CHICAGO — Marquise Peggs spent all day Tuesday driving 850-plus miles with his mom and two aunts from Chicago to New Haven, Conn.
"The campus is amazing," said Peggs, who will play football and possibly run track for the Bulldogs. "It's a lot different than a lot of the things I've seen."
Peggs has grown up on the 8100 block of South Chappel Avenue, an area he said was filled "with a lot of crime." In January, a 22-year-old man was fatally shot steps from Peggs' apartment.
"There's a lot of stuff going on," Peggs said. "Going from Chicago [to New Haven] will be different. A lot of people don't get to experience college. I'm just grateful for the opportunity."
Peggs has earned his chance at Yale, in the classroom and playing field. He scored a 29 on his ACT and sported a 3.93 grade-point average at Mount Carmel, where he was a varsity football player and track team member all four years. Last school year, he was team MVP in track — as a sprinter and relay member — and all-area in football — as a defensive back.
"Marquise's game has a very high ceiling," David Lenti, an assistant football coach at Mount Carmel, said of Peggs, who's a distant relative of Walter Payton. "He's a student of the game and he has a great work ethic."
Peggs made an official visit to Yale in the winter and chose it over several others that had made offers — including Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ball State, Toledo, Harvard, Wyoming, Buffalo and Central Michigan — because he liked the Ivy League school's atmosphere.
Justin Breen discusses Peggs' transition into college life:
Peggs, who took a calculus class online over the summer, also said he's prepared for Yale's rigorous academic expectations.
"It's the real deal, but I'm ready for it," Peggs said.
Peggs said going to Yale will provide an example for his five siblings, four of whom are younger. He also wants to make his mother, Vanessa Marrissette, proud.
"My work ethic, it comes from my mom," Peggs said. "Everything I have now, I've had to work for it. It was never given to me."
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