Elite FB Prospect Wants to End It

The 6-1, 230-pound <b>Mark Paschal</b> from North Carolina did a tour of unofficial visits this last summer and says he wants to make a decision soon...

A long, exhausting process (and it's only August) is taking its toll on Charlotte (N.C.) Latin School fullback/linebacker Mark Paschal (6-1 ½, 230).

"It's tiring and sometimes confusing. I'm ready to get it over with," said Paschal.

With over a dozen offers to date, Paschal has narrowed his list to about seven schools. "My top schools are UCLA, North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. And kind of Georgia, but they haven't offered."

Paschal hasn't set a date for a commitment, but said it could be not too far down the road. "I'll decide in the real near future. But even when I commit, I'll probably take my five visits just to make sure."

Paschal was originally recruited by UCLA assistant coach Don Johnson, who discovered him in the Bronco Nagurski Awards program, when Johnson was with Bruin defensive end Dave Ball for the award ceremony back east. Johnson laid the groundwork for Paschal's recruitment, then running back coach Eric Bieniemy picked it up.

Paschal then visited UCLA unofficially in the spring. "I really liked my visit out there. I loved the campus and the facilities and really liked the staff. They definitely are a legitimate option for me."

Which means a lot considering Paschal's other six favorites are all in the south. Paschal said: "We use the West Coast offense, which uses the fullback a lot. Coaches tell me they really like my hands out of the backfield, and I run well. We use a lot of one-back and I-formation in our offense, so I get the ball in my hands a lot, probably about half the carries. UCLA is recruiting me as a fullback."

Some schools are recruiting him as a linebacker too, but Paschal has no preference, just whatever will get him on the field.

Paschal spent the summer visiting several campuses. Of his top seven, only South Carolina and Vanderbilt didn't get a visit. He also went to four team camps and a Nike Camp.

I went to North Carolina, Georgia, Clemson and Virginia. I also went to the Nike Camp at Georgia Tech. I think when I stood out there, that's what got me the notice."

At the Nike Camp in Atlanta, Paschal clocked a 4.5 forty, a 4.2 shuttle, jumped 35 inches and repped 22 times on the bench.

Paschal's father played fullback at North Carolina as well as for the Minnesota Vikings, and his mother attended UNC, too. But he said they weren't pressuring him to go there. "Both my parents went there, but they aren't pressuring me at all. They are leaving it up to me."

Paschal said he wants to take his visits during the season, since the unofficials didn't really tell the full story. "There are three things I'm looking at. When I took my unofficials, the schools were out for the summer, so I didn't see the students really. I want to see the campuses during the school year. Then I want to see the atmosphere on Game Day. Plus I want to see the coaching staff in action."

As a junior, Paschal amassed solid statistics for a fullback. He rushed for 1,397 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging around 9 yards a carry. He also garnered over 100 tackles.

Paschal has a 3.1 GPA and scored an 1130 on his SAT.


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