In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a linebacker with size and speed to help reshape the Miami defense: Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek 3-star LB Marcellius Pulliam.
In a continuing and important effort to reshape the defense overall, Miami made the move to recruit Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek LB Marcellius Pulliam for the 2023 recruiting class. A 6’3” 215lb ‘backer with speed and versatility, Pulliam is an intriguing prospect for the future of the Miami defense.
Pulliam burst onto the scene as a junior in 2021 with a strong year for a 9-2 Sandy Creek team. 55 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumbles recovered, including a FR-TD in 7 games. And, based upon that strong season, Pulliam began receiving offers from teams across the country.
With several offers on the table, Pulliam began taking visits to some of his top schools. Unofficial visits to Mississippi State, Georgia Tech (twice), Auburn, Clemson, Miami, Kentucky, Alabama, and Auburn (again) comprised the itinerary for a busy spring and summer for Pulliam. Pulliam returned to Auburn AGAIN for a 3rd unofficial visit in September, and the Tigers were understandably thought to be the leaders in his recruitment.
As things progressed, that wasn’t the case. Pulliam finally took his first Official Visits, to Mississippi State and Louisville, in November. Even with those visits, Miami kept working behind the scenes to make a move with Pulliam.
Meanwhile, on the field, Pulliam continued to prove his mettle. Pulliam ended the 2023 season with 43 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 QB Hurries, with 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception in 6 games. Pulliam helped Sandy Creek win Georgia’s AAA State Championship.
A week before that State Championship win, Pulliam decided he knew where he wanted to play his college football. And, on December 3rd, he committed to Miami, adding to the 2023 recruiting class that will challenge to be the best in the country.
On the 247sports composite, Pulliam is a 3-star prospect, the #62 LB nationally, #73 in the State of Georgia, and #734 player overall in this class.
Pulliam committed to Miami over Mississippi State, Auburn, and Louisville from a strong list of 25 offers from around the country.
As A Player
Like the other linebackers in this class for Miami, Pulliam fits the physical mold of what Cristobal wants a LB to look like. 6’3” 215lbs, Pulliam has good size, but has room to add size to his frame.
Pulliam is quick, and has good speed as well. He’s been in the low 12 seconds of the 100M dash, which isn’t the fastest in the world, but pretty damn good for a linebacker. Pulliam uses his speed and quickness to get to the ball in a hurry. He’s best in delayed blitz or QB spy engagements, but his overall game is solid as well.
Pulliam is another violent striker, who routinely makes loud contact with ball carriers from sideline to sideline. You’ll see when you watch his HUDL highlights; the first play made me yelp in surprise.
Better in run support than pass coverage, Pulliam will be a value add in that area. But, he’ll need to get better in coverage moving forward, but he has the physical tools to make that happen. Pulliam reads his run keys well, and is quick to get up the field to make plays. He’s quicker than many HS OL trying to block him, so he can run around guys at times, but he’ll need to improve his block shedding in college to continue to have this same level of success.
I know recruiting rankings are an art, not a science, but I honestly think Pulliam is underrated. He’s got good size, good production, and plenty of potential. He should be much nearer to 4-star status than his current ranking indicates.
- Violent striker
- Run Defense
- Can add weight to his frame
- Pass coverage will need to improve
- Only played AAA HSFB.
Of all the players in Miami’s recruiting class, Pulliam ranks at or near the top in players who I think can out perform their recruiting ranking. I think he has a chance to end up as a starter on Miami’s defense, or play major snaps if not.
While there are other blue chip players already on the roster and in this recruiting class, Pulliam is someone whose hitting ability and run defense can be an asset in the future. If he’s able to put everything together, I think Miami should be pleasantly surprised with his production, and Pulliam should end up having a solid, if unspectacular, career in Coral Gables.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.