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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Gonzalez making a return trip to FSU

By Corey Dowlar

Marlon Gonzalez (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast) wasn't exactly flying high on Seminoles fans' radars coming into the first session of the Jimbo Fisher Camp in June.

Now that they know who the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end is, they certainly understand why he was taken by the Florida State coaches. Even more credibility has arrived with his recent inclusion in the 2015 ESPN 300.

Sure, Gonzalez will take the honor -- like he should. But at the same time, he isn't focused on that above the goals of his team.

Marlon Gonzalez
2015 ESPN 300 DE Marlon Gonzalez felt an instant connection to Florida State, committing to the Seminoles.
"It is a great honor," he said. "It is a great, great honor because not everybody can say that. But to me, I am not as interested in awards like that as much as I am in my team. But it is a great honor and I really appreciate it."

The Fisher camp begins a second and final installment starting Wednesday. Gonzalez might conjure up some memories, if that word even qualifies since his first FSU camp experience was a month ago, by coming back up at some point during the week.

He won't participate this time, though. Instead, he will plan to show the school to his mother, who is a very important part of his decision-making process.

"I might come up there, but I might not do anything because my mom wants to see everything up there," he said. "She is my biggest concern through the recruiting process."

Gonzalez said his mom was fine with his decision to commit to Florida State last time because the school made such a powerful impression on him. The ESPN 300 defensive lineman saw a bunch of things that made an impact in a variety of categories.

"It was a great bond with the coaching staff," he said. "They treated me like family. Jimbo, he's a real funny guy and I like that. He has a lot of experience and has taken his teams to a bunch of bowl games. I really liked that.

"Also, the facilities were amazing. They are at the top of the country. One of my former teammates went there and he thought I should come [to FSU] for my future. My mom hasn't gone up there yet, so I want to do that."

Part of the facilities angle Gonzalez talked about is probably the most visible when driving around campus -- a giant building, that is not quite finished, rising up from the practice fields.

The indoor practice facility showed him just what kind of commitment the school is making to the football program.

"From the outside, it looks really impressive," he said. "They have put a lot of money in it. They weight room by itself was pretty good, too. I like that you don't have to drive to a stadium like they do at Miami or something."

The aforementioned teammate, running back Mario Pender, spoke to Gonzalez candidly about what he liked and what he didn't. Coming from someone he knew already, he knew he could take Pender's words to be truthful.

"It made it a lot easier," Gonzalez said. "He said that they are going to make me get better and that the campus is great."

Gonzalez has other offers from Cincinnati, Arizona, South Florida, Iowa State, Maryland, Boston College, Purdue, Florida Atlantic and Florida International.