Marshall ready to run against Clemson after being ‘close’ to picking Tigers

Keith Marshall rubbed Howard’s Rock during his official visit to Clemson.

“It was cool to do in recruiting,” the Georgia sophomore tailback said on Monday. “You get caught up in all the hype. It was a cool experience. I enjoyed my trip to Clemson. I was close to going to Clemson.”

How close?

On the eve of his college announcement in December, 2011, when he picked the Bulldogs, Marshall said that he thought he was heading elsewhere.

“The night before, I was going to Clemson, but it didn’t feel right in my heart,” said Marshall, who will face the Tigers when Georgia plays in Death Valley on Aug. 31.

The tailback from Millbrook High in Raleigh, N.C., spoke the night before his commitment for a couple of hours to his friend and fellow North Carolina high school star tailback Todd Gurley, who later picked Georgia. He also spoke to Ronald Darby, now at Florida State.

“I kind of told them I was going to Clemson, but then I changed my mind,” he said.

Marshall said he woke up in the morning of his announcement and “knew I didn’t want to go to Clemson.”

“I’ve said it before I didn’t feel right in my heart,” Marshall said. “It’s a great place, great coaches, great people, but I knew Georgia was the place I loved so I had to come here.…The places are very similar. Both have good head coaches and do the right thing. It was a tough decision, but I’m very glad I came to Georgia. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

His decision is way in the past.

“Recruiting, that’s over,” he said. “That’s been over for two years so that has no effect on how I feel about this game. It’s a big game.”

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