Call him humble. Or shy. But he doesn’t talk about himself very often. He doesn’t have to.
As a junior this past season, Marshall quarterbacked Wilcox County to its first state title.
The numbers—2,956 passing yards, 32 touchdowns—state Marshall’s talent.
Scout.com’s Chad Simmons says he’s a top ten prospect in the state of Georgia’s class of 2011.
But Marshall's highlight tape proves the ultimate standing. He’s special.
Wilcox coach Mark Ledford knows every play, inside and out, featured on the 11-minute video, having saved it on his computer in his office.
Less than sixty seconds into the film, it’s impossible to argue Marshall’s ability.
“Watch this missile,” Ledford says before Marshall hits a receiver in stride.
“Here’s [Marshall’s] last throw of the season, a two-point conversion in the Dome, on a bootleg,” Ledford says of the next clip.
“Look at this throw, against Wesleyan.”
“This was in the rain, one of the worst conditions a football field could be in.”
And on, and on, and on.
Marshall has impressive arm strength, and is good at any type of throw. He can pinpoint the deep ball. Hit the seam in stride. And he can throw the out route, always a true test for a college-level quarterback’s arm strength, down pat.
But he also has unique awareness. He keeps two hands on the football while in the pocket. His eyes remain locked downfield, even when dancing around defensive tackles. And he can run, but knows when and when not to.
Yes, Marshall had a spurt this season where he relied on the deep ball too frequently. But he shed the habit heading into the playoffs.
Individually, Marshall is the total package. But he’s team-first. And a leader.
Wilcox trailed in the fourth quarter during four of five playoff games. Marshall helped the Patriots to victory in each, including in the state finale against previously undefeated Savannah Christian.
One week later the University of Georgia offered Nick his first football scholarship. Georgia Tech, Florida State and Vanderbilt quickly followed. Marshall knows he’s good. It’s just not his personality to go in-depth about his recruiting, or physical gifts.
A recent conversation with Marshall went like this:
Scout: Do you have preferences in the schools that have initially offered?
Marshall: No sir. I’m staying wide open.
S: Did you have a childhood favorite growing up?
M: No sir.
S: Do you know what you’re looking for in a school?
M: No sir. Not yet.
Polite. Concise. Marshall will worry about his recruiting later - perhaps because he admits that recruiting itself gets on his nerves.
The legend of his athleticism could exist only the football field, and still be impressive. But the story is amplified on the basketball court.
Georgia, Florida State and Georgia Tech offered Marshall to play guard before the football offers began rolling in. Summers spent on the AAU circuit, with the Georgia Blazers and fellow highly-touted junior Kentavious Caldwell helped Marshall’s reputation grow.
And in a recent region semi-final blowout victory over arch-rival Dooly, Marshall showed why.
Similar in style to his football habits, Marshall was first-rate in most every facet of the game. He shot the 3. Flashed a mid-range jumper. Rattled in numerous dunks, including a thrilling alley-oop. Played defense with fire. On and on, the list of abilities grows.
He averaged 27 points a game last season. He set the school record this year, scoring 48 points in a single game. But a state semifinal loss last season has Marshall focused on a title run this year.
Wilcox plays Montgomery in the first round of the state playoffs this weekend. Until the Patriots lose, or win out, Marshall isn’t concerned with recruiting, football or basketball related.
And for those trying to get an early tip on where Marshall is heading, good luck. Florida State has a high success rate with South Georgia boys, but Marshall doesn’t seem to care who has gone before him. He recently visited Georgia Tech, mildly stating, “It was alright. I like the campus.”
And his cousin, receiver Lonnie Outlaw signed to play at Georgia this February, with intentions of heading to Athens by way of Georgia Military College. But if Outlaw will help the Bulldogs pull Marshall along too, Nick’s not saying.
“I was happy for him,” Marshall said of Outlaw, who he calls his best friend. “I’m going to make a decision on my own. I’m going to make the best decision for me.”
There is more to Marshall’s athletic aptitude.
Ledford mentioned Marshall’s ability to hurl a baseball, and of advancing to state in the high jump, after having competed only twice in the event in his lifetime.
And there is still time to add to legend.
This is Nick Marshall. Known for his superiority on the football field, equally as impressive on the basketball court. And everything else in-between.
One of the best athletes in the state Georgia.