The Game Changer

Long Beach Poly five-star Iman Marshall sits down with USC athletic director Pat Haden to talk about the Trojans new scholarship renewal policy

Long Beach Poly five-star cornerback Iman Marshall has been keeping both local schools happy with unofficial visits the past week. Wednesday and Thursday, Marshall made cameo appearances at USC to meet with the coaches and Athletic Director, Pat Haden.

"We came so late Wednesday, we really didn't get to experience the whole Rising Star Camp experience," said Marshall. "The players were only on the field for about 10 minutes.

"My dad and I had a chance to mingle with the coaches a little bit, but then we had to shoot out because I had practice with my team. So today we wanted to get their early to immerse ourselves in the camp.

"We hung out we Josh Shaw, Kevon Seymour and some of the recruits like John Houston, who was up there too. It was more of a social thing."

Marshall and his father, Tony, have been to USC more times than they can count over the past three years. While every visit helps acclimate the All-American and is family to the university, the Trojans' coaching staff isn't re-inventing the wheel when it comes showing Marshall around campus.

"There's only so many ways to package things and make them new," said Marshall. "I did get to speak to Mr. Haden today. He asked my dad and I what we were looking for in a school.

"We talked about what I'm looking for and what USC has to offer in those areas. It was good to talk to him and just hang out a little bit. Of course, they want to have more one-on-one time with me at some point in the near future.

"They want to talk about the scheme and how they want to utilize me specifically. Same thing UCLA wants to do. There's only some much attention they can give you during a camp. Their time is so divided with the rest of the kids there, the coaches can't just focus on you. But at the same time, they did show us plenty of love as well."

Last week, USC announced a move to grant four-year scholarships without the customary one-year renewal. It was an announcement Marshall took to Twitter with. He tweeted "#GameChanger" in a reply to Pat Haden.

While it's a move they may not impact high profile players like Marshall, his father sees the bigger picture of how it will impact college athletics as a whole.

"I told Iman to tweet that, a matter of fact," said his father. "From a parent's perspective, you always want security for your child.

"Big time college football is cutthroat and competitive. You hear rumors all of the time about kids getting injured and then eventually getting cut because of it. Coaches are always trying to make room for the next class.

"It may not affect my son, but it's not about just my son. It's about the fringe players too. It's for all the so-called three star guys. The 77th person on the depth chart. What it does is force the other Pac-12 schools to do the same, and that's nothing but beneficial for the athletes.

"When you really look at it, the athletes get the short of the stick most of the time, so this is a move I applaud USC for making. It's huge and I commend USC and Mr. Haden for going out on a limb and doing it. That really caught my attention."

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