With every drill during Nike's The Opening New Orleans regional in March, Houston Episcopal High School defensive tackle Marvin Wilson made a statement early and often.
He's big. He's strong. He's explosive. He's aggressive. And when he's done making a play, he's going to let his opponent know about it.
In short, as a 5-star 2017 athlete and the nation's top-ranked defensive tackle, he's everything as advertised.
And he's a wanted man. Wilson, now standing 6'5" and 315 pounds, has 20 reported offers and said he is keeping all of his options open, particularly with the summer approaching.
On Monday, Wilson, the No. 8 overall player in the 2017 class, said that while he's open, there are five schools who currently stand above all. Wilson said USC, UCLA, Texas A&M, LSU and Michigan are the schools to beat for the time being.
"Everybody has a legit chance. I'm not closing anything off," Wilson said. "But these are the schools that have caught my interest right now. I like what they're doing on the field and how they're producing [players].
"Everything can change at the snap of a finger," Wilson continued. "But these are the ones that have my attention right now."
Wilson had 67 tackles and 15 sacks as a sophomore at Episcopal. He recorded 36 tackles and four sacks as a freshman.
LSU offered Wilson on May 20, and he made a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during Memorial Day weekend. He said he enjoyed the campus experience and had a great time hanging out with defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
"I talked to Coach Orgeron and his wife in his office," Wilson said. "We talked about the LSU life and what LSU could do for me. I like the man that he is. You can look at the track record of all the players he's coached. I also like that he's a dude who actually cares. He's not going to shoot you any bull. He really cares about his players; that really caught my attention."
What may have been misleading to some, however, was what Wilson wore when he arrived at LSU. Wilson was on the campus wearing Texas Longhorns shorts.
Texas has also offered, and a Longhorns offer holds weight to Wilson, but the defensive tackle had a logical explanation for anyone with questions.
"I had a camp that Friday in Houston, and I flew to Louisiana on Saturday," he said. "I pack super light, and the last thing I had was Texas shorts. That's what I wore up there. The coaches really didn't notice until it was time to take pictures, but they were cool with it once I told them about it."
What's intriguing about Wilson's current five to watch is that there's only one in-state school. He said schools like Texas, Baylor and Houston—a team that has been red-hot in recruiting lately—are still being considered, but Texas A&M is the lone state school that has impressed him consistently.
"Texas A&M is not that far from home, about an hour off [U.S. Highway] 290," he said. "[Defensive line] Coach [Terry] Price and [defensive coordinator] Coach [John] Chavis are doing a great job. I went to Friday Night Lights, and the defense looks tremendously different from last year. They're getting players and making them better. That's something I like."
Wilson added that the West Coast atmosphere attracts him to both USC and UCLA. He's built budding relationships with coaches from both schools. As for Michigan, Wilson said he's a fan of head coach Jim Harbaugh and called him "one of the greatest coaches coaching the game right now."
Wilson said playing close to home won't be a primary deciding factor in his process. He also stated that he's had a few discussions with his mother about choosing a school that best fits him versus choosing a school that has proximity as an advantage. This should be good news for out-of-state schools.
But when it's time to make a decision—one Wilson said won't come until signing day February 2017—he said he has a general idea of what to look for in a winning program.
He also mentioned that a decision before national signing day would be premature, even if he's completely sure about where he wants to go before then.
"I want to go someplace that will develop me as a player," he explained. "I want to be around somebody who will help me get as far as I can. I want them to help me stay on my grades. I just want someone who wants to see me be a better person.
"I know that I'm going to hold out all the way up to signing day," Wilson continued. "I might release an official top 10 going into my senior year, but growing up, I watched people commit on signing day. I want to take my [official] visits and then have my five hats on signing day. I just want to be able to enjoy the process and have fun with it."
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles