New Orleans O.P. Walker defensive tackle Marques Cheeks has seen quite a bit of interest from colleges come his way as of late. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defender has picked up offers from programs in several major conferences.
Recently, though, Cheeks decided he was ready to make a verbal commitment. It comes as somewhat of a surprise but he says he has plenty of reasons for doing so.
"I made a commitment to FIU on Sunday," Cheeks said. "I've been watching them and they have a really great program. I think I can go out there and make big things happen. I've got a good chance to start pretty early out there. I also have a lot of family out there so it sort of feels like it's close to home a little bit.
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"I called and they put me on with the head coach. They were pretty excited. They were in the airport at the time and they were getting excited. They got me really excited too. They said I made a good choice and they were really happy for me."
The three-star prospect has had a chance to check out the Miami campus once before and he plans to do so again in the near future.
"I went on an unofficial visit out there during the summer," he said. "I'm going to take my official visit sometime during December. It's a lot of fun out there."
Despite the commitment to the Golden Panthers, Cheeks says he has not completely shut down the recruiting process.
"I'm still a little bit open," he said. "I'm still going to go on my official visits. I want to stay a little bit open-minded to other schools."
There are a few schools which Cheeks says he is still considering.
"I'm still looking at KU, Minnesota and Mississippi State of course," he said. "I might visit ULALA. They said they might come after me and offer me. I'm also thinking about ULM a little bit.
"KU, they offered me a scholarship not too long ago. They want to come up there on Dec. 10 for the basketball game against Ohio State."