the transition to attend a military prep school is tough, and the former high
school All-American is no different.
"It went pretty good," added
Marlon Walls while sitting in his den during the Thanksgiving holidays. "It
humbled me a whole lot and makes you appreciate things. I played with a great
group of guys. Playing here certainly makes you want to get back to where you
need to be, but the experience was great."
The Hargrave experience
taught the 6' 3", 250 pound end how to become a man.
there are not too many distractions. You go to study hall, and you stay for three
hours until you are done. They make you mature and appreciate things. The military
part is tough, but at the same time, it calms you down. It humbles you and makes
you bond with your teammates."
Walls did the have the luxury of having
a friend and fellow Mississippian with him at Hargrave to help with the transition.
and Tig (Darius Barksdale) are roommates. I leaned on him, and he leaned on me,
when we were home sick. And I am not going to lie, we both got to missing our
momma's pretty good (laugh). There were times when both of us were like, I am
out of here, but then the other would remind what the big picture is and that
is to get our grades so we can go play SEC ball. I am glad that he was with me.
But I am met a lot of good friends over here. I became close friends Bobby Massie,
Leon Mackey, Kevin Reddick, and several other players. We built lifetime bonds."
the field, the transition was not quite as tough.
is a lot faster. We played against some colleges, like East Carolina, Mashall,
and Tennessee. I love competition. It sparks you and takes your game to another
level. It brings you to a whole another mindset. It really helps you out as a
football player. You thrive off of competition. I love those type of games. The
last game of the year was against Tennessee's JV team, and we lost to them 34-22.
That was our only loss of the year but we got better during that game."
irony for Marlon was playing the university that he signed with out of high school.
was a big tease for me. It felt strange to line up against my teammates, but at
the same time, we had fun."
Walls is graduating in December, so he
only has a few weeks before he signs his letter of intent. Will Tennessee be that
"I have spoken to Mike Hamilton, and I received a letter from
their athletic director. It stated that we still have our scholarship no matter
what. Everything looks like it is going to work out. I am just waiting to see
who they bring in."
The dismissal of Coach Fulmer was a hard pill
to swallow, but the 2007 All-State selection believes he can get past it.
love Coach Fulmer to death. We became very close, but I also became close with
a lot of those players up there. We text each other every day, and we have decided
to stay together. I am loving the "T" right now, and I think I am going
to stick with Tennessee."
That has not stopped some other schools
from trying to change his mind.
"First of all, nobody has tried to
force it on me. They just asked if I was open or was I sticking with Tennessee.
I told them I am sticking with them. They all respected that decision, but at
the same time, they said they are going to keep recruiting me (laugh). You have
schools like Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Ole Miss. Those are the top ones
that are coming after me, besides Tennessee. But they all understand I want to
stick with Tennessee."