience. The day after I committed, I got all these calls and then after that, it just stopped."

Since he committed to Penn State, Marks has only been contacted by one other school to see if he would be interested in changing his mind. However, the inquiry from the other school was made in jest, Marks said.

"The only other school that asked is Iowa," Marks said. "I don't know if that's because Henry [Hynoski] is interested and they offered Henry. They know that I'm very set on my decision and there is no turning back. That's why I made it early. I knew where I wanted to go. There are kids who commit, and then go on other visits. I don't get that. I thought you were supposed to make up your mind when you commit. But they jokingly jokingly asked if I wanted to go to Iowa and I said, ‘no I'm going to Penn State.'"

Hynoski, Marks' fellow Southern Columbia teammate and close friend, has spent the summer with Marks working a camp. Marks said that although both he and Hynoski planned on attending the same college, it didn't work out that way. Hynoski will be making his decision shortly, and Marks has served in the capacity of advice-giver.

"It's been real good," Marks said. "We're real good friends and we're both working a youth camp. I've talked to him about it a lot. It's just different because I went through all the things he's going through. I think that it's good for him. He always said, ‘don't worry about me, do whatever feels right.' I know both of us wanted to go to the same school pretty badly, we had those plans, but it didn't work out that way. He was a real good sport about it. I'm telling him to do whatever feels right."

Aside from giving sage-like advice to other touted recruits, how has Marks' life changed, if at all, since making his pledge to the Nittany Lions?

"First of all, my life at home is more relaxing," Marks said. "Not that the whole recruiting thing was too stressful, but the tension, not between my family, there was always some tension, because towards the end I had my mind made up, but you have coaches giving you hand-written letters. Everything is so tempting but you don't want to fall into the trap. In math class, you're sitting there thinking about what college you want to go to. As far as that concerns, it's been less stressful. It's cool, I can't probably go through a day without walking somewhere and someone saying good luck at Penn State."

While Marks is too humble to come out and say it, he is somewhat of a celebrity. His picture has been all over the newspapers and internet recruiting web sites, and that has elevated him to a celebrity status. Beyond that though, Marks said the added attention doesn't bother him. In fact, he's already preparing for his arrival at Penn State a year from now. His focus: quickness.

"As far my strength, that's pretty much OK, I did 225-pounds 31 times, so that my strength isn't a factor, but the one thing they want me to work on is my quickness," Marks said. "They want me to come in at camp around 290. I'm at 305 right now. Losing 15 pounds isn't anything at all."

Marks also said that he is happy with the way Penn State's recruiting class has shaped up since him commitment.

"To be honest, after I committed, I kind of stayed away from the internet and just relaxed for a while," Marks said. "I came back a month later, and they had like 5 commits after me and Chris [Colasanti]. It didn't occur to me that they had that many. I don't know the guys personally, from what I've seen, it's turning out to be a real good recruiting class."


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