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February 25, 2008

Trojans enter fight for five-star

Marlon Brown, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound wide receiver from Memphis (Tenn.) Harding Academy, will undoubtedly be one of the most fought over recruits in the class of 2009.

The two-sport star has an offer from practically every major program in the country, and was recently given an official scholarship offer from the University of Southern California.

"It's cool," he said about the offer. "I got a message from my coach saying that I got an offer from USC.

"Coach Carroll came to my school for a visit, and told (my coach) that I was the type of player they want at USC."

USC is hoping to continue the Tennessee tradition that they started with current Trojan, and former Tennessee high school star, Patrick Turner.

Like Turner, Brown is not ruling out any school based on distance.

"Distance is not a factor at all," he said. "I'm wide open right now. I'm getting a little pressure to stay in state, but nothing too bad."

Brown said that he is more concerned with the cultivation of his character, both on and off the field.

"Great coaching and great academics is what I'm looking for," he said.

To find the right fit will require more than the five official campus visits the NCAA allots high school seniors.

"I hope to make a couple unofficial visits (over the summer) but I haven't decided on which schools yet," Brown said.

A wild-card for Brown's commitment will also be his interest in trying to play both football and basketball at the next level.

"(Playing basketball) will be a real big factor," said Brown, who considers a 'football-only' scholarship a deal-breaker.

While the Rivals.com No. 13 prospect has dozens of scholarsip offers, he knows that there is room for improvement.

"I need to improve my speed more than anything," he said. "I'd also like to get my strength up."

With so many major programs offering a scholarship, Brown is certain to come across a few deep depth charts, but that competition won't steer him away from a school.

"I can handle (a loaded depth chart) because I'm very, very competitive in everything that I do."

An unofficial visit for the Trojans would be a great sign for their prospects of signing the coveted wideout. As for now, Brown is patiently enjoying the recruiting process.

USCFootball.com will continue to keep you updated on Marlon Brown throughout the spring.

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