Report: Jamal Marcus Leaving OSU
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — According to Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch, defensive end Jamal Marcus is leaving the Ohio State football program and will transfer to another school.
A request for confirmation from Ohio State has gone unanswered to this point.
Late Sunday night, a poster on the-Ozone forum posted that Marcus was transferring, and on Monday afternoon Eleven Warriors reported that Marcus and walk-on receiver Brandon Ojikutu had both been dismissed for violations of team rules.
Jamal Marcus tackles Taj Boyd in the Orange Bowl
Photo by Dan Harker
According to Rabinowitz, however, a source at OSU states that Marcus was not booted from the team and that he is simply transferring.
It had been a curious, if not hectic career to this point for Marcus, who was a rising junior looking to build on some impressive moments in January's Orange Bowl loss to Clemson.
A defensive end in high school, Marcus tried to make the move to linebacker as a freshman, but was eventually moved back to defensive end late in the year where he had some success as a pass rusher on the scout team.
He opened this spring behind back-up defensive ends Steve Miller and Tyquan Lewis, which was a surprise given that Lewis was a redshirt freshman and Marcus was coming off of a career-best game just three months earlier.
When asked this spring why Marcus was not backing up Noah Spence as expected, co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash replied, "There's just a lot of competition up there with those guys. It's probably in my opinion, of the teams I've been on, the most guys up front that can actually play. There's extreme competition. You're going to have to be pretty good to get in that rotation."
Later in the spring, head coach Urban Meyer shut down Marcus altogether, sitting him during a Saturday scrimmage and the Spring Game for academic reasons.
If Marcus is indeed leaving Ohio State, that puts the Buckeyes at 82 scholarship players, which is where they need to be when fall camp begins.
In terms of potential impact for the 2014 Buckeyes, if they were going to lose a player to a transfer, the one position where they could handle the loss better than most would be defensive end.
Ohio State has two All-American candidates in Noah Spence and Joey Bosa returning, along with the senior Miller and redshirt freshman Lewis behind them. Purdue transfer Rashad Frazier also had a strong spring.
The Buckeyes will bring in three freshman defensive ends this summer in Jalyn Holmes, Darius Slade and Dylan Thompson as well.
However, OSU's defensive end depth will be put to the test early in the season while Spence is finishing up a three-game suspension that began with last season's Orange Bowl.
Marcus was thought to be one of the potential candidates to start in Spence's place, but given his play this spring, those possibilities became less and less likely as the spring wore on.
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