Randle El, Keeping His Options Open

Does lightning strike twice in the same spot? If you're from Harvey (IL) and your last name is Randle El it most certainly does. That's right, the former do-it-all Indiana Hoosier and current Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver has a brother that's electrifying on the football field also and his name is Marcus.

Just like his older brother, Marcus would like to try his hand at quarterback. However, the 5-10, 172-pound athlete with 4.5 40 speed is keeping his options open.

"I want to play quarterback in college," said Marcus Randle El, who rushed for over 1,000 yards and passed for over 2,000 yards as a junior. "That's what my main goal is, to play quarterback. If I have to switch to something else, then that's what I have to do."

In College at Indiana University, his brother Antwaan did everything on the gridiron for the Hoosiers. He played several positions, including quarterback, wide receiver, running back, and even returned some punts.

Does Marcus want to be the all-purpose player that his brother was in Bloomington?

"In addition to quarterback, I wouldn't mind playing some wide receiver and return some punts," he said. "My strongest position is quarterback though."

Randle El has a lot of the same athletic traits his brother has. However, Marcus believes his style of play is a lot like quarterback Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons.

"My style is a lot like Vick," the all-conference junior said. "He has a lot of mobility and he likes to drop back and read the defense well. He has a very sharp arm and can run. I might not be as fast as him though. Some of my strengths are rolling out of the pocket and throwing the ball. I'm very elusive in the open field and I can get away from defenders well. As a receiver, I know how to get space from the defender. As a punt returner, I really concentrate on the ball. Not to be selfish; I got a good feel for the game."

Right now, the Illinois native is considering all the schools that have offered him a scholarship, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Wake Forest, Indiana, and Northwestern.

However, Randle El will consider any team that offers him and he wouldn't mind getting offers from Ohio State and Pittsburgh.

"Ohio State was my favorite team growing up," he said. "I really love Ohio State but they haven't sent me much information about them. Pittsburgh hasn't offered yet but the coach says I should be getting one soon. I talked to their coach at school. We talked about how their wide receivers work and how their quarterbacks work. The coach wants me to come in as an athlete but he said I would definitely get a shot at quarterback. That's what I wanted to hear and it sounded good."

When will the Panthers pull the trigger and extend him an offer?

"The coach said he has to go through the process and talk with the head coach first," Randle El said. "He also had to check with the rest of the staff and then he would let me know."

If Pitt offers him, where will the Panthers be on his list?

"They would be near the top," he said. "They would be right there with the rest of the schools that I'm considering. If Pittsburgh gave me an offer, it would work out great family-wise. My family could come in and see me play and then turn around and watch Antwaan play on Sunday. If it worked out like that, I would love to see that happen."

Randle El has a few things in mind in terms of what he is looking for in a school.

"Distance is a factor," he said. "Also the coaching staff is important. I'm looking for a coaching staff that I like and one that I feel comfortable with. Not to be babied, but if things aren't going right in school or when I need someone to talk with when I'm away from my parents, I would like to have a coach that I can talk with about things. I think a lot kids look for coaches like that. I also would like to play early. I don't expect to go somewhere and sit on the bench behind someone that's not better than me."

Randle El will take his official visits after his season is over and then make a decision on where he plans on hanging his hat for the next four to five years.

Ever since he was little, Marcus looked up to his older brother and he has gotten a lot of advice from him, along with a few bruises.

"We use to play ball in our backroom and he used to knock me around pretty good," the younger Randle El said. "He made me tougher. As I grew up, I saw the things he did and how he did them. What I mean by those things are how hard he works and the technique he uses. I just tried to learn from that. I get a lot of advice from him on things like how to run and how to do things."

Randle El carries a solid 2.7 grade point average but his goal is to improve to a 3.0.

Dave Peters

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