THOMASTON — There’s a small field house just off the main campus here at Upson-Lee High School, and inside it is a modest weight room. That’s where you could find David Marshall on Tuesday afternoon.
And apparently almost every afternoon. And mornings. Maybe even nights.
Marshall, who just graduated from the high school, will report to UGA’s football team next week. He’s not taking it easy before he arrives: Marshall said he’s been working out for about three hours “pretty much every day,” and the sweat on his body served as evidence on Tuesday. He’s following a stepped-up regimen he’s had going for a few months now.
“It’s new now because I’m going to another level,” Marshall said.
While Marshall has been listed as a defensive end, he said he’s been told by Georgia coaches he’ll begin at outside linebacker. One look at his chiseled physique confirms that may be his best position, at least right now: Marshall, who’s about 6-foot-3, said he weighs 265-270 pounds, and while he doesn’t know his body fat percentage, it can’t be that high. He looks quite chiseled. He also said he’s bench-pressed 350-360 pounds.
Marshall’s body type is reminiscent of Jordan Jenkins, the departed Georgia outside linebacker, who was drafted by the New York Jets. And there’s nobody better to compare the two than Upson-Lee’s head coach, Tommy Parks, who was also Jenkins’ coach at Harris County High School.
“David’s just a different player,” Parks said. “Jordan’s a fast, real quick kid that can move really good and can shed blockers. And I think David’s more on the top end stronger up top than probably Jordan was. David, I don’t know how long he’ll stay at outside linebacker. He could probably grow into putting his hand down or being a (defensive lineman).”
In the end, the difference between outside linebacker and defensive end is minimal. Jenkins played with his hand in the dirt a lot throughout his career. Marshall’s career could follow the same path: Mainly outside linebacker, but plenty of defensive line, depending on the defensive package.
Either way, Marshall is working towards making an immediate impact.
“I’m ready to change the program around,” Marshall said. “Go out June the 1st, show my work ethic, and just have fun and compete.”
When the interview ended, by the way, Marshall said goodbye, then headed back into the weight room.
Look for more from David Marshall in a later, more in-depth story as part of our continuing Next Generation series.