However, after the four-star defensive tackle from Dinwiddie (Va.) High replayed the recruiting process in his mind, it was clear to him Virginia Tech was the best place for him.
"It was a grueling decision," Marshall said about 40 minutes after the television announcement. "There were sleepless nights. But you have to understand, when you come into this process, you have to be looking for certain things, and you have to be looking for a fit. You have to see which program offers that, and you have to be confident. You have to go with your gut.
"That's what it came down to for me. I thought I was going to go with UVa, but I grinded it out for a couple of hours and I made the choice for Virginia Tech."
The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Marshal, who is Scout.com's 18th ranked defensive tackle in the 2011 class, said as recently as a few days ago he thought he was heading to Charlottesville rather than Blacksburg.
"When I was finishing the whole process, from what I'd seen from month-to-month," Marshall said, "that‘s when I evaluated and this was the culmination."
Marshall brings size and strength to Virginia Tech's defense, but it was more than the football program that lured him to the Hokies.
"There's so many reason why Virginia Tech is the best choice," he said. "I think from an academic standpoint, they're the upper echelon. There's not a lot of programs that can bet it. What they offer coaching-wise, the betterment of players, the system you come into, the people you come under, I think it's a tremendous chance for me to do a lot of great things."
As a sophomore, Marshall leaped onto the recruiting scene by making 115 tackles and registering 11 sacks. Despite the added attention on the field, Marshall made 110 tackles and had seven sacks as a junior.
However, Marshall isn't expecting to head into Virginia Tech and play in an immediate impact role.
"My stance is the red-shirt can be an option because I want to get into a program and get bigger, faster, stronger. All those things, "Marshall said. "But if that was something that needed to be done, get playing time a little earlier, they assured me I could be at that physical peak when that time comes."
And, Marshall conceded, it is an added benefit Dinwiddie High teammate Chris Hall is heading to Virginia Tech as well. Hall, a quarterback who played tight end in college, committed to the Hokies on Monday.
"Chris Hall going there is the icing on the cake," Marshall said. "If he hadn't been going there and he went his separate ways, we would have still been close. But I'm glad it worked out that way."
Marshall is the sixth commitment for Virginia Tech's 2011 class.