Despite having what seems like unlimited opportunities on the gridiron, Don Bosco (Ramsey, N.J.) senior defensive end Marcellus Earlington has chosen to forgo his football scholarships and play basketball in college instead.
A 6-5, 260-pound play-maker at both defensive end and tight end, Earlington generated 16 FBS offers compared to his limited opportunities on the hardwood. Yet, he will follow his heart which is telling him that the basketball court is where he wants to be.
“I was up and down on what sport to play at the next level up until the announcement,” Earlington told NJ.com. “I knew I couldn’t play both sports forever and should play one so I could improve my craft. And basketball was the game I loved more and loved training for more.”
An all-state basketball selection as a junior, Earlington could take a shot at playing both sports in college, but it appears he’s already got his mind made up to play just one.
“A lot of schools offered the opportunity to play both but at the college level I know it would be very difficult, especially because the seasons overlap,” he said. “Also, there’s always a risk of injury. And it would be hard to concentrate on academics, which is big for me. Because at some point the ball will stop bouncing and you need to have something to fall back on.
“But as of right now I want to focus on one sport.”
[?] [?] [?] pic.twitter.com/9RzYyRSbAN
— Marcellus Earlington (@realdealcellus) November 24, 2017
Since Earlington revealed his decision to stick to basketball on via a tweet on Nov. 24, a number of programs have entered mix. But there are three which have been the most prominent.
“A lot of schools contacted me after the announcement, but as of right now I’m open. I’m taking my time with the process because I know coaches were confused as to what sport I would play at the next level,” he said. “A couple schools that have been recruiting me even through the confusion was American U, Boston U and Robert Morris.”
So which school is it going to be for the explosive two-sport star?
“I plan to make my decision in the spring,” he said, “so I can take as many visits as possible and take my time in finding the right fit.”
Although somewhat undersized at 6-5 to play the four or five spots in college, Earlington believes the way the game has changed now allows players of all shapes and sizes to partake in different roles.
“A lot of colleges are not recruiting me for a certain position. They say the game is becoming position-less and I could play two-through-four. I want to be able to play every position at the next level kind of like a Draymond Green type payer.”
Will all of his football suitors give up on him?
Especially when it appears from the outside looking in that Earlington’s leaving some great opportunities on the table. But, ultimately, it’s his decision to make and he’s made it, as the youngster has his own life to live.
“Football coaches have started to fall back a little but there are still schools recruiting me,” said Earlington who holds football offers from Rutgers, Georgia, Penn State, Michigan State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Pitt and UNC, to name a few. “I have no problem with it. I look at it as a blessing to have the opportunity to play either sport at the next level and that there’s millions of kids that wish to be in my position.”