Arkansas offered Osceola running back Korliss Marshall on Wednesday. This story is free courtesy…
Partridge visits Osceola RB Marshall
The Osceola running back received a visit from Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge on Thursday. He also had a visit from the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday and one from University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff scheduled later in the evening on Thursday.
"(Coach Partridge and I) had an awesome interview," Marshall said. "Everything went smoothly and he's a really good guy. He's very nice and laid back. He couldn't tell me what was going to happen yet, but he said he would give me new information by the end of next week."
Marshall said even though he has been getting various phone calls and visits from schools the last few days, he had been excited about the opportunity to have a visit from a member of Arkansas' new coaching staff.
"I was waiting for this day the longest," he said. "I've been waiting to get into contact with Arkansas. That's really where I had my made my mind up that I wanted to go when Tim Horton was recruiting me, but he never offered me a scholarship.
"I was really getting used to being at Arkansas, though. I had visited as a recruit during the Red-White game last year. I got to visit the facilities and tour them and get a good look at it all. It's a good community around there, too. They're also big on academics and I'm a fan of that. I really enjoy it up there."
The 6-foot, 180-pound running back's personal best in the 40-yard dash is a 4.34 and he recorded a 39.5-inch vertical jump at a camp at Ole Miss. He said he has been contacted by several schools, including Alabama, Oregon, Illinois, Nebraska and Oklahoma State, but his list of serious contenders is beginning to grow thin.
UAB offered Marshall a full-ride scholarship and he also has offers to UAPB and Missouri State to go along with his verbal commitment to UCA. Marshall had an offer from Houston Nutt when he was the head coach at Ole Miss and had been offered by Arkansas State while Gus Malzahn was there, as well.
Perhaps the largest obstacle in Marshall's recruitment has been his ACT score. He has embraced the challenge of the standardized test, however, and is hoping to qualify for the University of Arkansas soon.
"I've got a couple of chances coming up to improve my ACT score," Marshall said. "There's one in February and one in April. I have two chances to take it and score higher. I've actually been taking this ACT prep class, too. My score improved and I think applying myself in that class is really helping me out. I'm just going to keep at it and you never know, maybe I'll have a 21 or a 22 on the ACT the next time I take it."
Even though he had been recruited by former Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton, who has since taken the tight ends coaching job at Auburn, Marshall said he understands coaching is a business and has not let it affect his interest in the Razorbacks. He also said he spoke with Bret Bielema's running backs coach, Joel Thomas, about the possibility of wearing cardinal and white.
"Coach Thomas actually gave me a call yesterday and told me if the Arkansas Razorbacks offer you, be a Razorback and take advantage of that opportunity for yourself," he said. "That really stood out to me because a lot of coaches really try to talk down on a lot of schools."
Although Marshall said his verbal commitment to UCA still stands, he also said his final decision will be made on Feb. 6 - or National Signing Day. He said while UCA has a lot to offer, he still hopes for the chance to play for the Razorbacks.
"I've lived in the state of Arkansas my whole life and Darren McFadden was a role model of mine when he went to he University of Arkansas," Marshall said. "I've had dreams of going to Arkansas as well.
"I wouldn't want to stay too close to home, but while I want to go somewhere far, I don't want to go too far. Fayetteville would fit that perfectly."
Following the 2012 season, the Razorbacks lost three running backs, Knile Davis, Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo, and do not have any running backs committed, either. Jonathan Williams and Nate Holmes are the only returning tailbacks, meaning any freshmen Arkansas lands may need to contribute to the backfield immediately.
"It would be an honor to be able to come in and help out right away," Marshall said. "Even if I didn't have the chance to play right away, I would understand because there are going to be some good backs in front of me and I would still have work to do. It will only help me get better to compete with those guys."
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