These days in college football the commitment of a five-star athlete can mean press conferences, live television appearances, and just about every conceivable type of hype and self-promotion known to man.
Not so for Middletown star quarterback Jalin Marshall, as the top-rated player in Ohio for the class of 2013 used his commitment to Ohio State as a method of honoring a loved one.
"I have committed to Ohio State," Marshall announced Monday evening. "I've known for a while I was going to be a Buckeye, but I waited until now because it's my dad's birthday, and I wanted to honor him with my commitment. I didn't want to do anything fancy, and I just want to spend time with my family, because this is just as much about them as it is about me."
"My family means everything to me, and my dad is so important to me," he added. "My dad has always been there for me, and he has impacted my life in such a positive way, that I wanted to pay him back for all he means to me. I owe the fact that I'm headed to play college football to my dad, and everything he's done for me."
Marshall, 6-foot, 195-pounds, deciding to play college football for Ohio State is certainly not a great surprise to anyone that has followed his career.
"Ohio State was just the right place for me, and it was home for me," he explained. "It's important to me to help recruit other great players to Ohio State, and I talked that over with (Buckeye commit) Cameron Burrows. When he committed, I already had it in mind to commit too, so he and I have talked about putting together the top recruiting class in America for next year. We are going to be recruiting other great players to Ohio State."
Head coach Urban Meyer has been the talk of the college football recruiting world since accepting the head coaching position at Ohio State. Marshall was impressed by the new Buckeye boss.
"Coach Meyer means a lot to me and I'm thrilled to be able to play for him," he noted. "We talked about all the players he's put into the NFL, and that meant a lot to me. This is a great opportunity for me to learn from such a great coach. I'm excited to play for Urban Meyer."
Even though Marshall is a record-setting quarterback at Middletown, and he has put up video game numbers the past two years, it's not a certainty he plays that position for Meyer.
"He and I talked about that, and I am going in there as a quarterback, but that's not that important to me," Marshall said. "Wherever they put me at is fine with me. Coach Meyer is going to watch me throw this spring, and then we will decide what's best from there. I just want to get out on the field and help my team win championships, and that means more to me than my stats or where I play. I'm going to do what Coach Meyer wants me to do."
Middletown has reached the Ohio Division-I state playoffs the past two seasons under Marshall. One of the reasons for the early commitment was so Marshall can concentrate on getting the Middies back into the playoffs.
"My goal is to win a state championship and next year will be my last chance," he admitted. "We have great fans and our students are great, so winning it all would be the best way for me to end my high school career. I'm going to give it all I have to try to make that happen."
The addition of Marshall and Burrows to Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class certainly gives Meyer and the Buckeyes a great start toward having a top-ranked group.