Monitoring Marvelous Marvin

Since the value of a prospect is in direct proportion to a team's biggest need, it's hard to say who is the nation's No. 1 high school senior player. By the same token, since every college football team is looking for defensive tackles, Marvin Austin, of Washington, D.C., makes as much sense as anyone.

That's the prominent position the big D-lineman holds in's national top 100 list, and you couldn't dispute it from the number of offers he has received. He had over 40 scholarship choices before the May evaluation period was even complete, and his total has continued to steadily.

At 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, Austin has the build and bulk to shut down the inside run. He also possesses the strength and quickness to be a two-gap force and a capable pocket collapsing component. He runs a 4.9 forty time and pursues the ball with abandon.

"It's an honor to be named the nation's top prospect," Austin told Scout's Jamie Newberg. "I have done a lot of hard work and it has paid off. I appreciate this honor and I will remain humble and work even harder."

Marvin Austin's work ethic is excellent, his athleticism is outstanding and his fundamentals very sound. He should begin to peak as a player once he receives the weight training and technique tweaking a collegiate program can provide.

"Austin, 6-feet-2 and 300 pounds, is a man among boys," Newberg writes. "If there is a linemen out there who can garner attention like this, it's Austin. He can play over the center or the three-technique. Austin, from Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., plays low and uses his hands well. He consistently beats the double team to disrupt plays or make the play. Austin shows good quickness off the ball, moves well laterally, and has very good speed for a player of his size. He can rush the passer or play the run."

As a junior at Coolidge, Austin had 80 tackles including 12 behind for negative yards with eight sacks. He also forced five fumbles and recovered four despite facing double team attention on virtually every down. He has drawn comparisons to a young Warren Sapp and his upside appears unlimited.

Austin's personality is as big as his person. He's a motivational player and sets an emotional tone for the defense.

While he is still weighing his wide assortment of options, Austin is expected to narrow his choices down this week. He currently appears to favor Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, USC, Miami, Florida State and Virginia.

He visited Knoxville for UT's Orange and White game in April and plans call for him to return for another visit this summer. He knows Vol redshirt freshman linebacker Rico McCoy, who is also from D.C. He's also friends with Tony Tucker who was McCoy's teammate at St. John's University High School and a four-star defensive end prospect the Vols are also heavily recruiting.

"Me and Coach Todd (Amis) talked about it and we agreed I need to focus on Coolidge," Austin told's Bob Lichtenfels, "so I'm going to cut it down to ten around June 14th. We get out of school that day. then during the season i'll take it down to five."

For now the Vols will strive to among the five still alive for this prize.

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