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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Marvell Tell grabs early offers, attention

By Erik McKinney

The defensive back class in California has been outstanding each of the past two years, and from early indications, it appears the 2015 crop won't suffer a setback. A number of sophomore defensive backs have earned plenty of attention from college coaches, but the recruitment of Marvell Tell (Encino, Calif./Crespi) seems to be picking up in a hurry.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound safety was very good at the Los Angeles Nike Camp last month and again showed his skill set at the B2G 7-on-7 Elite 16 tournament in April. Tell landed offers this spring from California, Nebraska and San Jose State, with the offer from the Cornhuskers coming earlier this week.

"I talked to coach Rich Fisher, the wide receivers coach, over the phone and he said they were interested and had seen my film," Tell said. "They offered me on the spot. They said they like what they see and they also like my grades."

Tell's first offer came from California, as the Golden Bears, like the Cornhuskers, wasted little time between seeing the film and making an offer.

It appears this is only the beginning for Tell, as Fresno State visited Crespi on Tuesday and the safety has been in communication with UCLA as well. It's a terrific start to the recruiting process for a player who was somewhat limited by the presence of two standout senior safeties last fall in Pac-12 signees Tyler Foreman and Brandon Arnold. But Tell was still able to register 52 tackles and an interception.

This spring, Tell looks forward to stepping up in the defensive backfield.

"It feels good," he said. "I feel like I need to take a leadership role, and I'm ready for that."

As for recruiting, Tell said he is doing a good job of balancing it with his academics and athletics, but he isn't quite ready to dive into it fully yet.

"I'm happy I'm getting this attention, but I want to go through the whole process," he said. "It's still early, so I'm keeping my options open. I want to take it slowly."

Crespi has done a great job at getting players to the next level in recent years, and several of the schools contacting Tell have or will have former Celts on their rosters this fall, including Chris Harper and Ray Davison at Cal, and Foreman at UCLA.

"I don't know too much about Cal, but I know Chris and Ray pretty well," Tell said. "They taught me a lot while they were at Crespi, on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom. They always told me to keep my grades up."

Crespi will be a school to watch this spring and fall, as new head coach Troy Thomas could look to shake things up with the roster and lineup. It already appears that he views Tell as someone who can help in multiple facets, as Tell said there has been some talk about him playing some wide receiver this fall. But for now, he's happy to head into spring ball with the added pressure of a sophomore already wading into the recruiting process and all the expectations that come with that.

"I'm fired up," he said of the early attention. "It makes me want to work even harder."