120 Players You Need To
Marshall RB Darius Marshall
By Richard Cirminiello
Who is Darius Marshall?
… In just two years in Huntington, the aptly-named Marshall is
already the focal point of the Herd offense. Despite getting only
modest help from the passing game, he’s already got 1,730 career
yards on the ground, and is one of Conference USA’s most dangerous
kick returners. After sharing time with Chubb Small as a true
freshman, he became the feature back a year ago, going over 100
yards in seven of the team’s dozen games. Coming out of high school,
larger programs, like Florida and South Carolina, were sniffing
around Baldwin (Ga.) High School, but most felt he was a little to
small to be an every-down back. He could’ve spent his college career
between the hedges, but Georgia insisted he play cornerback.
Instead, Marshall opted for Marshall, where he fell for the
small-town atmosphere and knew there was a chance to replace Ahmad
Bradshaw right away. With two years of eligibility remaining, he’s
going to leave as one of the school’s all-time leading rushers.
Marshall's best game so far was
… West Virginia in 2007. Sure, Marshall has had better statistical
games since then, but this was a huge venue and his first statement
that he was going to be a good one. In just his second game since
leaving high school, he ran for 80 yards on just 11 carries versus
the rival Mountaineers, adding a big kickoff return that brought the
home crowd to its feet.
Why you should care about
… In only his second season out of high school, Marshall rushed for
more than 1,000 yards and was named second team All-Conference USA.
More than just a shifty back for the Herd, he’s also one of the
league’s most dangerous special teamers, finishing behind UCF’s Joe
Burnett with a 26-yard average. With half a career still left in
Huntington, even better days are ahead for Marshall.
… While not the biggest or the fastest back around, Marshall runs
with great skill and little wasted energy. He has outstanding
vision, recognizing the hole immediately and busting through the
first line of defense. Always under control and deceptively quick,
he’ll patiently wait for his blocks and rarely take contact behind
the line of scrimmage.
… At just under 5-10 and 200 pounds, he doesn’t have ideal size or
blazing speed for a back. Although it hasn’t been a problem when the
ball is in his hands, the size issue does crop when it’s time to
block in pass protection. He caught just 16 balls a year ago, and
could be a bigger factor as a receiver out of the backfield.
A cool thing about
Marshall you probably didn’t know
… As a member of his local track team, a 14-year old Marshall ran
the final leg of the 4x100 team that won the 2004 Junior Olympics
2007: 123 carries for 631 yards and three touchdowns – 14 receptions
for 119 yards – 19 kick returns for 556 yards and a touchdown
2008: 224 carries for 1,095 yards and five touchdowns – 16
receptions for 98 yards – 30 kick returns for 790 yards
Statistics, information and photo provided by the
Marshall sports information department