by Lee Brecheen
September 14, 2011 – One of the hardest positions to evaluate on film would be the offensive lineman in high school football. The first thing a college coach looks for is great feet for a big kid, hands for blocking, strength, toughness, and how low the big guys can get in run blocking using their feet and hands against big defensive lineman.
A lot of big kids that are under 6-2 and under 270 pounds and have great feet and great leverage are usually overlooked, but to me these guys are the best athletes on the offensive line when the tape is on to scout players like I do for colleges. These are the kids that make great centers in college or become great offensive guards. Marshall John from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, who is 6-1, 250 pounds, and runs a 5.1 forty yard dash with great feet is the poster boy for sleeper prospect on the offensive line. Every time I watch this kid play, he’s super quick off the snap. He has great hand eye coordination and great leverage in pass blocking or run blocking every play during a game. Usually every 3 or 4 plays this kid has a takedown, and you can see him pull for runs plays. A big kid pulling and lead blocking down field is very rare in high school.
I love his effort also from play to play every game for his team. He also has big time grades in the ACT and GPA department. He has a 25 ACT score, which will probably end up in the 26 to 28 range when done, and he has an incredible 4.8 GPA in the classroom.
I see Marshall John playing Center in college if he ever gets the chance to go DI. If he signs IAA I see him as an Offensive Guard or Defensive End. I hope a DI program sees what I see and gives him a chance to play his natural position of Center. Marshall like a lot of kids switching to Center in college will end up in the 265 to 275 range and still have great feet and will still be super quick. Marshall is very strong in the weight room where he cleans 255 pounds.
Be sure to order the 2011 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview Issue at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store which has more on Marshall John and much more on the Captain Shreve Gators as well as all the High Schools and Colleges in the State of Louisiana.
I hope you enjoy the interview below with writer Mark Clements.
Interview by Mark Clements
LAFM: For starters, what’s your current height, weight and forty time?
MJ: My height is 6’2”, my weight is 250 and my forty time is 5.1.
LAFM: Are you originally from Louisiana?
MJ: Yes sir – Shreveport.
LAFM: Which teams did you root for growing up?
MJ: College teams were LSU and Louisiana Tech. Pro team was the Cowboys.
LAFM: Has it always been a big part of your family? Have you had any family members who played football in the past?
MJ: My dad played. He’s from Kansas City so he played in Kansas City.
LAFM: Do you play any other sports?
MJ: I play baseball, I do powerlifting outside of school and I’m going to shot put this year.
LAFM: Which sport do you want to play in college?
MJ: I want to play football.
LAFM: Which position do you think is your strongest?
MJ: Defensive end.
LAFM: Is there anyone in college or the Pros that you look up to or try to model your game after?
MJ: I look up to Brian Ulacher and Jack Lambert. [I like] their work ethic and their desire to win.
LAFM: What do you think is your biggest strength as a player?
MJ: Dedication and work ethic I think are my strengths.
LAFM: What part of your game are you trying to improve upon most next year?
MJ: I’d say my speed.
LAFM: Have you been to any camps at this point? If so, which ones?
MJ: Yes sir, I’ve been to Louisiana Tech, Arkansas, Memphis and Northwestern.
LAFM: Which colleges have you received offers from?
MJ: No sir, not yet.
LAFM: Which schools stick out right now at the top of your list?
MJ: Louisiana Tech. I like the way the program works and how it’s operated by the coaches. They’re building a new facility and I’d really like to be able to use that. And it’s close to home.
LAFM: Have you thought about what you might want to study in college?
MJ: I want to go into engineering.
LAFM: What are some goals you’ve set for next season, for yourself and for the team?
MJ: I want to make All-District and try to make All-State, I want to win the District Championship and ultimately win State.
LAFM: Which school is your favorite to play against, or which game gets you the most fired up each year?
MJ: C.E. Byrd – Ultimately it’s what high school football is all about. It’s pride for your school, the atmosphere, the students all get into it. It’s what makes you realize how much you love the game and why you play it.
LAFM: What are some of the most memorable games or plays you’ve been a part of?
MJ: Two years ago, the playoff game against Archbishop Rummel, last year’s Byrd game and last year’s game against West Monroe. The game against Rummel, we only lost by a touchdown against the No. 1 team in the state and we were the last ranked seed in the playoffs. We came that close to beating them and it was great because it was a playoff atmosphere. The Byrd game is just a big rivalry. Then against West Monroe, they’re supposedly the best team in the state and it feels to go against the real competition and the 5A.
LAFM: And lastly can you give us your current GPA and ACT score?
MJ: My GPA is a 4.8 and my ACT is a 25.