Quote Roundup: 2015 Auburn OL commit Marquel Harrell

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJune 27, 2014 

Creekside (Ga.) offensive lineman Marquel Harrell

COURTESY SCOUT.COM

Editor's note: Earlier this week, Ryan Black spoke with Marquel Harrell, one of Auburn's offensive line commitments for 2015. There's already one story on Harrell, which you can read by clicking here. But the interview was so wide-ranging and lengthy, it would be a shame to let the rest of Harrell's quotes go to waste just because they couldn't fit into Thursday's story. The full interview is transcribed below.

On the timing of his commitment to Auburn in April: "One of the things that had a lot of influence in me picking Auburn was having one of my former teammates, Joshua Holsey, already there. He was telling me Auburn was the place to be.

On why some people believed Tennessee was at the top of his list on Monday: "I don't even know because I said I was taking my final official to Tennessee and someone thought I said Tennessee was No. 1 and I told them they were still recruiting me. I don't see how I can have a 'new No. 1' if I'm committed to Auburn.

"On Twitter I posted where I wanted to take my five official visits. They weren't in any particular order, but I had Tennessee first, Auburn second, Florida State third, Michigan State and Cal. I really didn't pay it any attention, because it wouldn't make any sense for me to be committed yet have a new leader. That just wouldn't make any sense at all.

"But when people saw the list (they thought), 'Oh, he's leaning toward Tennessee.' And I was like, 'No, I'm 100 percent committed to Auburn. I think it was just them hoping, but that's all it was. And I know how it looked, so I understand the misconception. But I had to set the record straight. I'm 100 percent committed to Auburn."

On whether this incident illustrated the downside of social media: "Anything you put on social media, someone is bound to see it, whether you're one of the top prospects in the country or just a regular person. If I post something on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, other people are going to see it. It's social media, so it's going to get out there."

On how he handles what he posts on social media networks: "My coach says not to put anything out there you wouldn't want your mother to see, so that's my approach."

On how he handles criticism: "When I first met (Auburn offensive line) Coach (J.B.) Grimes — before I even had an offer — he told me that he could tell I was going to be a top recruit. He then said, 'Be careful what you put on social media because the world is looking at you and seeing every step you take. There are going to be a lot of people coming after you. Be mindful. There are a lot of people out there that are rude and have no sense. You just can't pay them any attention because you know what's right and wrong in your heart.'"

On why he still plans to take all of his official visits even though he says he's "100 percent committed" to the Tigers: "I've talked with (offensive line) Coach Grimes, (defensive line) Coach (Rodney) Garner, (head) Coach (Gus) Malzahn and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Rhett) Lashlee and they've all said I could take my official visits. So I'm going to take it. I'm not going to waste them. If my coaches allow me to do it, then why not?"

On whether he's been recruiting his teammate at Creekside, Jayson Stanley, to commit to Auburn: "I kind of mess around with him a little bit, like, 'You know you want to be an Auburn Tiger.' And then he just looks at me and smiles. But at the end day, you've got to respect his decision. Hopefully it's Auburn, but if not, I wish him luck."

On whether he and Stanley had ever discussed playing together in college: "Before we had offers, we always talked about what schools we'd like to go to but when you start to blow up, sometimes people have to go their own separate way."

On what position he'll play at Auburn: "Coach Grimes told me, 'Marquel, I really like the way you play. You're a versatile player, so I really don't know what position you'll play. I could put you at guard and you can pull and we can trap. I can put you at center and you'll get to sn"ap the ball off and deliver the first blow. Or I can put you at tackle because you can pass protect real well.' So really, he said I can play any position."

On whether he has a preference in regards to his position: "Last year I played left tackle and I've gotten used to playing tackle but this year I'll be moving to guard, so it's time to get up on that. But I don't really care about the position. I just want to help my team win."

On playing guard: "I like being able to block downfield, especially when you see a DB's eyes open real big and they try to run away but I usually end up catching them. We run a lot of screens at Creekside with quick screens and things like that, so I'm kind of used to it now."

On how the offense at Creekside compares to the Tigers' hurry-up, no-huddle scheme: "I don't think it will be a big change, because a lot of what Auburn does is similar to our offense. They run power, trap, counters -- just a lot of power-based plays. It's good to know I've got some experience with it and I'll get to chance to face off against some of the best athletes out there in the SEC."

On former Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson, who was the No. 2 overall pick in last month's NFL draft: "I know how hard Greg had to work as a freshman all the way up to his final year when he was just dominating people. I remember one time I was down there and I was in the film room with Coach Grimes -- we were just talking -- and he showed me a board with the number of pancake blocks for each player. Greg Robinson had 135 of them in one season. I was just like, 'That's amazing.'"

On what he plans to major in at Auburn: "Sports medicine with a minor in technology."

On how he became interested in those fields: "I just put two and two together. I like helping people, especially those with injuries and I know sports, so they go hand in hand. I was like, 'I can make money helping people doing something I love.'"

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