In a conference that has seen first-round NBA draft picks, Zeke Marshall might be the most highly anticipated player ever.
The Plain Dealer's Elton Alexander heaved that high praise on the future center of the Zips, saying Marshall could be the most celebrated recruit in MAC history.
The MAC has produced top-10 picks such as Antonio Daniels, Wally Szczerbiak and Chris Kaman -- all of whom have enjoyed productive NBA careers. That begs the question: Does Marshall have potential to be the Zips' NBA draftee?
If I had to compare Marshall to a current professional (from what I have heard about him), it would be Samuel Dalembert or Roy Hibbert -- a center with defensive prowess and a skosh of offense.
Speaking of recruiting, here are some observations...
The Zips are in the running for six different four-star players,
according to Scout.com. This is the highest number of blue-chip targets since I started following recruiting in 2005.
Four are junior college athletes who play receiver or cornerback. The fact that Akron has pursued so many juco players at those positions tells me that coach
J.D. Brookhart either 1) doesn't trust his young players at WR/CB or 2) believes it is more efficient to bring in a more polished player than train a high schooler with more upside.
There are a few skilled players who have interest in playing at Akron, but to whom the Zips have not offered a scholarship (at least according to the recruiting sites). One is
Jeff Walker, a wide receiver from Coventry High School in Akron and a
A new scholarship offer...
wide receiver, Covington, Ga.
Notes: Bailey has interest in Kentucky and Vanderbilt. One of these days, I will count the Georgia scholarships offerees. I'm guessing it's at least five.