It didn’t take long after Jaylen Sneed’s departure for the Hilton Head Seahawks to send their next recruit to the Division I level.

Class of 2023 defensive end Chris Marable signed to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Thursday, choosing them over Virginia Tech, Florida State, South Carolina and Eastern Michigan, among others.

Marable is front and center in this week’s Recruiting Spotlight to talk about why he made the decision to commit to Wake Forest and what some of his goals are for next season.

Transcript has been lightly edited for grammar and syntax.

Q: First of all, congrats on your commitment to Wake Forest. What are some of the top reasons you chose to be a Demon Deacon?

A: Wake Forest had the family environment I was looking for. All the coaches and all the players were very welcoming. The campus was beautiful and it’s very high academically. I can see myself there for the next three to four years.

Q: When did you take your visit there?

A: I took a junior day in January and I was back there Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Q: Did you know before you took that initial visit that Wake Forest was one of your front-runners or did the visit really solidify it?

A: I knew before. [Defensive line coach Dave] Cohen was always calling me, texting me, sending me letters. Defensive coordinator Brad Lambert always wanted to talk on the phone. I was always told that I should go where I’m wanted. They just showed me that they really wanted me. They were pushing hard so that’s where I went.

Q: What other schools were you considering?

A: Virginia Tech was another top choice for me. I had a connection with the defensive line coach. Other schools I was interested in was South Carolina, Florida State and Georgia Tech.

Q: How good does it feel to not have to worry about this during your senior year and not have to go through the whole decision process during the summer?

A: It feels good. My main goal was to do this so I could do early enrollment. It was good for me to commit early so I know going into my senior season where I’ll be going after.

Q: When you talked to Wake Forest coaches, what did they tell you about your game?

A: Coach Cohen told me that I’d be playing at the three-technique. My strength is that I have very good hands and my athletic ability for my size is unnatural. I just like how they play with a four-man front.

Q: You had Jaylen Sneed on your team, obviously a lot of colleges were after him. What did you learn about the recruiting process from watching him or maybe some of the other guys that you got to play with that went on to the next level?

A: Jaylen and I grew up with each other so to watch him going through the recruiting process helped me a lot. He gives me advice. I asked him “what do you look for in a school?” and he helped me see what went on in the recruiting process. Our recruiting was a little different; he got recruited as a sophomore while I just started getting recruited earlier this year. I like to see the differences between us because it shows I’m not being a follower. I’m being my own person.

Q: I know head coach B.J. Payne is big on getting you guys to summer camps and trying to increase the exposure of anybody who wants it. How instrumental was he in that whole process?

A: Coach Payne does a lot for our athletes. He brings us to all those camps. When I was a freshman, there were a lot of seniors who got their offers and their recognition from the camps. They helped a lot. Going to the camps helped put my name out there, but what really helped was my film from this year’s season. The camps are very productive. If you go out and show out the right way, you can leave there with your name getting out.

Q: What’s one goal you have for the Seahawks this year and what’s a goal you have for yourself personally?

A: My goal personally is to get to 100 tackles. I think I had 67 or something. As a team, I want to be region champs. I feel like we can do it. That’s my main goal, region champs, but I hope to make a far run into the playoffs as well.