"My freshman year [of high school] was when I realized I wanted to play, but I didn't really understand the recruitment process. I started going through it with my friend who plays running back at NC State and stayed with him through the whole process and going to camps."
A Durham, NC native, Marshall got a good amount of early in-state attention from schools besides WFU including ECU, Duke and UNC.
"There were other schools too," he said. "Oregon, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Clemson, Syracuse...then Duke, which is right in my back yard. That was my first offer."
He discussed his reasons for staying in-state, but getting out of his hometown.
"Duke was too close," he explained. "Plus they're rebuilding, and I didn't want to spend four years of my football career doing that. Wake already had a pretty good program with coaches that had been together for a long time. We're still coming up and are back on track now.
"It's always a good feeling to stay close to home and get that feeling like you're playing for your home state. My parents come to every game, and I have my car so I can go home whenever."
Marshall described what it was like to be one of the elite few who saw playing time as a freshman.
"That's every freshman's dream," he said. "It was a great experience, and I got to learn a lot. I've watched film and saw how much I've grown, and used that as a learning experience. The game is a lot faster than in high school, but as you get older the game slows down."
Marshall elaborated on the reasons for his early success.
"Certain situations got put in place for me to step up - I was doing well at summer camp, making plays and doing what I was supposed to do with what I could at the time," he added.
Marshall also shared his opinion on the new guys in the class of 2012.
"I've got to meet a lot of them and pretty much all of the DBs," he stated. "We hosted a lot of them. James (Ward) who plays corner from Florida, and Tyler (Cameron) the quarterback are pretty cool guys. It was a great time with all of those kids.
"I see a lot of potential in these kids and their play-making ability. They're guys with character and great kids - a lot of fun to hang out with. All of them have the goal in mind to succeed at Wake on the field and off the field."
A.J. Marshall Profile