The wheel of fortune that is Cassius Marsh’s recruiting seems to have finally stopped, and it appears Rick Neuheisel is heading to the bonus round.
The Oaks Christian defensive tackle verbally committed to UCLA on Tuesday night, potentially filling a huge position of need for the late-charging Bruins.
Marsh, rated the No. 8 defensive tackle prospect in the country by Scout.com, originally committed to Cal in late April before decommitting a month later, eventually flipping to Louisiana State in late October. After playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in early January, there were rumblings that he might want to stay closer to home. He remained a Tiger commit until Tuesday night, when Neuheisel and Co. lured him back to Southern California.
“That’s the way it is today – at this point, I’m saying and he’s saying he’s going to UCLA,” Oaks Christian head coach Bill Redell said. “He went to Cal before the season even started – he’s really a good kid, and I think he kinda doesn’t like to say no to some people. He’s impressed with all these guys, and he should be impressed with them. But he kind of got his heart in front of his head sometimes.
“When he went back for the Army game, he was away from home for a week, and I think he recognized – and this shows some maturity – that he didn’t like being away from home.”
Marsh’s commitment is the latest in high-impact gets for the third-year UCLA coach, after Loyola running back/linebacker Anthony Barr – Scout’s No. 10 outside linebacker – picked the Bruins over Notre Dame on Jan. 21.
More importantly, Marsh comes from the hotbed of talent that is Oaks Christian, joining UCLA along with Lions teammate Malcolm Jones, the No. 3 running back in the country.
But most importantly? Marsh will join a Bruin defensive front decimated by the departure of superstar defensive tackle Brian Price to the NFL and the graduation of Korey Bosworth, Jerzy Siewierski and Jess Ward.
“He’s 6-4, 280 pounds and he can run a 4.8 forty probably, if not faster,” Redell said. “I would think he could come in and certainly challenge for playing time. Price leaving had some significance in him choosing UCLA. But a lot of people think he could be an outstanding offensive tackle. I know for a fact that many colleges had some ambitions about switching him over to offense.
“His heart is on defense – but when he finds out how much money they pay offensive tackles, he might change his mind.”