Better Know A Buckeye: Jalin Marshall

By Vico on February 26, 2013 at 12:00p

Eleven Warriors presents Better Know a Buckeye 2013

While the college basketball season nears its conclusion, the 2013 season for football is quickly approaching. Spring practices are around the corner and Ohio State will embark on a season in which it will be favored in just about every contest. While we look to August 31 with enthusiasm, this series will preview the new faces Ohio State will see on its roster this year. 

Jalin Marshall

In the second installment of this fifth edition of this now 24-part series titled Better Know A Buckeye, I profile Jalin Marshall. Marshall, a wide receiver prospect from Middletown, Ohio, was the second commitment in this year's recruiting class. For the longest time, he was arguably the jewel of the offensive recruits before Ohio State's final push saw signatures from Dontre Wilson and James Clark. With that in mind, he will still feature prominently in our wide receiver picture going forward.

Height: 5'11
Weight: 196 lbs
Fake 40: 4.66
High School: Middletown High School; Middletown, OH

His Recruitment

Jalin Marshall elicited interest from almost everyone in his sophomore year. While not necessarily determinative, it nevertheless suggests a recruit is going to get national attention when that type of volume of interest comes during the sophomore year. Not only did Marshall attract the interest of programs like Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh (his first two offers), in addition to regional powers like Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, but Marshall attracted the attention of the Florida Gators as well. Upon receiving his film midway through his sophomore year, Florida's assistant coach DJ Durkin let his high school coach know that Marshall was on their recruiting board. Durkin, now Florida's defensive coordinator, was a linebackers coach for Urban Meyer's last season in Gainesville, also in charge of monitoring recruits from Ohio.

Alabama showed interest as well as part of Saban's continued interest in recruiting Southwest Ohio. Other programs like South Carolina and Nebraska also showed interest. That type of early interest from programs outside the regional footprint underscores the potential of a prospect to be an elite recruit. Indeed, Marshall finished as the 35th overall recruit in 2013 for, two spots from earning that coveted "fifth star".

Marshall could have (and basically did have) his pick of the litter, though his lifelong devotion to Ohio State football played a big role in how he shaped his recruitment after his sophomore season. This matters less than people commonly assume (see: Bell, Vonn), but Ohio State's special position in Marshall's eyes no doubt helped. While Marshall was running track for Middletown in his sophomore year, and competing at Jesse Owens Field at meets, he would remark how neat it was to look over his shoulder and see Ohio Stadium. He had grown up dreaming of playing football in that same stadium. While qualifying that by saying he would leave Ohio, and the Midwest, if it were necessary (thinking of the interest from the Florida Gators), he nevertheless sought a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. He would try to earn one at the NIKE Camp held at Ohio State in the third week of June 2011.

Jalin Marshall got that scholarship offer from Ohio State after that camp. The offer did come roughly a month after Jim Tressel was forced to resign his position as head coach at Ohio State, so the program's uncertainty dampened the occasion a little bit. However, Marshall's enthusiasm for the offer was clear. It was only his fourth offer, after Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Illinois. For only the fourth offer, it was also from a signature program that Marshall grew up watching. Further, Ohio State offered the opportunity to give him a look at quarterback, which is the position Marshall played at Middletown. Despite the abrupt transition from Jim Tressel to Luke Fickell, and all the uncertainty that entailed, the offer shot Ohio State to the top of his list.

Jalin Marshall in action.

While Marshall would reiterate through the summer and autumn of 2011 that he was not bothered by the extent of the Ohio State scandal, it did at least give him reason for pause. He was in Ohio Stadium on an unofficial visit to watch Ohio State dismantle Akron in Luke Fickell's coaching debut. However, he started making plans.

He wanted to make visits to Tennessee and Notre Dame, in addition to swinging by Ohio State again. As it was with the case of Cameron Burrows, it was Notre Dame, and not Michigan, that stood to benefit the most from Ohio State's weakened position. He visited Notre Dame for its 2011 home game against Southern California, a week after visiting Tennessee for its game against Louisiana State. The result of that game was a laugher in favor of the Trojans, but Marshall left impressed with everything Notre Dame had to offer. He went as far to say Notre Dame was now top of his list.

If we permit, like we did with Cameron Burrows, that Jalin Marshall may have ended up signing with Ohio State regardless of Urban Meyer, I still think it is important to underscore how significant that was. When the rumors of Urban Meyer's arrival at Ohio State appeared in November, Marshall mentioned he was intrigued. After all, it was Urban Meyer's Florida Gators program that piqued Marshall's interest into possibly leaving Ohio and the Midwest to play college football. Now, Urban Meyer may be coming to him.

Further, the significance of Urban Meyer's arrival at Ohio State was only compounded when Tim Hinton left Notre Dame to join him. Tim Hinton was Jalin Marshall's contact at Notre Dame.

