Weight: 230 pounds
Position: Small Forward
High School: Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
Ranking: Three-Star recruit (247 Sports)
Marcellus Earlington was originally projected to play football. Standing at 6’5 and weighing 230 pounds, the defensive end from Don Bosco Prep had offers from big-time football programs like Georgia, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh, with a total of 16 offers. He also played basketball as a small forward.
The New Jersey native averaged 21.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the 2017-2018 season in high school, but only received five offers according to 247 sports. However, he defied all odds and chose to continue his basketball career at St. John’s University in Queens.
Earlington certainly fills a need for the Red Storm in a position that went from a weakness to a potential strength. The Johnnies just graduated forward Bashir Ahmed, and will have Earlington, freshman forward Josh Roberts, and JUCO transfer LJ Figueroa to back up returning forward Marvin Clark II.
Scouts have noted that while Earlington is under-sized, he makes up for it with his toughness and relentlessness on the glass. His passion for basketball is what made him choose it over football in the first place. “I knew I couldn’t play both sports forever, and should play one so I could improve my craft,” Earlington told NJ.com. “And basketball was the game I loved more and loved training for more.”
Earlington noted his desire to stay home, and play at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin is glad he did so. “Marcellus is a versatile player who comes from a winning tradition at Don Bosco Prep,” said Mullin. “We believe his athleticism, physicality, and strength will translate at this level.”
Mullin has built a team that is athletic and can defend, two traits Earlington possesses. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to a higher level of play and the toughness of the Big East conference. My guess is, he’ll be a perfect fit. My biggest question is if he can be a good scoring threat.