Ball Updates Recruitment

A talented two-way star and two-sport athlete at Westerville-South (OH) High, senior Marcus Ball has offers to play linebacker, safety and wide receiver in college, a testament to how good of a player he is.

MADISON - With the Badgers getting their first defensive back commitment in the class of 2013 in Minneapolis cornerback Keelon Brookins in late July, Wisconsin now turns its attention to Westerville-South (OH) HS safety Marcus Ball.

The 6-2, 205-pound quarterback/safety and basketball star said Wisconsin was among his favorites at the end of June and the Badgers still sit well in his recruitment over a month later.

"My relationship with coach Zach Azzanni goes way farther then him being my recruiting coach," Ball told Badger Nation. "I can talk to him about anything if its school, family or hobbies. We talk about every other day. We'll talk through email or we'll talk on the phone. It's kind of like having another family member or friend but he's just living far away.

"We're definitely building a personal relationship and when we talk it's not all about football," Ball continued. "I think that's important in recruiting to get to know your recruiting coach on a personal level because that's somebody you'll see a lot when you're in college. My relationship that I have with coach Azzanni is very similar to my relationship with coach Bret Bielema. The whole coaching staff is good people."

With the Badgers having built a personal relationship with Ball, it comes to no surprise that the Badgers made his top four to begin with. The other three schools to make Ball's cut are Michigan State, Notre Dame and Arizona State.

"The Badger coaching staff sees me at safety in college and they know I can succeed at the position," Ball said. "They also have had a winning program for a long time. Also my brother Ray Ball is currently at Wisconsin. If I do decide to go to Wisconsin he would be a great support system for me. He can also show me the way around campus and what the coaches expect from you. My brother really likes Wisconsin and he speaks very positively about the Badgers. He also has said he could see himself living in Wisconsin after his playing days are done."

On the Spartans: "Michigan State's defense is pretty interesting and I like their defense. They see me as a hybrid outside linebacker. I don't know if I want to play linebacker in college. It's something I would definitely have to think about if I would be willing to make a position switch. I've gotten to know the coaches and players at Michigan State and I like them. B.J. Cunningham, a former wide receiver of theirs, is from Westerville and I've talked to him. He really enjoyed his experience as a Spartan."

On the Irish: "Notre Dame is a great school and it's a different environment. There's definitely a lot of football traditions at the school. I feel comfortable up there. You feel spiritually connected with God when you're at Notre Dame. Also coach Kelly is a great coach."

On the Sun Devils: "I have never been to Arizona State before, but I have their contact information if I need to call them if I have any questions. It's a good football program down there. One of my teachers went to Arizona State and she has nothing but good things to say about the school. The coaches like me at the wide receiver position because they think I can get on the field quicker at receiver then safety. They told me they want to see me scoring touchdowns."

Ball wants to take five official visits so he can visit his top four schools and possibly Pittsburgh before he makes his commitment. Ball is still trying to figure out which game he will make it to for the Badgers.

"When my visits are done I'll sit down and think of pros and cons for each school and I want to make sure I'm comfortable at the school," Ball said.

Ball only attended the Michigan State football camp this summer. Even though Ball hasn't been hitting the camp circuit, he has still been working hard to improve his game.

"I thought I played well at the Michigan State camp," Ball said. "When the 7-on-7 started I had like six picks. I got a chance to speak with coach Dantonio but we didn't really talk about the possibility of a position switch. But this summer I've been working on my lateral movement, hips, getting stronger, becoming a more consistent tackler and stamina because I'll be playing both ways this coming high school season at quarterback and safety. I also want to become a better leader."

With this being Ball's final high school football season, he is anticipating a successful and memorable year for Westerville-South.

"As seniors we think we have a state championship team," Ball said. "We feel like it's our time. We've been working out all summer hitting the weights and I can tell our team is focused. Everybody on the team think we can win a state title, which is needed if we are going to win state."

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