Q&A with Marsalis Teague

Marsalis Teague

Marsalis Teague

West quarterback, Marsalis Teague, hands off to Dominque Allen, during the Toyota All-Star Classic Saturday at Carson-Newman College in mid-December.

Photo by Darren Rose

West quarterback, Marsalis Teague, hands off to Dominque Allen, during the Toyota All-Star Classic Saturday at Carson-Newman College in mid-December.

Marsalis Teague

Marsalis Teague

The recruiting process wasn’t easy for Marsalis Teague.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete from Henry County High School in Paris, Tenn., originally committed to Florida but changed his mind and signed with Tennessee on Feb. 4.

Teague, who also considered Alabama, struggled with his college decision until the final days leading up to National Signing Day.

Teague talks about the recruiting process and his expectations for his time at UT during this Q&A.

Q: What did you most enjoy about the recruiting process?

A: Probably just getting to go to different campuses and meeting different coaches. Being with Coach (Urban) Meyer, Coach (Lane) Kiffin, Coach (Nick) Saban. Meeting those high-powered guys. Having in home visits like that. Seeing them in their office and on the job. Going to see them on campus.

Q: What was it like being with those coaches in person after watching them on television?

A: It’s kind of funny. I had seen Coach Kiffin with the Raiders and his relationship with Al Davis. When I looked at him on TV I never thought he’d be my college coach. It’s kind of funny to see him on the sidelines and now I know him in person. It’s kind of a good feeling.

Q: What was the hardest part about the recruiting process?

A: To me it just got really hectic I guess. I was just trying to stay calm and I wasn’t able to really. The media kind of got to me a little toward the end of the recruiting process. It wasn’t really stressful. To me it was kind of nervousness. Signing Day was close and at that time I wasn’t 100 percent sure what I was going to do. Everybody told me to relax and have a good time but I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t easy. I had three good schools I was looking at. The only thing to do was what my coach (Joe Gaddis) told me to do and that was just pray about it and God would lead me the right way. I found Tennessee was the best place for me.

Q: Was it hard to say “no” to Coach Meyer and Coach Saban?

A: It was probably harder to tell Coach Meyer “no” than Coach Saban because I was committed to Coach Meyer and the University of Florida. I talked to my coach about this and we talked about how colleges change their mind on kids all the time. My coach told me not to let the fact that I committed to Florida keep me from decommitting and signing with Tennessee. I like to be true to my word and I gave my word to Coach Meyer but at the same time this is my future.

Q: When did you know you would have a future playing football?

A: Probably after my junior year. Since I’ve been playing Pop Warner I’ve been telling my mom I wanted to go play football at this school or that school. I’d tell her I wanted to go play in the NFL and then when it was basketball season I’d turn around and say I wanted to play in the NBA. Whatever season it was I wanted to play that. I probably got serious about playing football at the next level after my junior year. I said, “Hey I might have a shot at making it somewhere.”

Q: What is your favorite part about playing football?

A: I like making somebody miss in the open field. I like getting the ball in the open field and have someone say, “Dang, did you see that move? Nobody could catch him on that play.” I’ll score a touchdown and they’ll go back to the sideline and say, “Coach, he’s too fast for me.” But I just love playing the game so whatever part of it is fun to me.

Q: What do you do if someone talks trash to you?

A: I’ll smile at him and say, “Is that right?” People talk to me when they tackle me. Next time I run the ball I just laugh about it. I go back to the huddle and say, “He thinks he’s going to stop me. We’ll see what happens.” I’ll look at him but I won’t say anything. I don’t really say anything.

Q: What will the adjustment to college be like?

A: I think probably what a lot of the coaches told me about was time management skills. As far as the football side I guess the game speed. I’ll have to get adjusted to the game speed and the intensity in practice. I found that in Knoxville during my spring break. The intensity they had in practice was almost like a game-type atmosphere.

Q: What is one thing about you fans might not know?

A: I’m a hard worker and I’ll be willing to play offense, defense or special teams. I’ll do whatever it takes to get a win. I had to punt in some of our high schools game. I told my coach I’d do whatever he wanted me to do to help the team win.

Q: Have you thought about how popular you might be to the fans as a player from the state of Tennessee?

