Analysis: Prospect Cassius Marsh

Despite getting commitments previously from some very talented recruits for 2010, this week UCLA might have gotten its biggest-impact commitment when elite defensive tackle Cassius Marsh decided to switch his commitment from LSU to UCLA...

Profile: Cassius Marsh

Position: Defensive Tackle
Location: Westlake Village, Calif.- Oaks Christian HS
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 270 pounds

Recruiting: Marsh's recruiting travels have been well-documented.  He committed to Cal last April, then decommitted a month later.  He committed to LSU in October and said earlier this month at the U.S. Army Game that he was solid to the Tigers.  But the distance from home while at the Army Game made Marsh think twice about going far away.  He took an official visit to UCLA the weekend after he was in San Antonio, and the Bruins moved into the driver's seat.  He then committed to the Bruins earlier this week.

What to Like: When the motor is running, Marsh is one of the elite defensive tackles in the country.  Marsh has a quick first step and plays with a good pad level to get into the backfield. He has very good strength and is technically sound. He fires off the ball and gets to the quarterback quick and he excels against the run.  Marsh was a standout all week in San Antonio for the U.S. Army practices, performing the best of the West's defensive tackles.  In fact, he had the hit of the week, on his Oaks teammate, and future UCLA teammate Malcolm Jones.  Marsh showed in San Antonio why he was so heavily recruited nationally and he cemented his status as one of the top defensive tackles nationally.

What may be of concern: Keeping the intensity each play will be what Marsh will need to work on the most in college.  As we said before, when the motor is going, he's a force and tough to block.  He'll need to keep bringing intensity and effort on each snap.  One question mark he had going into the season was his durability over the course of the game, and he answered that.

Overall Analysis: UCLA couldn't seem to recruit successfully from Oaks Christian, and now in the class of 2010 alone they land their best offensive player (Jones) and defensive player (Marsh), and beat out several elite programs for both.  So the inroads that Rick Neuheisel has made at Oaks are pretty remarkable, given UCLA's history at the Westlake Village school.  UCLA has an immediate need at defensive tackle, with the departure of Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Brian Price to the draft, and the graduation of three more tackles.  So Marsh will provide depth and immediate impact at a position of dire need for UCLA.  As important as Jones was to the class, Marsh may make the quickest impact of any of the commits. If he doesn't get injured and set back, expect Marsh to immediately be in the two-deep as a freshman for UCLA in 2010 and, if he can learn to sustain effort on every down, there's a very good chance he could be a starter.

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