Within a week of Urban Meyer's arrival in Columbus, he talked with his future head coach. Meyer encouraged him to take a visit. As December became January, Marshall already met Urban Meyer in person and came away liking their conversation.

It was all set in stone there. Marshall had long planned to commit to a school (he certainly had his options) before his senior year of college football. He targeted January 31 as the announcement date.

His Commitment

On January 30, Jalin Marshall became the second commitment in the 2013 recruiting class.

Word leaked pretty quickly that Marshall was going to select the Buckeyes. It's why recruiting services list him as a January 30 commitment instead of a January 31 commitment, despite Marshall announcing that January 31 would be his commitment date. The reason for the particular date is that January 31 is his father's birthday.

"I have committed to Ohio State," Marshall announced Monday evening. "I've known for a while I was going to be a Buckeye, but I waited until now because it's my dad's birthday, and I wanted to honor him with my commitment. I didn't want to do anything fancy, and I just want to spend time with my family, because this is just as much about them as it is about me."

"My family means everything to me, and my dad is so important to me," he added. "My dad has always been there for me, and he has impacted my life in such a positive way, that I wanted to pay him back for all he means to me. I owe the fact that I'm headed to play college football to my dad, and everything he's done for me."

He chose Ohio State over multiple offers, but mostly Notre Dame.

Where He Excels

Recruit breakdowns can, lazily, use player comparisons to introduce a high school recruit to college football fans. This type of schema does a bit of a disservice to an incoming freshman, sometimes introducing unfair expectations. They can also be wildly optimistic. The comparison that enters into conversation with Jalin Marshall is Percy Harvin. They will play similar positions in Urban Meyer's offense. Urban Meyer wants, and has rigorously tried to find, a player like Percy Harvin. Heck, the "H receiver" in Meyer's offense is informally known as the "Percy position".

So, if that's our starting point, the best I can add to that is saying that Harvin has a noticeable speed advantage. Their track and field statistics are comparable, but Harvin's on-field speed looks greater than Marshall. However, Marshall is much bigger. Marshall will enroll fifteen pounds heavier than Harvin was as a true freshman at Florida.

Marshall does use this size to his advantage. For a guy almost single-handedly responsible for Middletown's football fortunes, Marshall willingly ran through arm tackles. He fought for yards after contact. Most of his quarterback carries were between tackles, not around them. Mind you, Marshall was not playing cupcakes at Middletown High School. His schedule included heavyweights like Colerain, Lakota West, St. Xavier, and Winton Woods. His team even knocked out Centerville in Round 2 of the Division I playoffs in 2011.

Must Work On​

Jalin Marshall had his heart set on Ohio State since he was young. He also had his heart set on playing quarterback. While he could be a passable college quarterback (I'm very surprised Paul Johnson didn't make a run at him), he can be a first-round draft pick at wide receiver. His skills as a thrower were sometimes evident in camp, even showing up Shane Morris on a few occasions at the Columbus Elite 11. Still, he's going to be a wide receiver for Ohio State. If he tosses a pass or two for Ohio State, it'll be on gadget plays.

Therefore, Marshall needs to become a wide receiver, and not just play wide receiver. If Marshall becomes the first-round draft pick that I think he can be, he'll need to learn how to create separation beyond just speed. He'll need to learn all the nuances that come with the position, not the least of them being route-running and knowing how to find holes in zone coverage.


Junior year will have to do.




I doubt it. If not for the addition of James Clark and Dontre Wilson late in the process, I think Marshall's importance becomes clear. In an foggy wide receiver picture that Urban Meyer would like to improve, it would become easier to give Marshall meaningful snaps as a true freshman. The late verbal commitments from Clark and Wilson give Ohio State the option of redshirting at least one of those three. Still, I expect Marshall will get some playing time as a true freshman.


  • Jalin Marshall has an older brother, DeAnte, that is an Ohio State alumnus.
  • Marshall's senior season wasn't what he or his teammates hoped it would be. A 10-2 campaign in 2011 was followed a by a 4-6 season.
  • Middletown High School has a nice Ohio State tradition, also sending Todd Bell, Cris Carter, and Jeff Cothran to Ohio State. 
  • Marshall made plans to attend the Ohio State-Wisconsin game in 2011. That fell through and, as it turned out, Marshall fell asleep before the exciting conclusion of that game.
  • His tentative plan is to study sports management at Ohio State. He is even thinking of going into coaching himself.
  • had him as the #1 player from Ohio. 247 Sports has the same.
  • Marshall played in the Under Armour All-American Game. His highlights include a 44-yard pass from Georgia signee Brice Ramsey. Most of his contributions were on special teams.
  • National Letter of Intent Day Press Conference.

Well, I think Jalin Marshall is better known.

The More You Know

When the time comes, we'll add him to a big ol' board as we count down in anticipation of the 2013 season.


