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Keith Marshall Commits to Georgia: Pros and Cons


-by Braden Gall (follow him at @AthlonBraden)

The nation's No. 1 running back in the Athlon Consensus 100 has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook tailback Keith Marshall has decided to take his talents to Athens over finalists Florida, South Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame. Mark Richt has landed the 5-foot-11, 180 pounder one year after landing the nation's No. 2 running back Isaiah Crowell — who had an excellent season as a freshman this year.

Marshall is the nation's No. 6 overall player regardless of position and recently jumped Aledo (Texas) running back Jonathan Gray as America's top ball carrier. Three of the six major recruiting services have Marshall ranked in the top ten nationally while thinks the most of Marshall as it ranked him as the fifth best prospect in the nation.

How the experts rank him nationally:

Rivals: No. 31 (No. 1 All-Purpose RB)
Scout: No. 5 (No. 1 RB)
ESPN: No. 6, (No. 2 RB)
24/7 Sports: No. 12 (No. 1 RB)
Offense-Defense: No. 8 (No. 2 RB)
NCSA: No. 12 (No. 1 RB)

He has excellent bloodlines and an NFL pedigree as his father, Warren Marshall, was drafted and had a cup of coffee with the Denver Broncos. His father played at James Madison.

As a sophomore, Marshall rushed for 1,166 yards and 12 touchdowns to go with 238 yards receiving and two more scores in 10 games. As a junior, he rushed for 1,550 yards and 17 touchdowns. Marshall is expected to enroll early with the Bulldogs and should compliment Crowell nicely with his big play ability. Aaron Murray has to be pleased with the young talent growing around him.

Marshall is the third AC100, and second top ten prospect in the nation, for the Bulldogs. Georgia also has committed AC100 No. 8 Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles offensive lineman John Theus and AC100 No. 38 Millen (Ga.) Jenkins County defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor.

Here is Athlon's scouting report on Keith Marshall, the nation's No. 1 running back prospect:

PROS: Marshall is a slightly bigger version of former Ole Miss athlete and current Kansas City Cheif Dexter McCluster. He has exceptional burst, acceleration, top end speed and cutting ability. His ability to stop and start is among the best in the nation as he loses very little speed when changing direction. He has great vision and if he finds a crease, he will take it to the house. He can score from anywhere on the field. He uses an unbelievable jump-cut to make defenders look foolish in the open field and rarely takes the big hit squarely. He has quality receiving skills and will be an asset in the passing game.

CONS: Like McCluster, his size and power are questionable. He has a low center of gravity and isn’t afraid to run between the tackles, but he looks smaller than he is listed and questions remain if he can handle the workload of a three-down back. This may only affect him on the NFL level, however, as his speed will be game-changing on the college level.