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Matthew Morris Matthew Morris BVM Sports Journalist

Peyton Marshall, 7-foot Auburn commit, proving doubters wrong

MARIETTA, Ga. (BVM) – Peyton Marshall received his first Division I offer from Auburn in April. In September, he took an official visit and then on December 9, he verbally committed to the Tigers. The 7-foot, 310pound junior just knew and became Auburn’s first commit for the Class of 2024.

“If you know then you know,” Marshall said about his early commitment.

“You have to go for what fits you and I feel like out of all the schools that I have, I feel like that one fits me the best as far as what I’m trying to accomplish.” 

The verbal commitment was a chance for the four-star center to celebrate how far he has come. He’d be the first to say the road to Auburn hasn’t been easy, but making the announcement was a much needed moment of reflection.

“You put the work in for it and you kind of get to reap the fruits of your labor,” Marshall said. “It felt good like a pat on the back.”

The work wasn’t always easy but it was worth it. Marshall has been grinding for a long time to get to the point where he is in the top 50 in the nation for the Class of 2024. It required hard decisions as well as the motivation to prove doubters wrong, and there were doubters. 

Marshall grew up playing football and basketball. Unsurprisingly, the 7-foot junior has always been big and tall for his age which did create risks for him when he went out on the football field. Kids would tackle him low and that put his knees in danger. 

“If I want to play sports for a long time, I’m gonna stick to the one that’s a little less dangerous in a way so I chose basketball,” Marshall said. “Also I feel like I chose it because it was something people said I really couldn’t do.” 

His size would definitely benefit any football team but Marshall has used it to become a force on the basketball court. With his back to the basket, he combines foot work with his frame and is almost impossible to stop. 

“Dominating in the paint, it’s easy,” Marshall said. “I don’t know how to explain it, it just feels good. Turn around dunking on somebody, hanging on the rim it feels good.” 

It’s not just on offense either. Marshall is a shot-blocking force but he knows that his presence in the paint is just a foundation. He’s worked hard to extend his presence beyond the paint. Defending on the perimeter and shooting from outside just makes him even harder to handle. 

Adding that versatility is almost a necessity for big men in basketball today and Marshall knows that. He works on it. When he switches on the pick and roll and then gets a steal, it shows the work is paying off. 

“That’s something I pride myself on,” Marshall said about his versatility. 

Marshall will continue to work on it and Auburns ability to develop post players is one of the reasons he chose to be a Tiger. Walker Kessler is a great example and Marshall plans to be the next big man to come through Auburn and make a name for himself.

Along with that comes his goals of making it to the NBA, building generational wealth and setting his family up for success well into the future. It’s one of the reasons he wanted to invest in his basketball career. Marshall wants to build something that will last.

“It can change lives,” Marshall said. 

With head coach Bruce Pearl and assistant coach Wes Flanigan, who was pivotal in Marshall’s recruitment, he feels like he is in the right hands. Auburn is family. 

“I feel like Auburn can increase my chances of doing that if I do what I have to on and off the court…I feel like that goal is pretty achievable,” Marshall said. 

Marshall has two years before he’s on campus. With his college decision already made, he now has no distractions as he prepares for that next chapter. Marshall has already put in work to be one of the best centers in the nation and another two years of work is something War Eagle should be excited about.