A: That’s one of the main things Coach Kiffin and Coach (Ed) Orgeron pushed toward me when they came to my house that last time. They said the fans would have a huge appreciation for the in-state guys and me being one of the top players in the state. At first that never really crossed my mind because I had to do what’s best for me. But then I began to look at Tennessee in a different way. My coach started liking Tennessee, too. He said if I went there or not he’d try to follow Tennessee. He’s a big Alabama fan. My parents and uncle told me, “If you go to Tennessee the state of Tennessee if going to love you more.” I said, “Yeah, that’s true.” I came to that realization to go to Tennessee.

Q: What are your goals at UT?

A: I just want to win a national championship and have the best four years of my life. Of course I want to win a national championship because all the individual awards don’t really mean much if you don’t get a national championship or some kind of championship. I got the Mr. Football award but it didn’t mean much because we didn’t win the state title. I’m worried more about the team awards and the individual stuff will take care of itself.

Q: You’re going to be a roommate of wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, who also signed with UT after committing to Florida. Will there be competition between you two guys?

A: There’s always going to be some kind of competition wherever you look. Everybody on the field will be fighting for a position. Nu’Keese and I have been cool for a while now since I took my official visit to Florida. I wish him the best of luck trying to get his spot but at the same time I’m not going to lie down and give it up.

Q: What did you think of the attention that surrounded Nu’Keese, Coach Kiffin and Coach Meyer after Signing Day?

A: I thought it was funny to tell you truth. I don’t think it really bothered him too much. I started calling him and giving him a hard time about it but then I thought he probably didn’t want to talk about it. It was all over ESPN though. I was like, he’s probably happy he’s got his name all over ESPN.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 39

carpentermike5#409005 writes:

Wow 1st.... Do us all proud... and thanks for staying home to put this thing together....everyone needs to understand its gonna be a rocky start, but good things are gonna come in knoxville again.

carpentermike5#409005 writes:

haha phooey

smokyredbone writes:

Welcome, become a Tennessee Hero! Thanks for not going to the Gators!

smokyredbone writes:

in response to volluver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

qspr91iz writes:

I hope Teague becomes a starting DB for the VOLS so he can knock Marlon Brown on his azz when we play Georgia!
GO VOLS!!!!

george8412#649143 writes:

in response to volluver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

smokyredbone writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh my!! Now thats funny,H1 you been smokin lately?

smokyredbone writes:

H1Gator> That Gator football team is going to implode like the basketball team, erectile disfunction! Enjoy you brief history! Once Tebiach is gone, your crybaby coach will be exposed as well!!! The Vols will be the Ole Miss of 09! WOHICA!!!!!!

gohawks1 writes:

He played QB? Hmmmm... there's an interesting idea.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

Is this the player who can become our best cornerback since Dwayne Goodrich? Or a punt return guy as good as Brandon James? I'm hoping this guy can be explosive THIS season. I don't want to think about 2010 or 2011 seasons. Its also great to see a big recruit finally staying in state and helping the VOL Nation welcome aboard.

tgw#509824 writes:

Thanks for staying home Marsalis. It is special for us to get to see our homegrown talent. We hear a lot about all the talent in other states, so we really like to see the homestate players show that we have some very good talent also. Best of luck and looking forward to seeing you this season.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

watch for some of these guys more as sophomores...but, if they DO have the talent, they can certainly help on kick coverage teams. No, I'm not saying none of the freshmen will start, but being realistic, only 2 or 3 will at most. The rest will maybe be on the 2-deep and/or special teams.

vol_chaz writes:

Glad he decided to stay in-state, and we won't forget that.. He'll be rewarded for his great decision making..

give_him_6 writes:

Welcome to the Vols Mr. Teague. We are sure happy you chose to stay home. And the coaches are right. You will be a hero in state for stying home and bringing the glory back to Knoxville. Good luck and Go Vols!!!!!!

marvinVol writes:

Welcome Mr. Marsalis Teague. We are glad to have you and your family as Tennesseans. Go hard and earn a spot for yourself. Good luck!

Go Vols!!!1

tennesseeike writes:

I stand by the statement I made here on NSD. Teague is the best athlete Tennessee signed.He has the ability,brains and toughness to be an All American player before he graduates.

FWBVol writes:

in response to DCdynasty:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for showing the kid some respect even though he changed his mind about Florida.

appalachianvol writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not just the folks in Tennessee, but us that are Tennesseeans living outside the state. We love to read and follow our own players. Be proud of the Orange!

n2thecheckerboards2 writes:

Welcome Marsalis, great to have u aboard.

george8412#649143 writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

volsgatorbait loves pec-ker cheese....write it down

caliGATOR writes:

Marsalis Teague is a tennessee kid and if you look at florida's depth chart at DB, it's pretty stacked. The kid that we really wanted was Greg Reid, he looks like a player.

