With National Signing rapidly approaching, Dear Old Gold will be bringing you in-depth profiles of several of the Hawkeye commits and signees in a segment called “Meet the class of 2014.”
The Iowa Hawkeye Football team is going through a transition period in their secondary. In a year in which they will lose three starting secondary members to graduation, reloading in that department will start with the 2014 recruiting class. The Hawkeye’s have shown an interest in recruiting defensive backs with versatility and they have landed one of those recruits in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Forestville Military Academy RB/CB Marcel Joly committed to the Hawkeye Football program on September 20th. He chose Iowa over four other offers including: Maryland, Old Dominion, Temple, and Vanderbilt.
Joly is a Haitian immigrant who moved to the D.C. area when he was ten-years-old. He started playing football as a 12-year-old and later became the first freshman to start on the Forestville High School football team in the history of the school. Joly was a standout on both sides of the football for an 8-3 Knights squad his senior year. He was the starting cornerback and also pitched in offensively at running back, averaging over nine yards-per-carry.
Joly, who is going to play cornerback, cites his recruiting coach, Chris White, as a major factor for him choosing the Hawkeyes. “I chose Iowa because I felt comfortable with Coach White, and when I visited there was just something about Iowa and I thought going away from home would be best for me,” he said. On tape, he sticks out above his competition in several ways. First, his size is ideal for a Big Ten cornerback. At 5’11” 185 pounds, he will not need to tack on much, if any, weight to be ready to play against Big Ten wide receivers.
Second, his burst is elite. As a running back, Joly was able to accelerate through the hole quickly, and outrun pretty much any defender he competed against. Finally, and probably the most special thing about his game, is his agility. He is incredibly light on his feet and is able to stop on a dime and change direction seemingly effortlessly.
While most of Joly’s highlights were on the offensive side of the football, he certainly has the skillset to play the cornerback position. Also expect him to contribute on special team’s early in his Hawkeye career. He has the speed and burst to contribute in the punt and kick return games, as he did in high school.
For now, Joly is just getting used to the idea of being a full-time cornerback. While he is more comfortable as a running back he is not opposed to the change he is going to make “I think it’s going to be good for me. I’ll be playing just cornerback rather than playing all over the place. It will help me get better at cornerback,” he said. While it may be a step up in competition, he believes he is ready for the Big 10. “I think that my coaches have helped me get ready for the next level. Everything that we do, our coaches have taken from college coaches to help us better ourselves as players,” Joly said.
Probably the most impressive attribute of the future Hawkeye, is his selflessness. A phenomenal Washington Post Story was published in September about Joly’s mother, Jeanne Emie Bazile’s, journey to the United States from Haiti. While Marcel was able to make it to the United States as a youngster, his mother was unable to obtain a visa until this past July. Bazile made it to the United States during the summer between Joly’s junior and senior years of high school. Joly chose to work at Wendy’s rather than attend camps at other big time programs, in order earn money to support his mother. That summer is extremely important for recruits trying to earn more scholarship offers. He gave up the opportunity to earn more offers to help support his family. “Everything I do, I do for my mother so she’ll be happy every time I do something good, she’s my biggest role model,” Joly said.
Beyond Joly’s excellent skill-set on the field, it’s that kind of sacrifice off the field that is going to be a great addition to the Hawkeye Football team, as well as the University of Iowa as a whole.
From all of Hawkeye nation, welcome aboard Marcel, We’re excited to have you!