Phoenix Mountain Pointe High outside linebacker prospect Israel Marshall became the sixth verbal commitment of Arizona State's 2011 class Friday afternoon when he called coaches at the school to inform them of his decision.
"I committed because I felt really comfortable when I went there on an unofficial visit and I also felt comfortable playing on the game field during summer 7-on-7 (tournament." Marshall wrote via text message. "I think the coaches are very respectful and care a lot about their players."
Several hours after his commitment, Marshall scored two touchdowns and had six tackles including one for loss in Mountain Pointe's 21-13 win over Highland, which moved the team to 2-0 on the season. It beat Dobson 58-0 in its opener.
Marshall, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder, totaled 53 tackles and one sack last year for the 12-1 Pride, which lost in the 5A1 semifinals to Mesa High following an undefeated regular season. He also plays a key role on offense for the team.
Boise State was first to offer Marshall a scholarship and became his early favorite, but took a commitment from Emil Smith and subsequently informed Marshall it was full at the position. Tragically, Smith was killed in a car accident in Hemet, Calf., on July 17.
The Broncos again began to court Marshall, but in the interim the Sun Devils had offered a scholarship and became the team to beat for his future services.
Marshall visited an ASU fall camp practice in August and spent time at the school during the spring and at its passing leagues in July, gaining increasing comfort with the nearby program.
Including Glendale (Ariz.) Ironwood High receiver Gary Chambers, a player who may be asked to greyshirt, the Sun Devils have six commits in the recruiting cycle. They'll sign a much smaller class than is typically the case due to an abnormally small senior class at ASU, probably in the 15-17 range.