Comments Show All Comments

OSUStu's picture

Bowties abound.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

ATXbucknut's picture

"Marshall willingly ran through arm tackles. He fought for yards after contact. Most of his quarterback carries were between tackles, not around them."
This is exciting. We need a tough WR like that on our team. Philly Brown is emerging as a guy who can get tough YAC, but it sounds like Marshall might come in with the skill set from the start. Fantastic.
Love this series, Vico.

theobi's picture

"Even showing up Shane Morris on a few occasions." Have to love our wide receiver recruit showing up scUM's QB

Grayskullsession's picture

Jalin could show Shane how to avoid tackles as well:

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Baroclinicity's picture

Can't wait to see more of this.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

buckeyechad's picture

Anyone know who that is tackling Morris? Great open field tackle, squared up, wrapped up.

Vico's picture

Matthew Thomas, a Florida State signee.

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

cajunbuckeye's picture

This reminds me of a deer that ran into the front of my F250 a few years ago.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

brumon's picture

who is this making the tackle again? Johnson?
Didn't refresh my page for 45 min. Already answered!

ODEEZ330's picture

Love you're avatar. Up vote. That shit/story is hilarious

stark county football

Squirrel Master's picture

Kid can run whether you think he has elite speed or not. I think he is very capable of getting faster and expect Marotti to take care of that. I see him so much more as the H than Dontre and Clark. Those guys are fast and will make great slot backs but Marshall is very crafty and will become such a weapon with Braxton that I don't think it is even close.
All I know is, he ain't small for a player like him.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Recruit breakdowns can, lazily, use player comparisons to introduce a high school recruit to college football fans. This type of schema does a bit of a disservice to an incoming freshman, sometimes introducing unfair expectations. They can also be wildly optimistic. The comparison that enters into conversation with Jalin Marshall is Percy Harvin. They will play similar positions in Urban Meyer's offense. Urban Meyer wants, and has rigorously tried to find, a player like Percy Harvin. Heck, the "H receiver" in Meyer's offense is informally known as the "Percy position".

Thank you so much for writing this, especially the bold part. I find myself using that exact word-lazy-when it comes to draft analysis, which is really just the grown up version of recruiting analysis.

Jhesse17's picture

Yeah these comparisons are unbelievably optimistic and put a lot of unfair pressure on the kid.

DefendOhio's picture

Might be the single most important player from the 2013 class. Can't wait to see this young man shine!

SMP's picture

Great article Vico!  Great potential here and can not imagine after a year with Mariotti.  IMO Jalin's second year at TOSU will be something special!

dancorona5's picture

It might be nice if there was a link to the other "getting to know _____" articles at the end of this and future articles just in case readers missed them/want to easily look back at them all.
other than that, great write up!

Jason Priestas's picture

Here's Cam Burrows, the only other one we've done.

I imagine we'll have a board up for next week.

CC's picture

What is a "Fake 40"?

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Means he's a 4.4 guy not a 4.66

yrro's picture

Times for 40s are both inconsistent and exaggerated.
Chris Johnson ran one of the fastest NFL combine 40 time in recent memory with a 4.2. If you believed the boards posted in the Florida Gators weight room, they had five or six guys on the team who were faster than that.
Therefore, all reported 40 times for recruits are considered fake.

Vico's picture

Basically what Yrro said.  There are a lot of variables that go into these 40 times.  Was it indoors or outdoors? Hand-timed or laser-timed? What was the weather if it was outdoors? Is it an old measure? Kids improve from sophomore to senior.  It's hard to track down when exactly that 40 time was listed, and under what conditions it came.  For Marshall, it's a little on the low-end, but these things often get exaggerated.

I rather like MGoBlog's "Fake 40" convention, so I'm starting to use that for these things, especially in writing for a bigger audience.

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

Grayskullsession's picture

I could care less about 40 times. Football speed is where its at. When those guys put on pads their speed can be altered. Its all about acceleration and change of direction.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

drumsontheside's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong, but apparently he ran the 4.66 on a laser, was having a bad day, and elected not to give it another shot. This was at a camp very recently.
It's pretty obvious that he's much faster than that, and I think (not 100%) he's clocked in faster than that previously. 
He's going to be a monster


Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Marshall fell asleep before the exciting conclusion of that game.

Well that was a terrible decision.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeMike2002's picture

Great article. This kid will be a monster.
Even taking into consideration the 'wildly optimistic' hype machine that is Buckeye Football, we are getting amazing people coming into the program with Urban leading the recruiting.
If these kids produce at 50% of the hype level, a national championship will happen within the next three years. I know no one in the fan base is thinking past Braxton but it is going to be interesting to see who Urban gets to play quarterback when the Miller era is over.

Q: What is the difference between the Michigan Football Team and a bag of crap. A: The Bag.

