Over the course of his recruitment, Westerville (Ohio) South three-star athlete Marcus Ball has accumulated more than two dozen scholarship offers, but the top contenders for his signature are starting to reveal themselves and official visits are being set.
"A couple visits are getting set up," Ball reported. "Wisconsin on Nov. 17 is playing Ohio State and I will probably take an official then. Next weekend, Oct. 27, I will probably take an official visit to Arizona State when they play UCLA. Those are the only official visits I have set up so far."
Before embarking on his first official visit of the process, Ball will take in another unofficial visit to an SEC program.
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"I am taking an unofficial to Tennessee when they play Alabama this weekend," Ball said. "I've already taken two unofficial visits to Michigan State - when they played Notre Dame and when they played Ohio State - and I took an unofficial to Notre Dame when they played Michigan."
Beyond the trips he mentioned, Ball has not scheduled any other unofficial or official visits, but he does have a few schools in mind for his remaining official visit slots.
"I do plan to take an official for Tennessee, Michigan State and Illinois," Ball said.
If Ball's official visit plan comes to fruition it would leave Notre Dame - a team he spoke highly of early in the fall - on the outside looking in.
"I wouldn't say they are not in the top group," Ball said. "They are a great school and a great program, obviously doing real well. Even if they weren't doing well, they would still be up there because it is a great school and a great program. But looking at it overall, I'm not sure they make my top five. I don't know if I have a true top five, but Notre Dame is definitely top six."
Although Ball has not been to Wisconsin for a game yet this fall, he has certainly been watching their progress closely because his brother, Ray Ball, plays on the Badger's offensive line.
"Ray being my brother, you get to hear about the inside stories on what is going on with him," Ball said. "They just played Purdue and he got in on the line. He's told me Coach [Bret Bielema] is fighting for him and he really likes him. When I talk to Coach B he says 'we need to get you up here,' and not only play on the same team as my brother, but maybe on the same side of the ball one day."
The trip to Arizona State later this month will be Ball's second to Tempe during the recruiting process. He has called his previous visit to the Pac-12 program his best of the process.
"Arizona State is going to be a great game day atmosphere," Ball said. "Being a central Ohio kid you never know what the weather is going to be. If you are in Arizona, when you check the forecast there it is 95 all week. That's not really a factor, but it's a great program and I have connections up there.
"They have a guy named Tevin Favor who played for Westerville South and he knows me real well. That's a guy, kind of like my brother, I can look up to and take me under his wing. Also, there is a coach who was at Wisconsin last year [DelVaughn Alexander]who is at Arizona State and I know him real well. That is another connection."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ball could project to the safety, wide receiver or linebacker positions in college. He also plays quarterback for his Westerville South team.