David Marshall is committed to Auburn, but has been heavily courted by UGA ever since Kirby Smart was hired.
The three-star defensive end took an important official visit to UGA this weekend and it was a high-stakes decision. His family also joined him in Athens. It had to go well to keep the Bulldogs in it.
What was the verdict? Well, he loved it. The 6-foot-3, 272-pounder enjoyed it so much he already plans to “probably” return.
Marshall told DawgNation.com that he will likely no longer take his final official visit to Ole Miss, but plans to return to “hang out” with a few UGA commitments next week.
“I probably will be going back next weekend with Tyler Clark and hang out with the players and get to know the new staff and coaches,” Marshall said.
The Upson-Lee standout said he is still committed to Auburn, but that UGA gained ground on its SEC West rival this weekend. He also shared what he still needs to learn about UGA compared to what he has found out about Auburn.
“I feel pretty good about it all but all I need is to have a good relationship with the coaches and players like Auburn,” Marshall said. “And (I need) to get more comfortable with the school and the campus.”
He also came to the following conclusion about a UGA degree.
“I feel like UGA is a school that has more students graduate in college,” Marshall said. “Its also a tough school to get in. But I feel more comfortable than I was at first when Mark Richt was there.”
His grandmother Ada King also enjoyed her trip. Her opinions of both UGA and Auburn will weigh heavily on his decision.
“I think she likes coach Kirby (Smart) and that she knows that he is going to take care of me and make my dream successful by going to Georgia,” said Marshall, who said that he’ll wait until National Signing Day to make his final decision.
Marshall felt his family saw enough along the official visit to feel comfortable about sending him to UGA if that becomes his final decision. That was a big reason why they made that trip.
The visit couldn’t have gone much better for UGA other than flipping him from Auburn to UGA in the middle of the floor Saturday night as the recruits attended the basketball game at Stegeman Coliseum.
The defensive end prospect also gave a lot of thought to playing on the same defensive line as five-star Derrick Brown and UGA commitment Tyler Clark. Those two big men also took their officials to UGA this weekend.
“If Derrick and I commit to Georgia and play with Tyler we are going to have a ball together in the backfield,” Marshall said.
He also said Smart hasn’t let up in his intensity to sign him.
“He really wants me,” Marshall said. “He’s so serious.”
He said Clark talked him up about the prospect of the two of them playing together at UGA.
“He really wants me to play beside him next year,” Marshall said. “(He said) that we will have each other’s back.”
Marshall said UGA assistant coach Tracy Rocker also made an impression. He also got the chance to know his future position coach well.
“I feel like coach Rocker is a great coach to play for and that he’s a coach that you can tell him anything about football or personal talk,” Marshall said.
Marshall is rated as a three-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 21 strong-side defensive end for the Class of 2016.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.