John Reed-US PRESSWIRE
Stud JUCO athlete Nick Marshall has committed to Auburn. But will the Tigers take him?
I will be taking my talents bac to the SEC at the University of Auburn— June Marshall (@NicMarshall7) January 14, 2013
Does Marshall have a spot in the Tigers' recruiting class? That may, or may not, be the case. According to our friends at Auburn Undercover and AuburnSports.com, Auburn’s coaches are still evaluating Marshall and waiting on his full transcripts before anything can be made official. The earliest that could happen would be Wednesday, and assuming everything checks out with his transcripts, Marshall could be officially added to the commitment list then.
You may remember Marshall. He was a highly-recruited athlete out of high school. He played quarterback in high school and set the Georgia state record for career touchdown passes with 103 from 2007-2010, but he signed with the Georgia Bulldogs and played as a true freshman at defensive back. Marshall showed quite a bit of promise at the position and looked to be the next star at UGA. However, his career in Athens was derailed when he was allegedly involved in a transgression with another teammate that involved the theft of money.
Marshall was dismissed from the Bulldogs for an undisclosed violation of team rules and landed at Garden City Community College in Kansas. There, he gained the coaches trust and earned the starting quarterback job. He excelled at the position, drawing praise and comparisons to a freak athlete that many on the Plains would be familiar with – Cam Newton. At 6’2 and around 200 pounds, Marshall is considerably smaller than Newton, but his abilities are nothing to scoff at. You can see some of highlights from GCCC here.
It was at Garden City where Marshall turned his life around, and revived his football career. This article by Michael Carvel of the Atlanta Journal Constitution delves deeper into the resurrection of Marshall’s career in the middle of nowhere Kansas. Now, Marshall is hoping that the Auburn coaches get the assurance they are looking for in his transcripts and he can join the Tigers this summer as a May graduate. No one other than Marshall and the Georgia coaches truly knows what transpired at UGA. Considering that new associate head coach/defensive line coach Rodney Garner was a member of the staff at UGA when all of this took place, you can rest assured that he has helped head coach Gus Malzahn to fully vet the kid’s past. If the Auburn coaches choose to bring him in, then they feel confident that he has moved on from whatever happened at Georgia and can be a positive asset to the Tigers. If all goes as planned and he does join this recruiting class, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
The question now is, what position will he play? Marshall has the ability to be a difference maker on either side of the ball. At quarterback, he is a playmaker, a true dual-threat, and would be a good fit for Malzahn’s offense. Considering Auburn’s depth concerns at quarterback, especially after Clint Moseley's departure, you have to think that he will be given an opportunity there, as the Tigers will enter the spring with just two scholarship quarterbacks, Kiehl Frazier and Jonathon Wallace. Auburn currently has two quarterback committed for the 2013 recruiting class in Jeremy Johnson and Jason Smith, and the Tigers were not thought to be bringing in another QB in this class.
Despite the depth concerns at quarterback, Marshall could end up as a defensive back. Auburn has been looking to add some help in the defensive backfield, and his size and athleticism would make him an asset, either as a corner or a safety. He is tall, rangy and has pretty good ball skills. Quite frankly, those are some qualities that have been missing from Auburn’s secondary in recent years.
We will have to wait and see how this plays out, but if this does become official in the coming days, then Auburn would have picked up a stud athlete with the versatility to help out at a number of positions.