Marquise Doherty list trimming wasn't massive. That's not to say it lacked significance, though. The four-star athlete will play baseball in addition to football at the next level, so his options have always been a touch more limited than those of the average FBS prospect.
After collecting 14 scholarship offers, the Kansas City (Mo.) Winnetonka High school senior narrowed his list to include just Missouri, Oregon, Kansas State, Iowa and Louisville.
Doherty discussed his top five as well as what's next in a Q&A session with Rivals.com. The transcript of that conversation can be found below.
So what was it about these five schools that made the difference?
Starting with Mizzou, they were my first offer. That means a lot to me. They are a top program, obviously. They were in the SEC Championship last year and maybe a couple of plays away from being in the national championship. That's good. The way they have talked to me and recruited me, I can just tell that they really want me. Yu want to go somewhere where you are wanted. Plus, it's close to home, so my family and friends will be able to come watch me.
Did you grow up a Mizzou fan? I mean, you aren't that far away from Columbia.
Growing up in Missouri, it's hard not to watch them and follow them. My dad would probably call himself an MU fan, but I didn't really have a college team growing up. I never went out of my way to catch a certain team's games. I just liked college football in general.
What about Louisville? It's not a total shock at all, but if any of these final five caught me off guard, Louisville would be it. What makes Louisville stand out?
I traveled for baseball this summer, and we went through the area. We went to Atlanta. We went to Murphysboro. We went to Nashville and we went to Louisville. When I was there, I loved the town and the whole area. Then, whenever I talk to Coach [Kolby] Smith on the phone, I just got good vibes from him. He knows what he's talking about. We see eye to eye on a lot of things from a running back standpoint. They are obviously extremely successful in baseball as well, so that's important.
Speaking of baseball, how important was baseball in all of this? Is this a football decision or a baseball decision?
All five schools in my top five will allow me to do football and baseball, so that was a major factor. But as far as which weighed more, football or baseball, it really didn't matter. If I really had to say, I would say probably football because baseball is more of an individual sport. Even of you don't play for the best program, you can still do well. It doesn't really work the same in football.
What about K-State? What do you like about the Wildcats?
I played baseball tournaments out there in Manhattan my freshman year and sophomore year and last year as well. Talking to the coaches on the phone, baseball and football but mainly baseball, I got the vibe that they weren't just interested in me. I felt like they were really excited about me. There's a difference between being interested in somebody and being excited about somebody. It's really cool when a staff is excited about you. When Coach [Del] Miller talks to me, we really have good conversations. It's never really an awkward recruit-coach type of talk. We just kind of hit it off. Every time we talk, it's smooth. I like that a lot. And obviously the football tradition at Kansas State is big to me.
Oregon is kind of the outlier geographically. Eugene certainly isn't Kansas City. What do you like about Oregon? Is it just that Oregon mystique that most recruits love?
That plays a part obviously. I think it was other things. My sophomore year, I went out there for a Nike camp. When we were there, my family and I absolutely loved it. The town and the people … the people there are just extremely nice.
My dad always tells this story: We were walking in one of their parks and my dad sneezed. From across the trail, some guy yells "bless you." My dad was like, "really? People here are that nice?" Everywhere we went, everyone was happy.
Obviously, the facilities and the field and the stadium are off the charts. That plays a part. Also, it's a West Coast town but it feels like the Midwest to me a little. I feel comfortable there. The uniforms are definitely a plus.
It's weird, though, what I like most about Oregon is that they don't really have tradition. Penn State and Alabama, they have all this tradition. Oregon is new and non-traditional. I really like that because it's different. Before Chip Kelly nobody talked about Oregon. I like what they have going. The defensive backs coach there is really energetic.
Let's touch on your position a little. Which schools are recruiting you for which position?
Louisville wants me at running back. Mizzou wants me as an athlete. Offense or defense doesn't really matter to them. Kansas State wants me on offense. Iowa wants me on offense, and Oregon wants me on defense.
Iowa is the last school we haven't touched on yet. What is it about them? You have been pretty high on them for a while now, right?
Yeah. I've liked Iowa since they started recruiting me an [high school teammate and Iowa freshman] Aaron Mends. Coach Bobby Kennedy was the first coach to talk to me and Aaron. Being a recruit, you get used to all the coaches telling you what you want to hear, but me and Aaron got a different vibe from him. We could tell he was really genuine with what he's said. Now, with Aaron being there, he tells me how much he loves it. That's a good feeling, too. When you have a friend at a college, it helps.
How close are you two?
We're pretty close friends. We got close his senior year, which was my junior year. We're pretty close. We have a great relationship. I love talking to Aaron. The Iowa stories he tells me are pretty funny.
Have you scheduled any official visits yet, or is that next on the to-do list?
I've been doing some of that for the past couple days. I'm trying to make it out to Oregon on Sept. 6, when they play Michigan State. I'm not sure on the Louisville visit. I talked to them about the Miami game. Those are the only two I have tried to set up to this point.