With the 2016 season as the last season for two major contributors in Louisville’s offense, wide receivers Jamari Staples and James Quick, Bobby Petrino and staff are actively trying to recruit someone at the position who can make an immediate impact. The top target for the staff is Salem High School (GA) wide receiver Justin Marshall and Saturday, we talked with the talented prospect regarding when he plans to make a decision and which team is his clear cut leader.
“Right now I’m actually narrowing it down, looking to make a decision pretty soon.” Marshall said, pinpointing August 15th as the day he plans to officially announce his school of choice.
With teams such as Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Auburn all vying for the 6’2″, 185lb receivers’ commitment, Louisville stands out to him due to several factors, one being former Louisville great Devante Parker.
“I always looked up to Devante Parker, that’s one thing. Even with his recruitment when I was younger, I looked up to him.” Marshall said “I just looked to him as someone I wanted to model my game after. He had the big frame and being fast just like him, so I just modeled my game sort of after him.”
Marshall took note of Parker’s lasting mark at Louisville “Seeing the impact he made at Louisville and how he left his mark there made me also want to do the same thing.” he said “He was just someone that locally people would tell me about him and compare me to him.”
Besides Devante Parker being such a major factor in his recruiting, Marshall also referenced local family and friends as well as the Cardinals coaching staff as reasons why the Cards hold the number one spot. “I have a lot of friends and family there that like to see me play.” he said. “I like the coaching staff. I like how the coaching staff, how they treat their players. They just treat them like their sons.”
Two coaches who have made an impact on Marshall both on and off the field are new wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway and director of on-campus recruiting, Coach Pete Nochta.
“Coach Galloway is like a second dad to me. I talk to him everyday.” Marshall said “When I looked at Coach Galloway, I looked at the guys. He made those top guys. Guys like Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kevin White. Those guys are people he put in the league, you know, producing in the league.”
“I talk to coach Pete Nochta everyday, he became more like a big brother to me. He let me know how fun it is and like how everything is and he also kind of took me under his wing. More of a big brother thing with him because of the age gap, you know it’s not so big. Me and his relationship is kind of bigger than football. We talk about all kinds of things.”
Rated as a 4* wide receiver by ESPN with a 4.53 40, Marshall sees a great fit regarding his style of play as well as what Coach Petrino expects out of his offense.
“I fit in great. Because I feel like no matter what I’m doing if I play aggressively, run my routes aggressive, I block aggressive, I catch aggressive. I just feel like in that offense you have to be aggressive. You can’t just be passive or sit back and let things happen, you’ve got to go get it.”
Entering his senior year at Salem High School, Marshall talked about what his vision for the team is.
“Team-wise, I want to work on team unity. I want to play as a team and win as a team.” he said “Everybody is equal on the team, I want everybody to know that, instead of letting recruiting, letting anything else corrupt their minds.”
While Justin Marshall wants to play as a team, he also has some goals of his own.
“Me and my receiver coach sat down and he printed out a list of school records, football records and stuff like that. I want to sit down receiving wise, like as a receiver and try to knock off everything I can on that list. Just check them off.”
As his August 15th decision date approaches, Marshall will have to wade through many offers from powerhouse schools, but one school definitely is in the drivers seat. From his close relationship with the Louisville coaches to his family and friends locally, Louisville appears to be in a great position to land the talented wide receiver. As for Louisville fans, the idea of having another Devante Parker type player in Bobby Petrino’s offense should give them something to look forward to.
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