Gabriel Marks looking to visit Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt football is hoping to gain a bi-coastal presence this recruiting season by setting their sights on talented wide receiver Gabriel Marks from Venice High School in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, who committed to SMU in July, wants to take visits before signing day in February.

"I've been talking to the coaches about it," said Gabriel Marks of a possible trip to Nashville. "We haven't set it up yet. It will probably be sometime in November for a game."

Marks holds eight offers including SMU, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Colorado, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, and Idaho. He says the two schools showing him the most attention that haven't offered are USC and Florida. So far, Marks has set up one official with Boston College for November 12th and would like to figure something out with Vanderbilt soon.

"They are definitely a school I could see myself playing for," Marks said of Vanderbilt. "The SEC is the best conference in America. They're a program on the uptake. The coaches are great. I've talked to Coach Franklin and Chris Beatty, the wide receivers coach. They told me they wanted to come to one of my games. But the contact we've had so far has just been over the phone."

Marks has been doing it all this season for the Venice Gondos. He had 133 yards receiving with 65 and 25 yard touchdown receptions in the Bishop Amat game. Marks also added 113 rushing yards including a 89-yard scamper for a touchdown. He's also scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns and has an interception on defense.

"My route running has improved this year," Marks said. "I'm just trying do make plays and win games. We're 4-4 and trying for our 10th straight league title."

Marks said what attracted him to SMU was June Jones' high-powered offenses he had while at Hawaii that produced two of the top five passers in NCAA history in Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan. Now in his fourth year at SMU, Jones has re-energized the once proud program.

"When I went to SMU on an unofficial visit," said Marks, "I couldn't find anything I didn't like about the program. June Jones is one of the best coaches in the country. I love the offensive system he has in place and how often he throws it. When he was at Hawaii they were the best at doing that. I was intrigued with SMU program and verbally committed on July 14th."

Coaches hoping to steal Marks from Jones and SMU must try to get him on campus and get him intrigued in their program as well.

"It's a verbal commitment," Marks said of SMU. "The final decision doesn't come until signing day. I want to play for a winning program. A place where the coaches can help improve my overall ability and make me the best player I can be. Location doesn't matter at all to me. I'm more interested in going somewhere to win games."

Some coaches see Marks as a defensive back. He made 53 tackles and had four interceptions in the Venice secondary as a sophomore. He's been used primarily at wide receiver in his junior and senior seasons, but does see time on defense, especially against top wide receivers.

Venice clinched their 31st consecutive Western League victory on Friday. Their last two games are with opponents with losing records so the streak may continue through another year. Marks, a three year varsity starter, wears No. 9 for the Gondos. Top Stories