RBuck's picture

Middletown High School has a nice Ohio State tradition, also sending Todd Bell, Cris Carter, and Jeff Cothran to Ohio State.

...and Jerry Lucas.

Long live the southend.

Poison nuts's picture

Really love this series...thank you.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckeyechad's picture

Love this series. I remember back when I started getting into OSU blogs in like 8th grade, I had a huge list of blogs I would go through to see if any updated: Eleven Warriors, Osu Silver Bullet, We Will Always Have Tempe, Our Honor Defend, Bucknuts, the Rivalry Esq (now Off Tackle Empire). Now like 5 years later and 11w is basically the only OSU site I need, and they've absorbed some of the other blogs haha. Glad to see some of the better OHD articles continued on here.

Vico's picture

8th grade? Man, now I feel old. ;)

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

Citrus's picture

This guy is my pick to be our next Heisman candidate. He wins it next year after Brax.

zbd's picture

First round draft pick talk is the most premature nonsense I have read on this site. He hasn't even played a snap or put on an OSU helmet yet. He is talented from the video. It almost looks like he scored every time he touched the ball.

cinserious's picture

I can see Marshall in the two deep behind Jordan Hall at the H-back.
James Clark gets in right on Philly Brown's heels at slot receiver.
Dontre Wilson might be left out to redshirt and give him separation from Marshall. Then again Meyer doesn't redshirt and 2014 will be no different with guys like Lattimore, etc. On second thought, all three play as freshmen.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Squirrel Master's picture

Its a nice problem to have for once. Too many quality offensive players!
Can't forget about Eze either. He won't just necessarily sit behind Hyde, Dunn and Smith either. He will try to get some H back play going too.
I think it will be Marshall getting ahead of Jordan Hall and it being a battle between Clark and Wilson behind Philly. I think ultimately, Marshall will play more than Hall. Hall may be a captain but he can't do what Marshall can. I see no reason for Philly to lose his spot unless to injury which I hope won't happen. Also, Philly does a little more than just play slot receiver. He does so many things that I think Dontre will fill that role very well if Marshall stays the future at H.
and then who becomes the 3rd receiver with Philly and Devin Smith? Chris Smith, Even Spencer or Mike Thomas? I think all 3 will be quality replacements to Stoney. Maybe clark could become a huge outside threat behind Devin Smith. Who knows!
Again, finally a good problem to have!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

syphon2677's picture

cant wait to see this kid play

JaxBuck2010's picture

Im ecstatic that Vico has continued the BKAB (Better Know A Buckeye ) features from OurHonorDefend, OHD was a great website and the BKAB pieces were and still are very high quality and insightful , Great Job Vico !!!

osubuckeye4life's picture

I remember tracking two games on twitter this year.
Marshall and his Middies were facing Cincy St. Xavier the same night Eze was playing in Mizzu.
It seemed like they were trading scores left and right. 
I believe Eze had four scores and almost 300 yrds. His team cruised to a victory if I remember correctly. 
Marshall was single handedly giving St. Xavier all they could handle!
312 rushing yards 3TD + 1 passing TD. I guess his 2nd rushing TD was "video game" like according to reporters who were at the game. Marshall lead his team to the 8 yard line of St Xavier for a chance to win with seconds to go but threw a incomplete pass. He was still the MVP of the game and the only reason his team had a chance to win it. TD run of 74, 64, & 65.
The Middies lost 43-39 but that was all I needed to know about Marshall.
His best quote of the night? "I lost the game for us in the end. My teammates played great and I let us down," Marshall stated.
Bill Greene ‏@BillBankGreene
This is an epic performance. Great player against great team. Jalin is very very special.
Josh Helmholdt ‏@JoshHelmholdt
Third long TD run of the night for #OhioState commit Jalin Marshall. This one 65 yards. Split two DB's. Impressive
Simone Scott ‏@ImSimoneScott
This is just getting redundant... Jalin Marshall with a 65 yd TD. #OhioState
Bill Greene ‏@BillBankGreene
Jalin going 1 on 22 against St X. He might win too. Down 14-13 right before half. 5- star performance.
Marc Givler ‏@MarcGivlerBG
Unbelievable 64 yd td run by Jalin Marshall 14-13 St. X leads. Wait til you see the video on this one. #OhioState #buckeyes
Josh Helmholdt ‏@JoshHelmholdt
Jalin Marshall broke a handful of tackles and did a pretty nifty spin move at midfield on his way to the 64-yard TD
Simone Scott ‏@ImSimoneScott
Holy Jalin Marshall. I can't even begin to describe what I just saw but it was good!!!! #OhioSt
This kick is going to be a star! 

Somebody hit the O button at 0.38

Buckeyejason's picture

How does a guy this explosive run a 4.66 40? Better drop that big time if he ever wants to get drafted at his size.