He even spent an entire week at Auburn. Yep, you read that right, too. An entire week.
The South Georgia product rates as the nation’s No. 6 ATH and the No. 97 overall on the 247Sports composite for 2019. He committed to UGA in late April but was already a silent pledge for a few weeks before that.
It will take great detail to convey his current outlook. It will be a lot of moving parts but it also makes sense to open with a thought about where Marshall hopes his recruiting road ultimately leads.
“To be honest, I really want to stay with Georgia,” Marshall said.
There is a lot to piece together here including:
- Auburn is his No. 2 school. He has a strong relationship with linebackers coach Travis Williams, but that is basically his own connection to the coaching staff there.
- The 4-star is very comfortable with first-year FSU coach Willie Taggart. He said that is the best relationship he has with any head coach.
Trezmen Marshall was a silent to UGA for several weeks prior to his public commitment. (Trezman Marshall/Contributed photo)
Marshall believes Alabama is the school that will prepare him best for the NFL. Check that track record and all those titles. That is a logical take there.
- The top 100 prospect knows the coaches at Georgia and Tennessee quite well. He was a frequent visitor to UGA games last fall. He clicks with the new UT staff because it seems like everyone in orange from Jeremy Pruitt (Alabama) to Kevin Sherrer (UGA) to Charles Kelly (FSU) used to recruit him for other schools.
- Marshall has set up three of his four remaining officials. He will see Georgia host Tennessee on Sept. 29. Auburn is set to host him for its clash with the Vols on Oct. 13. His Florida State official will be on Oct. 27 for the Clemson tilt.
- The Alabama official is up in the air, but it sounds like the natural choice will be The Iron Bowl.
Getting to know Trezmen Marshall
Give him credit for prioritizing the right things. Marshall wanted to make sure he was fully qualified before he began making major moves with his recruiting.
“That’s the first thing I made sure I did before I committed and starting texting all these schools back,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I was qualified before I seriously started talking to them because a lot of players down here have the big offers but they never qualify to go to the big schools.”
He’s experienced his share of adversity but doesn’t check to that as an excuse for his mistakes. Marshall said his name was misspelled on his birth certificate, but he and his family never set out to change that.
“That is life,” he said. “Things like that will happen. I just try to stay calm through it a lot.”
Marshall will take long looks at FSU and Tennessee this fall. He doesn’t need to see wins. The Clinch County bruiser wants to see how hard those teams play for their new coaches.
“I need to see if all those guys really want it,” Marshall said. “Even when they are not winning big yet.”
If those guys play hard for their school, they might have something. He doesn’t feel that way right now.
Trezmen Marshall has set up several of his remaining official visits. He plans to see UGA for the Tennessee game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
“I have yet to find another school that has the complete package of everything I’m looking for that Georgia has,” Marshall said.
The guess here is if the Bulldogs play to the same standard as last season, his pledge will stick. It doesn’t have to be another return to the national semifinals or national championship.
But there are two elements here that cast some doubt with that. He loves UGA, but it hasn’t felt the same to him since his former Clinch County teammate Chauncey Manac transferred away last August.
“There are a lot of people I went to school with at Clinch County that are now around Athens,” he said. “I have a lot of friends who now go to the University of Georgia and some more friends in Atlanta. But since Chauncey left, it has not been the same to me. It is not a bad thing, though. It made me realize I can’t depend on someone else being at Georgia to make it the perfect place for me.”
He also said there was a misunderstanding with UGA in the time he has been a commit. Marshall aims to show loyalty by taking the high road with that matter.
“It was a miscommunication and I will leave it that,” he said. “Just petty stuff. Just a disagreement on a situation. But I do not want to speak any more on that.”
Loyalty will be a major facet of his final decision.
“There was nothing there that made me want to de-commit from Georgia,” he said. “It just made me think that I needed to look at some of these other schools to see if they have something that Georgia does not.”
He would like to develop a stronger relationship with Kirby Smart.
“I am cool with Kirby,” Marshall said. “That’s like as in talking wise. But I love Florida State’s head coach because I can just sit down and talk to him about life. Everything. I’ve never sat down and talked with Kirby about life and important stuff like that. We have just spoken about football and other stuff, but not the way I talk to coach (Willie) Taggart about life and stuff.”
4-star ATH Trezmen Marshall ranks as the nation’s No. 97 overall prospect this year on the 247Sports composite. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
But the Seminoles are not as focused as the Bulldogs.
“You can just tell by going up there to talk to the (FSU) players,” Marshall said. “They aren’t focused on winning a championship just yet. They want to play football. Everyone wants to play football. You can say that about everybody, but I’m focused on going to a place with a bunch of players who are focused on winning a championship.”
He hopes to bring his mother along this weekend to Athens.
“My mother has not been with me on any of my visits,” Marshall said. “Since I’m committed to Georgia, I want her first visit to be to Georgia. My mom doesn’t go to football games. I want her first visit to be at the school I am committed to but it is hard to get her out of the house. My daddy hasn’t even been with me on a visit yet.”
It will be his choice. But he wants to see what his family thinks. He knows his mother has a talent for reading people. She can size up the school based on the coaches that will be talking to her about her son.
