Marlin Lane was on the sidelines tossing a football to little kids, running routes and catching passes, all the while a big smile on his face during Wednesday's Skills Challenge at the Alamodome.
After all, Lane is closer to middle school than college, a 2011 prospect who is destined for stardom but is still too young to comprehend the publicity and recruiting attention coming his way.
Here's a quick rundown of Lane's high school career so far: As an eighth-grader, he had 1,007 yards in six games before getting injured. The next season, Lane rushed for 1,363 yards and 21 touchdowns (10.7 yards per carry) at Deland (Fla.) Lighthouse Christian School Academy.
He transferred to Daytona Beach Mainland for his sophomore season and had 756 yards and 12 scores on 69 carries running behind two senior backs. Mainland lost surprisingly in the second round of state playoffs.
"I had two seniors in front of me, they were getting their carries so it didn't bother me any," said Lane, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect. "The only difference I saw at Mainland was that it was faster and quicker than it was at Lighthouse. Strength wasn't that big of a difference."
Lane emerged on the national scene at the Football University Camp this past summer in Paisley, Fla., which was arguably one of the top events all off-season. He performed well there and is already getting attention from numerous colleges. The Mainland recruit said he plans to work out at Friday's U.S. Army Junior Combine.
Clemson is his top choice and Southern Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Miami and Virginia Tech are also showing interest. Lane did not mention Florida or Florida State – or any other in-state schools - because he said the plan is to get out of the state to experience new things.
"I went to see Clemson practice for their bowl game," Lane said. "That's my top choice right now. I want to go experience somewhere else. (Clemson) is my top choice because I've liked them since 7th grade and I like how they spread the ball around."