Local Product Visits the Farm

Byron Marshall stars at running back at San Jose's Valley Christian High School, much like one-time Stanford commit (and eventual USC signee) Amir Carlisle. Stanford hopes to start off just as strong, and close even stronger, with Marshall, who now reports four stars on Scout.com and about 20 offers.

"It was good," Byron Marshall said of his visit last Saturday to Stanford's Junior Weekend. "I liked it and got to talk to coaches a lot more. My mom and I had a sitdown with Coach David Shaw, just us three. I talked to players about Stanford, about football. It was a good experience. I liked it a lot actually."

Perhaps sensing that schools will wait for him to commit, Marshall is in no rush to do so.

"I'm not rushing to make a decision, no rush for me," he said. "I'm just trying to what see schools I like and what schools I don't like and find the one that fits the best for me. However long it takes is however long it takes. There's no rush before next season or anything like that."

Arizona State, home to Byron Marshall's brother, rising junior tailback Cameron Marshall (350 total yards and two touchdowns in 2011), is one of about 20 schools to offer, with Air Force the latest program to do so. The offers are arriving so quickly, in fact, that it's hard for Marshall to track how many he's received.

"High teens, low 20s, I'm not quite sure. I don't have the paper near me."

Marshall's similarly unsure of a top five.

"I couldn't tell you," he said. "My mind is racing everywhere. At some points, [recruiting] is a fun process, but it's overwhelming too."

That process will only intensify for Marshall, as Stanford was his first on-campus visit.

"I've visited nowhere else yet," he said. "I'm going to Cal's Junior Day, and I'm not sure where else I might visit."

On the Farm, Marshall availed himself of the opportunity to see Stanford in a different light.

"I learned about Stanford from a different perspective," he said. "I knew it was a good academic school and a good football program, but they allowed us to talk to professors, and just from them sitting there and talking to the recruits, I learned about so many great opportunities Stanford provides with its education. Not many people have a Stanford degree, so getting into business, for example, it helps.

"(The visit) opened my eyes more. I knew Stanford was a good school, but it gave me details of why."

Marshall says he feels more comfortable with how he'd fit in at Stanford, a non-trivial feeling given that fit/comfort is the most-cited metric The Bootleg hears recruits use to ultimately choose a school.

"I think I fit in well," he said. "Players are saying it's not how everyone thinks, a nerdy school for bookworms. There's a social level, a party scene, there is that, and the schoolwork's difficult obviously, but we're capable of doing it. I think I'd fit in well."

In fact, so thorough was Stanford' s presentation that Marshall left Palo Alto speechless.

"I don't have any questions [outstanding.] I asked them and got them all answered."

And, pray tell, what were Marshall's questions, and what'd Stanford's coaches say?

"I asked how many running backs they were bringing in for 2011 and signing in my class; how I would fit into the program; how's school, if the work's too hard; how's the campus life, the social environment, the fan base," he said. "They said they're at most going to get two, possibly just one tailback my year. They think I'd fit in well. They have talented backs, and elusive and powerful is a good weapon, so they think I'd fit in well with the system they run. They said the fan base is solid, not as big as other programs', but they're trying to rebuild it. They used to be absolutely terrible, but now they were fourth in the nation, which is great, so they're trying to get students, more people, to come to the games."

Marshall mentioned he'd talked to several fellow recruits at the weekend and texted with several since, including three fellow Californians, WR Bryce Treggs, DL Aziz Shittu and TE Taylor McNamara, and Atlanta cornerback Ryan Dillard (unoffered to-date).

Marshall's visit was a true Junior Day, as he only made it in for the Saturday of the Friday/Saturday Junior Weekend event.


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