Player Spotlight: Bilal Marshall
"I'm leaving for a camp at Duke," said Bilal Marshall. "While I'm there I want to visit some of the other Carolina area schools like UNC, Wake Forest, and as many others as I can fit in. Later in the summer I'm going to camps at Purdue, Kansas, and possibly Northwestern (Marshall's most recent offer)."
The summer visits should go a long way with Marshall as he tries to narrow down his choices. So far, he's only been able to make it to one Junior Day event at nearby University of Miami in Coral Gables. It's always nice to get a first offer, and Marshall has good things to say about the first school to extend one to him.
"Wake Forest is a great school," Marshall said. "They offer quality academics and football. They made it to the Orange Bowl in 2007. I like the head coach and the position coach, Tom Elrod. It would be a great opportunity for me if I went there. I think they're on the verge of something big. I've heard nothing but good things about the program. A former teammate of mine, Daniel Mack, is playing there now."
Wake Forest coach Ray McCartney recruited Mack to play for the Demon Deacons out of high school. He's also recruiting Marshall and senior teammate Ryan Janvion for this year's class. Janvion was the team's second leading receiver on a team that finished 9-2 unexpectedly dropping their first round playoff game against King's Academy in Class 1A play.
"Everything seemed to go wrong in that game for us," Marshall said of the Crusaders first round exit. "This year we'll definitely have no better chance to win a state championship. With the returning players and the new transfers we got coming in, we're going to be a powerhouse. I want to go out with a bang and be No. 1 in the state. My goal is to get at least 3,500 all-purpose yards on the season."
Marshall passed for 1,400 yards as a junior with 17 touchdowns to only three interceptions. He rushed for an additional 971 yards and nine touchdowns. His end of year accolades included being named 1st team All-County, and All-State honorable mention.
"I improved in dropping back and on my footwork," said Marshall. "I feel like I'm a versatile quarterback who can come out of the pocket if need be and run for a big gain or stay in the pocket and make a clutch throw. My biggest strength is my ability to make a big play at any moment."
Marshall says his best game of the year came against Westminster Christian. He rushed for 182 yards including a 52 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. After losing the lead, Marshall was 'on point' marching the Crusaders 55 yards down the field to set up for the game winning field goal. Although many quarterbacks decide to commit early, that may not be the case for Marshall as he enters his senior year of high school.
"I'll probably name my top three schools in December after my senior season," Marshall said. "Then I won't make a final decision until February 1st. I'm looking for a college where I can study the playbook, get on the field, and make a quick impact."
Marshall ran track in the spring. He placed 4th in state in the 200 meter dash, 5th in state in the 400 meter dash, and 3rd in state in the 4x4 relay. This is his 3rd season as starting quarterback for the Crusaders. He wears jersey No. 4.
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