First-year Irish coaches have used special teams to turn the tide in their inaugural seasons.
Desmond Marrow Ready to Return
The senior defensive back for the University of Toledo has spent a large part of the last two seasons injured. Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg chronicled the injury-riddled career in this past Sunday's newspaper, and it's a lengthy list of mishaps.
Desmond's response to my question? "I'm good…I'm doing fine sir". I asked Marrow about the decision to sit out last year. "It was the best decision, just trying to make sure I made a full recovery," he said.
As with any competitor, losing a whole year waiting and rehabbing has made him anxious to get back out on the field. "I sat out the whole year, and I really felt like I wanted to help my teammates, but I had to do what was best, for me and my teammates, and that was to be ready for next year."
I asked Desmond to comment on the strength of the secondary, a sometimes sore spot for the Rocket defense in recent years. "Our secondary made a lot of improvement in the spring, whether it was Coach Clinkscale or Coach Beckman, just harping on us to keep getting better, to stay low, cover the deep better, just little things. We all came together, and I think through spring we all got better, and we brought that to two-a-days, and we try to get better everyday."
From a defender's viewpoint, I wanted to get Marrow's take on the wide receiver corps, which has to replace record-setting wide receiver Stephen Williams. He had praise for the men stepping into that void. "We got a lot of good receivers," said Marrow. "We got James Green, we got Kenny Stafford, we got Julian, we got Cordale helping us out on the scout team. He's a big time receiver from the Big 10, from Illinois. There's not too many receivers as big as Cordale in the MAC, so going against him, it helps me out for the other teams like the Arizona's and Boise State's. One good thing is I'm 6' 2 ½", 6' 3", so the bigger receivers aren't too much of a problem.
So what's his outlook for the coming season? "I just look forward to getting back out there and helping my team win the best I can," said Marrow. "I'm back out there with my boy Archie, so we're back reunited, so we're ready to get cracking."
It's been a long time since Rocket fans got to see their top cover man on the field, and he's joined by a wealth of young talent. Desmond Marrow is eager to get the season underway and finish his career at Toledo the way all competitors would – as a champion. With his health back to 100% and the desire he is showing, one has to believe good things are in store.
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