Brandon Spikes called you guys quitters, are they?

OrangeMandM writes:

Glad he decided to stay "HOME SWEET HOME"....lol. Yeah well I thought it would be funny.

OrangeMandM writes:

in response to george8412#649143:

volsgatorbait loves pec-ker cheese....write it down

I think you meant "Fromunda cheese" LOL

givehim6 writes:

I'm glad CLK let's freshmen be interviewed there so much fun to listen to.

OrangeMandM writes:

in response to givehim6:

I'm glad CLK let's freshmen be interviewed there so much fun to listen to.

He's a senior in high school

miamiVOL writes:

watch his highlights, he has some speed and awesome vision with the ball in his hands. Id like to see him work as a Slot WR first, but CB may be an option as well

cjraney writes:

Best of luck to Marsalis. Just from his tape it looks like he may be able to bring some playmaking to our offense. This is one Vol fan really appreciates MT's choice to wear the Orange and rep his home state. Hopefully more will follow his lead in the near future. GBO.

the10sevol writes:

I like the open atmosphere, players and coaches out front with the media, in-depth reporting from practices. I hope it continues, 'cause I want to follow some of these kids through their careers, which in some cases, may last for decades, if you include the pros. I followed Reggie White's career, mostly because he was such a class act, and I played sandlot football against him (he was like 11, but playing with the 15 year olds, and holding his own quite well). The glimpses we've had of the new players' personal character (Marsalis, Bryce in particular) shows me a lot.

Tip of the Bill Dance autographed cap to DC for the respect.

DennisVols writes:

" I’ll do whatever it takes to get a win."
This is the kind of attitude that those who have recently left this program did NOT have.
CLK picked and chosed who he wanted to recruit in that short period based not only on skills set but their TEAM attitude.
This is what has been missing. Foster didn't have it last year, Morley and others didn't hvae it when Kiffin was hired.

tennesseebee writes:

Remember: "I will give my all for Tennessee today". Thanks Marselous, for doing the RIGHT thing! Good luck, dude.Feel the Power of the T!!!!

sameolvolalum writes:

Clear out the chaff and add on the quality. Welcome to UT Mr. Teague. It truly IS nice having these youngsters share their views with the world's greatest fan base. CLK's vision is beyond his years. Go vols!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to smokyredbone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you mean BOYFRIEND, Smokey

teampenny#658108 writes:

Our best commit He came for the right reason He loves Tennessee Go Vols

chaos001 writes:

in response to DennisVols:

" I’ll do whatever it takes to get a win."
This is the kind of attitude that those who have recently left this program did NOT have.
CLK picked and chosed who he wanted to recruit in that short period based not only on skills set but their TEAM attitude.
This is what has been missing. Foster didn't have it last year, Morley and others didn't hvae it when Kiffin was hired.

...and he will. as a qb/cb this year for our HCHS Patriots, he could win games all by himself. he's super-fast and elusive. even hillsboro's excellent defense during the semifinals couldn't catch him in a kickoff return.

i wouldn't be surprised to see him on the field this year.

and for the idiots saying "he'll be pumping gas," i'll let you know he had offers to attend Vanderbilt, Duke, and Stanford. he definitely has more abilities than playing football.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to DCdynasty:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks, DC. That also was a classy post.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

monsterman writes:

Hope Lane gets this guy on offense. I know Monte wants him over there but he is such a dynamic, explosive ball carrier.

I can understand why he enjoys making people miss in open field, He is very good at it!

Can't wait to see him in orange. Wish we could have gotten Allen too, but of the two, I'd rather have Teague.

wray writes:

Way to go Marsalis. Proud of you. I grew up with your mother and aunt Geneva. I know your whole family is beaming with joy! I wish you nothing but the best in football, at UT and in life.

Willette Theus Ray
Paris Tennessee

rockytopwest writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Butch, Phillip wants you to help him find those two little round thangs he lost. I'm sure you know where they are.

chaos001 writes:

I'm not sure what it takes for the KNS and GVX to delete a post oozing with libel. If I were Mr. Teague, his parents, UTK, or Ed Orgeron, I might file suit for allowing this defamatory remark to be placed on a news media outlet.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features