In-State Leaders for Elite D-Tackle

Three California schools are at the top of the list for Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive tackle Cassius Marsh, one of the top players at his position in the West...

The class of 2010 won't be lacking in defensive tackles in California, a big change from years past, and one of the players at the position who's already engaged in a pretty fierce recruiting battle is Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Cassius Marsh (6-4, 280).

Marsh boasts offers from eight schools, including Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Oregon, USC, UCLA and Washington.

"It's been going really well, actually," said Marsh. "I've gotten offers from schools I wanted to get offered by, so I'm having fun with going through the recruiting process."

Of the eight that offered, the in-state schools have made the biggest impression.

"Right now, it's USC, UCLA and Cal," said Marsh. "Those three are basically tied for number one. Right now, I can't really say who has an edge, they all have an influence. I could go to all three schools and play early, I could have playing time wherever I go. And I like that they're all in California."

Marsh said each of those schools have made him a priority.

"At USC, Brennan Carroll is recruiting me, at UCLA it's a mix of Rick Neuheisel and Chuck Bullough and at Cal it is Tosh Lupoi," said Marsh. "I'm going to USC's Junior Day on the 21st and that's the only Junior Day I know I'm going to. I've been to their campus and to a practice but didn't go to any games. I went to two UCLA games and I've been to a basketball game. And I'm hoping to get up to Cal to check them out."

Marsh isn't restricted to staying in-state, in fact, he's very intrigued by a school in the Lone Star State.

"Right now, the one school I'd like to go out of state to is Texas," said Marsh. "They show interest but I haven't been offered by them. If I ever left the state, it would be for Texas. I've always been attracted to that program."

Marsh said he's got mixed feelings on when he'll decide.

"I'd like to make a decision before the season, but if I can't make a decision before then, I'll just wait until the end of the recruiting process," said Marsh.

Being recruited as heavily as he's been has been somewhat of a surprise for Marsh.

"It was very exciting when I got my first offer, I didn't know I had been offered, I was in shock," said Marsh. "I always wanted to play college football, it's been my dream. I sort of expected to have a good season, but I didn't know it would go as well as it did."

Marsh said several factors will weigh into his decision in choosing a school.

"Playing time, the schools ability to send defensive linemen to the NFL, the ability to contend for national titles and how I get along with other recruits are all part of my decision," said Marsh. "I want to play for a good team, go somewhere that has a good business school and if I feel a chemistry with the coaches."

Part of a loaded Oaks class, five Lions already have multiple offers, Marsh said while in a dream world, they'd all stay together, he knows that's not likely.

"We'll probably all go our different ways but a lot of us will stay in the Pac10 so we'll get to play against each other," said Marsh. "We're just looking forward to this season and playing together again. I like to play bigtime games and I'm actually really fired up to play in Washington (against Jake Heaps and Skyline). We're puffing up the schedule, trying to get a state championship.

Marsh finished his 2008 junior season with 55 tackles and six sacks and earned First Team All-State Underclass honors by, helping the Lions to an unbeaten 14-0 record and the CIF-SS Northwest Division title.

Academically, he has a 2.6 and will take the SAT in May and the ACT in June.

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