Former UGA player commits to archrival Auburn

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  A former UGA football player will now be playing for one of the team’s archrivals – and at a different position, quarterback.

  Nick Marshall, who played defensive back at UGA for the 2011 season, announced on Twitter that he committed to Auburn on Monday to play quarterback.

  Marshall, an AJC Super 11 selection from Wilcox County High School, also claimed offers from Texas, N.C. State, Kansas State and Indiana after spending last season at Garden City junior college playing quarterback.

  “He is going to Auburn. I just got off the phone with him,” Garden City coach Jeff Tatum told the AJC.

  Why Auburn? “It had to do with being closer to home,” Tatum said. “Coach (Gus Malzahn) started recruiting Nick last year at the end of spring practice, when he was still at Arkansas State. I think with Auburn coming in a late, Nick was little apprehensive. But after sitting down and talking with Auburn when they made an in-home visit last week, it put Nick at ease. Nick didn’t feel like Auburn was trying to get somebody else, and that he was a backup plan.

  “I just feel like he’ll be closer to home, and he’ll fit in that offense better. He knows the things that Coach Malzahn said he would do on offense, he has already done.”

  Marshall is scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 25. He also canceled an upcoming recruiting trip to Texas on Friday.

  “It’s my understanding that Nick committed to Auburn,” Wilcox County coach Mark Ledford told the AJC. “Auburn is in the process of making sure everything will work out. They’re getting all the transcripts, getting their ducks in a row, and all those kind of things. I’m happy for him.”

  Out of high school, Marshall signed with UGA over Georgia Tech and Florida State, among others. Despite setting the GHSA record for career touchdown passes (which he still holds), Marshall decided to play defensive back in college because of the lure of early playing time. He showed a lot of promise at UGA as a freshman, but was one of three players dismissed after the 2011 for their involvement in a theft-related incident.

  The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Marshall experienced a rebirth after enrolling at Garden City. He won the starting position at QB, which was his passion. He put up Nintendo-like numbers by passing for 3,142 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 games, including leading his team on a game-winning drive in the final minute of the bowl game.

  Marshall originally considered committing early, but held off after being offered a football scholarship by Texas. Both Auburn and N.C. State joined the sweepstakes last week.

  Kansas State coach Bill Snyder made an in-home visit with Marshall last Friday, while Texas coach Mack Brown stopped by the previous week.

  What about UGA? There was really no communication between Marshall and the Bulldogs this time around.

  UGA has another former player that started at QB at another SEC school this past season: LSU’s Zach Mettenberger.



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