Highly coveted cornerback from Southern Durham said his commitment to Wake Forest was impacted by his experience with the business school

7.20.2009 Article, General, School News

Original News Story "Another A.J. to play for Deacons"
Published on July 19, 2009 by Dan Collins, Journal Reporter

The name A.J. has been big in the history of Wake Forest cornerbacks. Yesterday it got even bigger.

A.J. Marshall, a highly coveted cornerback from Southern Durham, said he has committed to Wake Forest. He said he picked the Deacons over a long list of schools that offered scholarships, including Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Clemson, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oregon and Syracuse.

If he turns out as well as a previous Deacons cornerback with the same first name, A.J. Greene, then he'll be one of Wake Forest's greats. Greene was a first-team All-ACC cornerback in 1987 and 1988 who, along with Ronnie Burgess, held the school record for most interceptions (17) that was broken in 2008 by Alphonso Smith.

Marshall, who plans to major in sports marketing, said he was impressed by Wake Forest's business school.

"Wake Forest is a great educational school, and I can pretty much have a job when I graduate if I don't make it to the NFL," Marshall said. "The business school just blew me and my family away. They really had a nice itinerary set up and everything went by so well.

"Meeting with Coach (Jim) Grobe and meeting with all the coaches just made me feel at home."

Marshall is 5-11, 170 pounds and has been timed at 4.47 in the 40-yard dash. He said he met Smith two years ago and followed his career, and was swayed by the overall success of the Deacons' program over the past few seasons.

"That really stood out — those three consecutive bowl games," Marshall said. "Jim Grobe has really turned that program around since he's been there. He's not leaving anytime soon and really can see myself playing for Wake Forest.

"I don't want to go through school and just become another number. I really can see myself making a difference at Wake Forest, making a difference on that football team and making an impact."

Dan Collins can be reached at 727-7323 or at dcollins@wsjournal.com