Westerville South (OH) safety Marcus Ball competed in his final high school game when his team lost…
Could Ball see himself as a Vol?
Marcus Ball commands upwards of 20 scholarship offers and has gone on what he deems as "countless" visits to schools across the country. But the FOX Sports NEXT three-star safety's recent visit to Tennessee on Oct. 20 marked the Westerville, Ohio, native's first trip to a Southeastern Conference school. While Tennessee is not one of Ball's 20-plus offers, Kentucky is the only other SEC school to extend a scholarship his way. Ball said he would like that to change after getting a chance to soak in his trip. "I don't really have SEC offers," Ball said. "But seeing a game like this was really something different. It was special and very unique. I think I play pretty fast and it doesn't get any faster than the SEC." Ball said the differences from his customary Big 10, PAC 12 and ACC stops were immediately apparent as he watched the Vols take on Alabama. "There was so much different and I could tell that right away. It was really amazing," Ball said. "It was a good different. I saw a lot of stuff that I liked and that really stuck out to me." The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder says the facilities and rich tradition caught his attention most. "I am a huge tradition guy," Ball said. "There is tons of tradition down here and you don't get that everywhere you go. It was a good environment with great tradition. The facilities stuck out to me, too. The weight room was real awesome. First time being at an SEC school and you can tell why they always be winnin'. Just the difference from the Big 10 and the ACC and all that was really crazy." While Ball was on hand to witness a 44-13 thrashing at the hands of the Crimson Tide, he said he admired the fan support despite the "poor play" of the Volunteers. "It was a rough loss, but win or lose, this is a great environment and the fans really have the team's back," he said. "There aren't that many places where you can find that many fans there for a game — and that much orange. They were loud, it's a cool combination." He also added that he liked the demeanor of the players on the sideline, tabbing the group as "positive." "That was a great team that the Vols played and they didn't give up," Ball said. "That is a sign right there and that's what you want to see. The guys on the sideline, keeping their head up and stuff was good to see. I want to play with guys who don't want to give up and you could tell that the players think they are headed in the right direction." Outside of the in-game support from Tennessee fans and the positivity of the players, Ball enjoyed touring the campus scene before kickoff and said the Vol Walk was one of his favorite parts of the visit. "The (Vol) Walk was really, really awesome," he said. "Like I said, I am a big tradition guy and there were so many fans out before the game got going." Ball said that Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Illinois, Arizona State and Tennessee are his current leaders. While Ball says he cannot name a top team among his list of frontrunners, his older brother Ray Ball is a current redshirt freshman tackle at Wisconsin. Marcus Ball told FOX Sports NEXT's Simone Scott on Sept. 9 that his older brother gives the Badgers an edge. Ball has interest in Arizona State and will travel to Madison, Wisc., to watch the Badgers take on Ohio State on Nov. 17.
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