Although many Georgia fans were shocked to wake up and learn that two-sport star Nick Marshall had committed to the Bulldogs, Shelana Mahoganey was not surprised her son made the decision he did.
After all, Mahoganey said Marshall had grown up a Bulldog fan, and always envisioned playing both football and basketball for his home-state squad.
"Nick always wanted to go to Georgia, but he didn't want to play quarterback at the next level," Mahoganey explained in an exclusive interview with UGASports. "He always loved Georgia, but he also loved playing defensive back, so when Georgia Tech said he could play defensive back, he thought that was a pretty good deal."
Apparently, the feeling was mutual.
When the Bulldogs garnered their commitment from Butler (N.C.) quarterback Christian LeMay, Mahoganey said her son thought his chances of playing for the Bulldogs was gone.
That's when Marshall's mom said he turned his attention to Georgia Tech, which along with an offer to play defensive back, agreed to let him play basketball as well.
Marshall could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last year, Marshall averaged 29.8 points for Wilcox County, which made the Class A state basketball semifinals for the second year in a row.
The Yellow Jackets weren't the only school to make such an offer. Mahoganey said Florida State also gave him the opportunity to play both sports, but when Georgia Tech coaches said he could play defensive back, Marshall privately told Yellow Jacket coaches he was Atlanta bound.
"I know when they offered him the chance to play defensive back, he said he wouldn't mind playing for Georgia Tech," Mahoganey said.
But that was until Georgia jumped back into the fray, with head coach Mark Richt recently offering Marshall as a defensive back, plus the promise that he could walk on with the Bulldog basketball team.
"It came as a surprise," Mahoganey said of the offer from Richt. "I guess (Marshall) had figured they already had enough defensive backs and had those positions filled."
Mahoganey said Georgia Tech treated her son well.
"I love Georgia Tech, they (coaches) were nice and everything, but this was Nick's decision," she said. "He's the one who has to attend classes; he's the one who has to be there, so I'm going to support him 100 percent."
Mahogeney stressed that Georgia earned Marshall's commitment fair and square, dismissing Internet chatter on the Atlanta Constitution and Jacketsonline.com suggesting that somehow his recruitment was below board, or that Wilcox head coach Mark Ledford allegedly received payouts for Georgia securing the services of her son.
"I went on the Atlanta Constitution and read some of those comments, but this was Nick's decision. Coach Ledford has led my boy for the last four years, he's not like that. This was Nick's decision," Mahogeney said. "I certainly know that Georgia wouldn't jeopardize anything to try and get Nick to come play for them when there are plenty of other kids they can recruit."
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