Chopping up all schools for Trezmen Marshall
Marshall plans to sign on the first day of the early period but could wait it out if he is uncertain. He said he’s earned the flexibility to enroll early or stay his entire senior year.
“It is like different mood swings every day,” Marshall said. “It is just a thought process really. I will be like ‘Is this school really where I want to spend four years at?‘ when I think about it. It is like every school has a difference in what I like about them.”
FSU and Tennessee are flip-flopping of late as his No. 3 school. The Volunteers are his No. 3 school at this time.
He gave some unprompted quick-hit takes about his options:
Alabama: “Alabama is Alabama and you just know they are good and all that. You know you are going to get a championship if you go there right now … You have to respect coach Nick Saban. I would like to play for him but I really don’t know the whole coaching staff. The only person I know at Alabama is my position coach.”
Trezmen Marshall actually aspires to try to play both ways for the Bulldogs. His initial and long-term fit will be at ILB. (Trezmen Marshall/Contributed photo)
Auburn: “They have the best position coach that I am cool with but I can’t see myself with all the players there yet. … Coach T-Will [assistant coach Travis Williams] is the coolest person I can relate to at Auburn. [Williams] and [5-star LB commit] Owen [Pappoe] do really make me think a lot about Auburn.”
Georgia: “Georgia has the best averages on everything. I can fit in with the players. I’m cool with all the coaches. I am just trying to really figure everything out. It has been a tough summer because I’ve been traveling so much getting to learn all this stuff and meet all the people I need to know.”
FSU: “I don’t like coaching staff there but I love the head coach. That’s the best head coach that I have been talking to and have met. That’s what I have seen so far.”
Tennessee: “I like the whole coaching staff better than any other coaching staff but I don’t feel comfortable with the players there. I don’t feel like they are ready to win a championship. I don’t think they are on the level they need to be to win a championship yet.”
He feels the Seminoles are recruiting him the hardest right now. Auburn falls right after that.
“Florida State is coming with full force,” Marshall said. “They are steady coming. They are not letting up. I can tell you they are not letting up at all.”
He appreciates how receptive Auburn is with his recruiting. If he lets Williams know he doesn’t feel like talking a certain day, that is that. Other schools might try to get their message in for that day.
RELATED: Want to see a real-time updated visitor’s list for this weekend’s reveal at Sanford Stadium?
A little more depth on all those choices
Marshall said he spent at least a week at Auburn and then some.
“I have grown close to some of the players up there,” he said. “And then, of course, Owen (Pappoe) is trying to get me to flip so it is just a lot to think about right now.”
Williams has built a clear bond.
“He’s played my position,” Marshall said. “We can be watching film and he will point out I was playing in some games where my shoulder was hurt. He knew that. He spotted that because he said he’s been there. Other coaches might see that and think I was just soft, but he was able to recognize I was playing through with a hurt shoulder.”
He visited Auburn the most this summer. FSU was next but he hasn’t visited that school as much as others have reported. He said he needed to catch a flight out of Valdosta this summer and missed it. He had to go to Tallahassee instead. Some reports called that a visit to FSU, but he didn’t see it that way.
That was just where he stayed the night before a flight. Marshall said he made one trip to UGA this summer. Alabama is also on his mind.
“You have got to respect Alabama about getting you ready to play,” he said. “I can’t say another team that is winning those championships like that. That is a respect thing. Everybody in the last five or six years that played for Alabama has got a ring.”
He seeks competition. Not a spot in the two-deep.
“I want to hear a coach tell me competition will matter,” he said. “The best players will play. I don’t want a single thing handed to me about my spot. That’s how I feel about Georgia. You can go there and the best players will play. Period. When they recruit me, they will then try to find a better linebacker. I have to put it all my work to keep that position.”
The separation between Auburn and Georgia
Georgia and Auburn are his top two schools.
“I’ve been to Georgia a lot,” he said. “I feel like I don’t really need to see anything else. The only thing I need to see left from Georgia is how the season goes this year.”
The Tigers are making a good run, though.
“Auburn kind of got a late start with me,” he said. “If Auburn would have been talking to me and recruiting me at the same time Georgia did, then they would be running neck-and-neck right now.”
“They came in so late I don’t know if I will de-commit and go there because I know so very little about the school. But that’s what the rest of this summer and this season is all for.”
What keeps UGA just ahead of Auburn?
“I only really know coach (Travis Williams) at Auburn,” Marshall said. “That’s the whole separation of everything between Auburn and Georgia. I know the whole coaching staff at Georgia.”
He will be looking closely at UGA this year, too.
“I want to see how good coach Kirby (Smart) really is,” he said. “What can he do after he lost all those good seniors? If you think about it last year, he had a stacked team with all those good seniors. … I want to see how great of a coach he is. I want to see if Georgia wants it and will fight to get back to that spot they were at last year.”
This weekend will offer some novelty. He was never impressed by the locker rooms at the stadium.
“The locker room at the stadium was never really even a place you can sit down,” he said. “It was like a storage room and I was like ‘This is Georgia? What is going on here?‘ on my first visit there but I think coach Kirby (Smart) helped figure that out and get that locker room right ASAP.”
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