Dave Aranda and his Baylor coaching staff are smiling on the Fourth of July.
That’s because one of their top targets in Reserve (La.) East St. John outside linebacker/defensive end Jackie Marshall announced his college decision to play for the Bears. Marshall chose the Big 12 program over an offer list that included Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Houston and Louisiana Tech as finalists as well.
As a junior the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Marshall racked up 88 tackles including 41 for loss and 13 sacks. He is commit No. 17 for Aranda and company in the 2021 recruiting cycle, a class that ranks No. 20 in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings. That maintains the No. 2 spot in the conference.
Assistant coach Dennis Johnson spearheaded this recruitment on the trail for the Bears.
“One of the reasons are the coach backgrounds if you look at Coach Aranda’s history with linebackers it’s good,” Marshall said of what stands out regarding Baylor. “He produces good players and sends them to the league.”
Marshall went public with the news on social media.
“First off I’d like to thank God for giving me ability to play the game I love,” Marshall posted on his Twitter page. “Also I’d like to thank all the coaches who recruited me and took a chance with me. I would also like to thank all my coaches and teammates who helped me become a better athlete and also a better man. Last but not least a big thanks to my family who pushed me and stayed by my side through everything. And a special shoutout to my mother for always being my numbr one supporter no matter the situation. With that being said I’m glad to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Baylor University!”
Other members of this Baylor class include Wall (Texas) High Top247 offensive guard Tate Williams, Lindale (Texas) High running back Jordan Jenkins, DeSoto (Texas) High defensive tackle Byron Murphy II, Pearland (Texas) Shadow Creek quarterback Kyron Drones, Stillwater (Okla.) High cornerback Tevin Williams, Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Summit wide receiver Hal Presley, Georgetown (Texas) High offensive guard Connor Heffernan, Humble (Texas) Summer Creek wide receiver Elijah Bean, Weatherford (Texas) High safety Cisco Caston, Richmond (Texas) George Ranch wide receiver Javon Gipson, Duncanville (Texas) High receiver Roderick Daniels, Cypress (Texas) Cy Ranch safety Romario Noel, Denton (Texas) Guyer defensive end Cooper Lanz, Albuquerque (NM) Sandia defensive lineman Sam Carrell, St. Louis (Mo.) De Smet defensive tackle Dakote Doyle and Orange (Texas) West Orange-Stark linebacker Tyrone Brown.
Baylor will have four to five spots to fill moving forward in this 2021 class. Defensive back Justin Walley is another prospect the Bears are trending for on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Stay tuned to Bears Illustrated and 247Sports for more on this developing story.