Westerville (Ohio) South athlete Marcus Ball saw his offer sheet explode this spring, but he followed that up with a pretty quite month of June. The downtime allowed him to reflect on his recruitment and identify five schools standing out.
"I don't have a No. 1, but I have a top five of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Penn State. I don't know if that is a final five because there are some new schools like USC and Oregon that are recruiting me pretty hard. If they extend an offer to me, some things could get shifted around."
Each of five schools atop Ball's list have offered the three-star prospect. Michigan State was the most recent to offer, and he added that after camping with the Spartans last month.
"The only camp I went to was Michigan State," Ball noted. "I caught like six picks in the 7-on-7 and did well in the drills. Everything went good and they ended up extending the offer to me."
The offer from the Spartans vaulted them into Ball's top group. They are a program he has become very familiar with during the course of the recruiting process.
"That was actually my fourth time up at Michigan State, so I have seen the place plenty of times," Ball said. "I like the campus - it's not too big - and I like the coaches and the defensive schemes. Overall, it is always a pretty good visit and would definitely be a good place to play football."
While Ball has made a determination on the top schools that will vie for his services, he is not close to making his final decision and has more evaluations to complete before he arrives at that point.
"I definitely want to take my five officials because I want a game day feel of how the team does things," Ball said. "There's nothing as real as that, so I'll take the five officials all on game days."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ball has played quarterback in high school, but could project to several positions in college. Arizona State is recruiting him as a wide receiver, while Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State see him primarily on defense as either a safety or a hybrid safety/outside linebacker.