On Wednesday, Auburn commit David Marshall took a phone call from defensive line coach Rodney Garner.
It wasn’t a typical run-of-the-mill conversation, either, as the three-star defensive end says he and Garner spoke at length about his recent intrigue in Georgia under new coach Kirby Smart.
Marshall admits he offered up a candid response.
“Coach Garner and I talk mostly every week, but I see Georgia showing more love than them right now,” Marshall told SEC Country. “I see Georgia wants me to come to their program and play for them.”
Marshall, who has been committed to the Tigers since October, says he’s on the fence about his commitment to the program as a result of the Bulldogs’ late interest to secure his commitment. Newly-hired inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann has spearheaded the push, as the two have spoken almost daily since Schumann’s arrival to Athens, Ga., in December.
“He’s a nice guy to talk to,” Marshall said of Schumann. “He’s a young guy, but you can talk to him about football, your relationship. We really just talk about Kirby (Smart), how Kirby coaches and how he puts players in the league.”
But will Georgia’s late surge be enough for Marshall to waver on his commitment? That remains to be seen. He is slated to take an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 15, followed by another to Georgia on Jan. 22.
The 6-foot-2, 256-pound senior from Thomaston, Ga., says Garner reminded him during their conversation that the program has maintained a strong relationship with him throughout his recruitment, even in light of him de-committing back in June.
But according to Marshall, this weekend’s visit will be key, as it will be the first time members of his family will meet with newly-hired defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. His grandmother was relatively close with Will Muschamp, and the Tigers have some ground to make up given that she met Schumann in December.
“Really, I’m looking for them to show love to my family,” Marshall said. “Talk to them and have my family get a good relationship with the coaches and new coaches, especially my grandmother.”
Marshall will follow up his visit to The Plains with a trip to Georgia. He hopes to get a feel for the classes, campus and the new coaching staff, particularly Smart.
“I like his personality and how the coaches players up,” Marshall said of Smart. “He’s a hype person, to me. He’s a coach that loves the sport of football.”
Marshall says his visit to Athens could very well change things, but he doesn’t intend on making a final decision until Feb. 3. He still wants to take in an official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 29, and he maintains the Rebels are still in the fold.