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Arizona State University has signed the second fastest 110-meter hurdler in high school history.
St. Mary Stockton's Jamar Marshall, the No. 8 athlete on MileSplit's Class of 2020 top 50 recruits, announced his decision to join the Sun Devils in an announcement on MileSplit's Instagram on Wednesday in front of classmates, friends and family. He's the second top 10 recruit to join the Sun Devils on Wednesday, joining No. 1 recruit Justin Robinson.
However, it's been a long road to this moment for Marshall.
His hurdle journey began on the summer track circuit in the 80mH, and he hasn't forgotten the time and sacrifice it took to learn the discipline.
"This whole year has been just a blessing because after everything I've been through," Marshall said. "I got into hurdles by my mom forcing me to jump over some sticks...My mom was making hurdles from PVC pipes, us sacrificing everything just to get hurdles, go over hurdles, find coaches, go to camps, learn from other people and then it all clicked."
Revisiting that time in his life allowed Marshall to see how far he's come, athletically and as a person. The 11-year old in him always knew his time was going to come, but he just never knew when. Until now.
Marshall said he trusted his instincts when it came time to make a decision. When he stepped foot on Arizona State's campus, he knew it was the perfect fit for him.
"You know how you just walk into something and you have a feeling," Marshall said. "That's how I felt. It's a great environment, the people around it, and I just know I'd live my best life out there."
Throughout the recruiting process, he appreciated the constant effort the Sun Devils made. Head coach Dion Miller wouldn't just ask about track and field, but he'd ask about the senior's grades and his overall well being, which allowed them to develop a strong relationship.
The senior also felt a strong connection with the family-oriented team. After talking with some of the guys, Marshall said he got the vibe that this could be him every day.
In addition to Arizona State, Marshall was also considering Texas, South Carolina, California and Oregon.
A major deciding factor for him was how close to his family he could ultimately be.
Marshall didn't want to be too close to home in his birthplace of Berkeley, California, but he also didn't want to be as far as South Carolina, where'd it take almost a full day to travel home.
The Sun Devils are the perfect medium, far enough to be independent, but close enough to return at any time.
Last spring, Marshall wrote his name in the history books with a wind-legal 13.22 effort at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships. It was the capstone to a dominant season, where he won every 110mH final with major wins at the Stanford Invitational, CIF State Championships and Brooks PR Invitational.
As a collegiate freshman, Marshall has the ability to make an impact on the national stage and certainly lead the Sun Devil in hurdles, which is exactly what he wants.
The senior didn't want to follow in the footsteps of standouts from the programs recruiting him like Oregon's Devon Allen and Eric Edwards Jr, or South Carolina's Isaiah Moore.
"I want to make my own name for myself and make my own records," he said. "I want to be the next Jamar Marshall."