SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- When Ohio State offered Durham (N.C.) Hillside outside linebacker Jamal Marcus a few weeks ago, that admittedly caught him a little bit by surprise.
"They said they're looking for more speed under the new coaches … under Coach [Urban] Meyer," Marcus said after practice Tuesday for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
Apparently, the Buckeyes already have made a strong impression.
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Asked to name his top three, Marcus replied that it's "probably East Carolina, Florida and Ohio State." But, he added, "I'm taking all schools into consideration. I'm still wide open right now."
Ohio State assistant Luke Fickell is handling Marcus' recruitment. The two met last week at his high school.
"I talked to him about three days ago," Marcus said. "He said how much they want me to come down there. They just lost like seven linebackers to injuries and things like that, and he talked about the possibility that if I come I could get playing time real early."
Right now, the plan is for Marcus to official to Ohio State in late January. On Jan. 13, he will official to either Florida or East Carolina. Gators assistant D.J. Durkin is his primary recruiter at Florida.
"We talked last week," Marcus said. "He said they're bringing in a great recruiting class. It'll probably be one of the top recruiting classes in the country. They're recruiting me quite heavily. Coach Durkin will probably come to my house once I get back to Durham next week likely."
Marcus also has very positive things to say about East Carolina, which has always been one of his top schools.
"ECU is playing a huge part, too," he said. "They're recruiting me real hard."
According to Marcus, he likely will make a final decision sometime close to signing day.
This week, he's enjoying his time in Spartanburg.
"It's going pretty good," Marcus said. "I'm learning a lot of things. And I'm playing with all these really good players."