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Coach Speak on Mississippi State Commit Jo'Quavious Marks

Last updated: 05-23-2019

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Coach Speak on Mississippi State Commit Jo'Quavious Marks

Mississippi State's Class of 2020 got a major boost on Monday with the addition of 247Sports four-star running back Jo'Quavious Marks.

So what's Mississippi State getting in Marks? Well, his head coach at Carver (Ga.) High School - Darren Myles - noted of those qualities that Marks possesses.

"High-character kid, hard working, committed player," said Myles. "He's going to do what's best for the team and is going to represent the program well. You are talking about a kid that's going to show up for class, show up for workouts and perform day-in and day-out."

Marks has been a long-time target for head coach Joe Moorhead and that process started before Marks suited up for his junior season at Carver High School. At the next level, his coach believes that Marks is a good fit for what Moorhead prefers to do on offense with his running game.

"Skill-wise, he fits (Mississippi State's) inside-out zone scheme," said Myles. "He fits that perfectly. He can catch the ball well, he reads blocks well on the inside zone, he fields kickoffs, he fields punts. He is an overall well-rounded athlete that can do all of the things Mississippi State wants him to do."

Last season Marks rushed for 1,503 yards and nine touchdowns for Myles and his staff. His strengths do stand out on film, as Myles mentions, and there's another area Marks has to improve on before he reaches the rugged and physical SEC ranks.

"I would say his strength is probably going to be the speed," said Myles. "His vision is a strength, too, and so is his ability to catch the football and field punts and kicks. When you have a running back like that, he doesn't mind doing it all. He can also block and he doesn't mind sticking his head in there for pass protection. He is very well-rounded.

"His area of concern is just getting his weight up to play in the SEC. He is hovering around 190 pounds and that's been the issue. He goes into the season weighing 190 and then he goes to track season to prepare for that. So then he drops down to about 180 for spring practice. But he is carrying 190 right now and he can play around 205 and still possess that speed. He's been a three-year track guy for us and his best 100 meters time is a 10.8. He loves the weight room, as well."

Marks held numerous Power 5 offers and those offers started trickling in last year. His final grouping of favorites before Monday's decision included Penn State, North Carolina, Florida State and Louisville among others. As noted, he's long been a priority for Moorhead's staff and Myles saw that on a monthly basis over the past year or so.

"Well, it started with their running backs coach," added Myles about Mississippi State's staff. "They were here every chance to get an evaluation on Jo'Quavious. If they could come once a week, they were here once a week watching him workout, watching his weight room workouts and his track workouts. They just let him know that he was wanted and Mississippi State was real serious about him as a running back."

Marks held the Bulldogs among his favorites ever since his first trip to Starkville last September. So what was his main attraction to the Bulldogs? Myles noted of several of those factors that eventually led Marks to Monday's commitment.

"In terms of football, it was about the development," Myles said of Marks' Bulldog decision. "It was their development of the running backs and their weight room and strength and conditioning program. Academically, he loves the fact that each position room has their own academic tutors. He also loved the fact they get automatic internships for their major.

"Then he just loved the family atmosphere. Whenever he went down there, the players were talking about how they work for each other and how the coaches work for each other. It's been a school he has liked for awhile."

Of course, Marks will have to adjust to his surroundings in Starkville and has grown up in the big-city lights of Atlanta. But that topic has been discussed, said Myles, and he noted that Marks did his recruiting homework with every aspect that could impact his decision.

"We talked about that several times," added Myles. "When we talked about his commitment and his school choice, I told him I wanted him to consider those things. Small town vs. big town and going in town when it's not football season compared to when it's football season and all those small things off the field. And he was content on all of those things with Mississippi State."

NOTE: Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports contributed quotes for this article.

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