Beaumont (Texas) Central offensive lineman Ken Marks is not a man of many words, but on Tuesday he had an important announcement to make.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound standout was ready to make his college commitment alongside teammates James Locke and Michael Jacquet. Nevada, North Texas, and Louisiana-Lafayette made up his final three, and he was ready to announce his decision to be a Rajin' Cajun.
There were many factors considered in his decision and several which put the Rajin' Cajuns at the top of his list.
"I went to their camp and they offered me so when I came home I talked to my mom and all of that," Marks said. "Then about a month later we took a visit there and coach Munoz took us around the campus and showed us everything. When I saw it I said man this looks like home. It's sunny, it's not cold. Then he told us about the football program. They're on the come up. They've won three straight bowl games. Engineering is very good there - petroleum engineering - that's what I really picked it for."
The Louisiana-Lafayette coaching staff played a big part in his decision as well. Wide receivers coach Jorge Munoz took the lead, but it was a group effort throughout.
"They could've been my daddies. They felt like family," Marks said. "They're still contacting me right now. All the coaches knew my name. Even the defensive line coach. You don't expect them to know your name. I just felt love when I went there."
The decision was not an easy one though. In fact, he originally had thoughts of heading west.
"At first I picked Nevada and then we had a long talk about it and I changed my decision to ULL because it's closer to home and easier to contact," Marks said. "That's probably one of the greatest choices I've made in my life."
Marks is unsure whether or not he will take his visits at this point, but he is glad to have his decision made.
"It's a lot off my chest. Coming in here before I was talking I felt like I had a log on my chest or something," Marks said. "I couldn't breathe or anything. Making that commitment just made my day the greatest day of my life."
Marks was originally offered at guard, but they have let him know he could also play tackle due to his versatility. Regardless of his position, Central head coach Toby Foreman believes the Ragin' Cajuns are getting a gifted athlete.
"Ken is a quiet guy. You can see he didn't say a whole lot tonight. But what he will do is he is physical and he will play physical with you every down," Coach Foreman said. "The first time I saw him on film I looked and said is that Ken driving the guy into the ground, but I didn't see that personality with him. It didn't match, but that's the kind of player he is.
"He has some grit to him. He understands the offense. He made some of the line calls as a right tackle, which is rare. He has the understanding of the game and he understands what we expect. You mix that in with a lot of talent and the aggressiveness he has on the offensive line and that's a good combination."
Matt Clare of RedRaiderSports.com contributed to this report