PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry football standout Blake Marion will continue his football career at Wingate University next year. Marion announced his decision on Twitter early Monday evening.
The senior will make it official Wednesday afternoon with a signing ceremony at East Surry High School scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Marion chose Wingate over a pair of Division III schools in Guilford College and Catawba College. Wingate is a Division II school located in Charlotte.
The mutual interest between Wingate and Marion started this past summer, when the All-Conference receiver/linebacker attended a football camp on the Bulldogs’ campus. The continued interest from Wingate’s coaching staff helped Marion make his college decision.
“I’ve always kind of been leaning to Wingate,” Marion said. “I’ve been in contact with their coaches for a year now and they’ve really stayed in touch with me. They were on me and always letting me know they wanted me at Wingate.”
Aside from the attention from the coaching staff, Marion also acknowledged Wingate provides everything he wants in academics. Marion plans on majoring in exercise science and hopes to eventually attend the Physical Therapy School at Wingate.
Furthermore, Wingate was the perfect fit for him from a football aspect as well.
“I loved their facilities and I loved the atmosphere,” Marion said. “It just felt like the school that I needed to be at, and the team I needed to play for when I went up there to visit.”
Marion said he attended Wingate’s 41-38 loss to Carson-Newman on Oct. 24 to experience the gameday atmosphere.
The senior from East Surry helped lead the Cardinals to a historic season in 2015. Marion led the Northwest Conference with 62 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He was also a solid linebacker with 70 tackles and six interceptions. He made plays all over the field and earned the conference Specialist of the Year award with two punt return touchdowns. Wingate recruited Marion as a slot receiver, and the senior said there’s been little discussion about him playing defense for the Bulldogs.
The best part about this process for Marion is the finish line, and he’s excited to finally put the pen to paper on Wednesday in front of friends and family.
“It was really stressful. It’s hard to get recruited, having to email all the coaches and get your name out there,” Marion said. “But now I’m happy with my decision and really excited for Wednesday. It should be pretty cool.”
Reach Jackson Fuller at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16