Bealeton (Va.) Liberty athlete Cortez Carter made his selection earlier this afternoon. The 6-foot-0, 210-pounder came down to Connecticut and Marshall, where is he headed?
"I committed to Marshall around 4:30 today," he said. "I talked to Coach Holliday, Ratliff and Rippon. They were very excited. I asked Coach Ratliff how his day was and I told him I want to make it even better, I told him I was committing. They went crazy. I called Coach Holliday who was in the airport and he sounded excited too."
In the end, it came down to one thing that gave the Thundering Herd the edge of the Huskies.
"I was torn very hard," he said. "I wanted to make my decision before next week when practice started. It was down to Connecticut and Marshall and yes, Connecticut is bigger and in the Big East and provides a better chance for a national championship. I liked that place a lot, but I visited Marshall twice too and it came down to playing offense or defense. I think I'm a true defensive player. I love defense more than offense and pulled the trigger for Marshall. Marshall wants me at linebacker, they have said that repeatedly."
While it was close, Carter broke down what else fell into Marshall's favor.
"I felt like the place was me, it's down-to-earth and it's country, that's me," he said. "They are great people around there. I like the campus a lot and again, it's not Big East, it's not the biggest and best, but sometimes bigger ain't always better. In this case it wasn't for me. I liked everything about Marshall.
"I bonded with the coaches big-time. They were definitely on my list of coaches to call every week. Every time I talked to them I got a positive feeling. My mother called Coach Ratliff one night and they had a good conversation. My mom agreed if I wanted to play defense I need to follow what I want to play."
As for playing time, Carter will get a chance to see the field possibly early.
"They told me I have a good chance, I just have to come in there and do the work. They'll play the best three guys."
With a decision behind him, Carter is focused on helping his team back to the playoffs.
"We're going to take this season one game at a time, our first goal is a district title and then a regional and I know everybody wants that state championship ring," he said. "We made it to the playoffs the last two years and got pretty darn close last year. We fell short in the semifinal game and now we're doing all these workouts to get after it.
"My only goal for myself this season it to stay strong for my team and help lead them to a championship."