Feb 1, 2012
#34 Jamal Marcus celebrates a sack during Durham Hillside High School's 12-7 victory over New Bern High School in the 4-A eastern regional championship game. (photo by Will Okun)
Jamal Marcus, one of North Carolina's top uncommitted prospects coming into National Signing Day, will play football at Ohio State University for new head coach Urban Meyer.
Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Marcus is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. Marcus announced his decision alongside 10 teammates Wednesday morning during a National Signing Day press conference in Hillside High School's basketball gym.
Before committing the Buckeyes, he considered offers from Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
"I love Ohio State," Marcus said. "When I went there it felt like home. It's just a great atmosphere."
Marcus said Wednesday he wasn't concerned about the potential for NCAA penalties at Ohio State. In the end, he said the facilities in Columbus and the support that Ohio State gets from its fans helped make his decision.
"Location wasn't really a factor for me. I just wanted to go where I thought I could be successful," he said. "I'm glad to have it all behind me. It was a stressful process, and I'm very excited now that it is all over."
As a junior, Marcus recorded 52 tackles and 15 sacks. The Hornets completed a perfect 16-0 season in 2012, winning the PAC 6 Conference and the N.C. High School Athletic Association's 4-A state championship.
Following a standout senior season, Marcus played in the Shrine Bowl as a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker. He recorded three tackles and a tackle for loss in North Carolina's 26-19 victory over South Carolina.