Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

120 Players To Know - MU's Darius Marshall
Mashall RB Darius Marshall
Mashall RB Darius Marshall
Posted Mar 4, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with Marshall RB Darius Marshall.

120 Players You Need To Know

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
him? … 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.    

Positives about
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.

Negatives about
Marshall … 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 National Championship.   

Career Statistics
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