Tailback Keith Marshall will take his first ever trip to South Bend, Ind., to check out Notre Dame this weekend.
It's a chance for the Fighting Irish to make a big impression for the five-star prospect -- and not just on the football field when they play USC. Marshall, who sports a 4.3 grade point average at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, N.C., will be as curious about Notre Dame's academic offerings as its football facilities.
“I'm looking forward to seeing the atmosphere and meeting with the academic staff,” Marshall said in a text message to ESPN.
There will be a lot riding on Notre Dame because this official visit could be the only time Marshall, who is rated the nation's second-best tailback, will get to see the campus up close. A positive impression could mean a return visit or more. An average trip could mean Marshall will focus on one of his dozens of other scholarship offers.
During an interview following his official selection into the Under Armour All-America Game, Marshall said he wasn't concerned about coach Brian Kelly's showing of intensity on the sidelines earlier this season that drew some criticism and negative reaction from some recruits.
"That shows you he coaches with emotion and he really loves the game," Marshall said. "That's not a big deal. Of course you don't want someone screaming at you but that's going to make me play better because of my personality."
Marshall has declined to name a list of finalists but has said he will only consider the schools where he has or will take official visits, as well as South Carolina and North Carolina where he has visited frequently.
Marshall has taken official visits to Florida and Georgia and visited Tennessee frequently. Alabama and Southern Cal are also possibilities for an official visit.