Recruiting for college prospects seems to get earlier and earlier every year. That is evidenced by the number of players who have yet to attend high school as upperclassmen yet have already been offered by colleges.
That is exactly the case with Hialeah (Fla.) Dade Christian quarterback Bilal Marshall. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound dual-threat passer begins practice today for his junior season. However, he has already landed firmly on the radars of three schools with each extending verbal scholarship offers.
"I have three verbals from Wake, FIU and Kansas," Marshall said. "Wake gave me a verbal around February, FIU was maybe in March and Kansas was March as well. They all surprised me. I wasn't expecting to get any offers this year."
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Marshall is also being pursued by several other top programs.
"I'm getting recruited by several other schools," he said. "Rutgers came by my school during the year. Boston College, Miami, Florida State and University of South Florida have all been recruiting me too."
This summer, Marshall was able to make it to two campuses for camps.
"Wake Forest, I went to their camp and I talked to a couple of their recruiting coordinators there," he said. "I also went to an FIU camp because that's like right around the corner. At the FIU camp, I did pretty well. At Wake Forest's camp, I did really well. Wake Forest's camp was a little more organized so it was easier to get in a rhythm."
In fact, the Demon Deacons have done enough to take the early lead for his services.
"Wake Forest has been pretty high up on me, coming to see me at school," Marshall said. "So far, that's the school that's definitely No. 1."
A few other schools could also jump into the discussion should they start pursuing Marshall.
"Virginia Tech, I would love it if they offered," he said. "I just like their style of offense. I like the way they play. It's a school that, other than UM, I've always been a fan of. I also like Clemson. I guess I'm just an ACC type of guy. I like the tradition of their school and the things they do on offense as well."
As far as the hometown school, the Miami-area prospect says the Canes have shown quite a bit of interest as well.
"UM came to see me, I want to say three times, in the spring," Marshall said. "I've had a chance to talk to the coach and he told me that, throughout my junior and senior year, they're going to be recruiting me more heavily. Since I was only a sophomore, they just wanted to let me know that they were watching me."
As a sophomore in 2009, Marshall helped lead the Crusaders to a 7-3 record. He passed for 1,321 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 573 yards and another eight scores.