LB Jamal Marcus Picks Ohio State Over ECU
By Brandon Castel
It seemed strange that Durham (N.C.) Hillside linebacker Jamal Marcus narrowed his list to just Ohio State and East Carolina heading into National Signing Day.
He took the stage wearing black during his afternoon press conference at Hillside High School, but he had better start filling his closet with scarlet and gray.
The 6-2, 230-pound outside linebacker picked the Buckeyes over the ECU Pirates Wednesday, becoming the fifth linebacker and 24th player in the class of 2012 for first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
Marcus is a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports and a 3-star player according to both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He led Hillside to an 11-2 record this season, making 89 tackles and 17 sacks while playing a combination of outside linebacker and defensive end.
He was also looking at South Carolina, Arkansas, Michigan and a host of other schools, but really fell in love with Ohio State during his visit to Columbus on Jan. 20. It also helped that Marcus had a pre-existing relationship with new OSU co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers from his days at North Carolina.
Marcus becomes the fourth outside linebacker in the class for Ohio State, and the fifth linebacker overall. Lancaster’s Luke Roberts is a throwback, downhill middle linebacker type, but both David Perkins and Camren Williams are true outside linebackers.
Olentangy’s Josh Perry is also in the class, and is already enrolled at Ohio State. He could play outside at the strongside (Sam) linebacker spot or at the rush end Leo spot in the Buckeyes’ defense.
Ohio State’s class is now at 24, with all signatures already accounted for. They are waiting on an official announcement from Cleveland Heights offensive tackle Kyle Dodson, who will pick between OSU, USC, Michigan State and Wisconsin at 12:30 p.m. today.
Speedy playmakers Stefon Diggs and Davonte Neal are both expected to hold their commitments until after Signing Day.
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