Ex-Hillside football star Jamal Marcus to transfer from Ohio State
Former Hillside High School and all-state star Jamal Marcus, in the mix to start at defensive end for Ohio State this fall, is transferring out of the Buckeyes program.
Ohio State confirmed Tuesday that it had reached a mutual decision with the 6-foot-2, 243-pound Marcus that it would be best for him to transfer. No mention was made of possible transfer destinations.
The redshirt junior had academic problems in the spring. Marcus, a former four-star prospect as a senior during the 2011-12 school year who played on Hillside’s 2010 state 4-A championship team, replaced Noah Spence in Ohio State’s starting lineup at the Orange Bowl against Clemson.
Spence had been suspended for three games for allegedly using an outlawed stimulant, a suspension that is to continue through the first two games of the 2014 season.
In Spence’s stead, Marcus had six tackles — three solo — and knocked down a pass in the bowl game. He was considered a strong contender to start during Spence’s two-game absence this fall.
Marcus lettered as a true freshman for the Buckeyes in 2012 after playing in 11 games, mainly on special teams. He played was moved from defense end to linebacker as a freshman and was returned to a defensive end slot called “viper” in the OSU scheme in the spring of 2013.
His recruitment was one of the more notable in the country as he was among the last premier prospects to commit, doing so shortly before national signing day 2012.
He held offers from Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and East Carolina in-state, as well as Southern Cal, Florida, Clemson, Auburn and others nationally.
Marcus becomes the second prominent member of Hillside’s 2010 state title team to transfer this off-season. Quarterback Vad Lee, a 2011 four-star prospect, transferred from Georgia Tech to James Madison following a 2013 season in which he started for the Yellow Jackets.
Joining Lee at JMU this fall will be former UNC wide receiver Sean Tapley who graduated from UNC in May and announced on his Instagram account Tuesday that he is transferring to JMU.
Both Lee and Tapley will be eligible immediately to play for JMU, Lee because he transferred down a division from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
If Marcus is in good standing academically, he could also play immediately at an FCS program, should he choose to transfer out of the FBS.