Football: ‘Feisty Ball gets ND offer
Marcus Ball played only about 30 snaps on the defensive side of the ball as a junior last season. But it was enough for Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly and his staff to offer the Westerville South, Ohio, star a scholarship.
(ISR photo/GREG SWIERCZ)
By Tyler James
6:59 am, May 02, 2012
Irish Sports Report
Marcus Ball played only about 30 snaps on the defensive side of the ball as a junior last season, but the athlete from Westerville South High School in Ohio showed the Notre Dame staff enough to earn a scholarship offer.
Ball, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect, spent most of his junior season at the quarterback position, throwing for 1,232 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rushing for 298 yards.
“Some schools are recruiting me at the quarterback position and a lot of other schools are looking at me at receiver, safety, and a little bit of linebacker,” Ball said. “I'm pretty much a do-it-all guy.''
The Irish staff is recruiting Ball as an outside linebacker plus a little hybrid safety, a position similar to what Jamoris Slaughter played last season.
Ball will continue to play quarterback in his senior season, but will likely see more action in the defensive secondary. He said he would like to have a shot at playing quarterback in college, but realizes he has enough talent to wind up on defense.
“I'm definitely feisty enough, eager, and have a lot of heart to play on the defensive side,” Ball said. “My knack for the ball and my willingness to hit will definitely transfer over to the college side.”
The offers for Ball have increased since making a visit to Notre Dame's campus on April 14.
Ball received a Notre Dame offer 10 days later and has since received offers from Indiana and Purdue. Other offers have come from Arizona State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Ball's older brother, Ray, is a 6-7, 326-pound freshman offensive lineman at Wisconsin.
Ball is being recruited by Mike Elston and hopes to return for another visit in May or June with his family. He was impressed by the campus on his previous visit with his high school basketball coach.
“When I came on my visit my reaction was it's a beautiful campus,” Ball said. “There's a great tradition throughout the campus — a lot of places to go. It's almost like sight-seeing. It's like taking a vacation when you're at campus.”
Ball said he plans on using all five of his official visits and doesn't plan on having a decision until afterward. He hasn't narrowed down a top list, but Notre Dame's in the conversation, Ball said.
“Generally speaking, if I had a top three or top five Notre Dame would be up there,” he said.
Coaches in SEC country
Recruiting coordinator Tony Alford and tight ends coach Scott Booker have been making high school visits in Georgia and Florida this week.
On Monday, defensive end Devin Washington from Jones High School in Orlando, Fla., tweeted that Alford visited his school. Auburn committed punter Jimmy Hutchinson tweeted that Booker stopped by Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga.
On Tuesday, Alford made his way to Tampa, Fla., where he visited Wharton High School. Offered junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and interested sophomore quarterback Chase Litton attend Wharton. Both players tweeted about Notre Dame Tuesday.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic running back Ryan Green said he expects Alford to be at his school Friday.
The NCAA recruiting calendar is currently in an evaluation period through May 31. Notre Dame coaches can use this time to make off-campus visits to evaluate the players as athletes and students with administrators and coaches at the schools, but aren't allowed to have meetings with the recruits.