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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
USC offers highly touted local 2015 DB

By Blair Angulo

Class of 2015 defensive back Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) has passed by USC countless times on his way up and down the 110 Freeway, which connects Los Angeles to his hometown. He has marveled at the school for some time, staring through the car window at the rooftops of campus buildings.

For Marshall, a dynamic defender on one of the state’s perennial powers, it’s never been about whether USC would offer, but when.

That time arrived Wednesday morning.

Iman Marshall
Iman Marshall is the latest in a long time of stud defensive backs at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly.
“I was stuck, to be honest,” Marshall said. “I was astonished by the offer. The crazy thing is I knew it was coming sooner or later, but you just never know. Coach Lane Kiffin personally offered me and I also talked to the receivers coach, the area recruiter, Tee Martin. He and I discussed some things, and then Coach Kiffin offered me personally. They first notified the coordinator at my school, which then notified my family. We then called Coach Martin, and the rest is history.”

The offer was significant given USC’s weariness to offer prospects -- especially those from California -- early, but the 6-foot-1 defensive back has been a hot topic since his freshman year at Poly. He might be the region's top recruit in the 2015 cycle.

“It feels like all the work I’ve done up to this point is really paying off now,” Marshall said. “Since I was at a young age running around the block, doing footwork and homework. Everything has paid off in the long run. I just have to thank my family for helping me out and helping me strive for my goals.”

Marshall also has offers from Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State, but admitted USC has always been a childhood favorite.

“Since a young age you watch all the USC games,” Marshall said. “USC is the premier college in Southern California. UCLA, I love them too, but here you grow up hearing about USC. Everything is SC, SC, SC. When it’s right down the street from your house, it’s SC this and SC that.

“It has a large tradition. I don’t even know how to explain it right now. This is just wonderful. I don’t even know how to take it in right now.”

Marshall is a physical player who shines in the 7-on-7 passing league environment. He was a standout at the Nike Football Training Camp in February despite being one of the younger attendees. There are question marks about which position he will play in college, but Marshall said Kiffin told him the Trojans need defensive backs.

“But I’m thinking corner,” Marshall said. “They told me they have the need for it. They love me at corner and they love my abilities at the position.”

Despite his USC fandom and the local school appeal, Marshall had no urge to commit on the spot.

“I have to take everything in and see how all the coaches run their program,” said Marshall, who intends to compete at both the UCLA and USC camps this summer. “I need to see how they utilize guys that play my position. … Now this is going to make my recruitment more national. It’s going to open up a lot of eyes to see a young guy such as myself get an offer from a premier school like USC. I think it’s going to open my recruitment and, personally, it’s going to make me work harder. I’m getting better and trying to be the best DB ever at Poly.”