Marks excited about talent of 2012 class

Though he's still being courted by some big-time Division I programs, four-star wide receiver Gabriel Marks is sticking with SMU. Marks is a huge get for the Mustangs and he's just as excited to play for them as they are to have him. SMU has a 2012 class of 20 commits right now and Marks feels this group has the talent to put the Mustangs on the national map a la Boise State and TCU.

SMU is practically finished with its 2012 class, tallying 20 commits at this time. Gabriel Marks, a four-star wide receiver from Venice (Los Angeles, Calif.), headlines the group.

Marks, who is still being courted by big-time Division I programs, says he's 100 percent committed to SMU and is excited to get to campus. He also commented on the 2012 class overall, saying this group could be the one to put the Mustangs on the map.

Marks had offers from a wide variety of schools such as Vanderbilt, Colorado, Utah, UCLA and some others, but said playing for a program on the rise was appealing.

"I think it's great, personally, because we could be the class that really puts SMU on the national landscape like Boise State and TCU did," Marks said.

Right now there are five commits who hail from California, and SMU is going after a sixth one in Raymond Ford (currently committed to UCLA). Marks is good friends with linebacker Khalil Pettway and wide receiver Robert Lewis and is excited to play with them.

"I'm really close with those two because we work together in the offseason and play 7-on-7s together," Marks said. "We all talked about what schools were telling us [during recruitment] and we talked about everything and we're all just excited we committed [to SMU] We didn't plan it or anything, it just happened."

Marks is friends with Ford, too, but said he isn't trying to influence him to change his commitment. He thinks Lewis is though, since the two are cousins.

"We've worked out together a couple times," Marks said. "I haven't tried to persuade him, but I'm sure Rob has. Ray is a really good corner."

With all the quarterback talk going on at SMU, Marks says he doesn't have a preference on which guy wins the job right now because he hasn't seen any of them play. He does know Conner Preston though since they're both from Southern California.

"He's a really good quarterback," Marks said. "I just know him from camps. I've talked to him a little bit about playing for SMU."

Adrian Klemm was Marks' main recruiter and was one of the reasons why he chose to become a Mustang.

"He's a really good guy, he's honest and straightforward in what he's telling you," Marks said.

Venice has one more game left of the regular season before playoffs start next week. Marks currently has 14 touchdowns and is a leading candidate for LA City Selection Player of the Year.

In a recent LA Times blog about the award, Marks was described as the following:

"Plays receiver, defensive back and some quarterback out of a wildcat formation. Marks is demonstrating his versatility and willingness to help the Gondoliers wherever he's needed."

Lewis is also up for the honor.

Asked about how Venice should fare in the post-season, Marks said that all the teams are pretty even now.

"It's a wide-open race," he said.

Marks will likely take an official visit on Dec. 3rd with a handful of other commits.

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