Nico Marley: A Little Diamond in the Rough

By: Michael Aaron Chase Jr.

8/25/2017

 

The old saying goes, “size does not matter”, and at least one Washington Redskins player hopes that that saying holds true. Nico Marley at 5 feet 8 inches is a linebacker looking to make the Redskins 53 man-roster this 2017 season. As despite being deemed undersized for his position he has already made quite an impression during camp among coaches and players. Now he hopes to continue to show he has what it takes on and off the field to make at the highest level of football competition, the NFL.

Nico Marley born in the country of Haiti is the son of former college player Rohan Marley. While also being the grandson of great reggae musician Bob Marley. But this 22 year old is looking make his own way towards his dream of being an NFL player through his hard work and dedication. Even while only receiving one Division 1 scholarship from Tulane University. Marley has consistently impressed at each level of his football career so far.

From being named first team all-state during his senior year at Cyprus Bay High School in Florida, recording 67 tackles. To being named Conference USA Co-Freshman of the Year and named to the All-Freshman team in 2013 at Tulane. To then being named an All-American Athletic Conference First Team member in 2015 and 2016. With an honorable mention during 2014 as well. All of these accolades certainly are validated by insane tackle numbers he put up during his college career. From recording 82 tackles in 12 games in 2014. To improving that mark to 88 in 12 games in 2016, this mighty mouse is a tackling machine that seems to be consistently around the football.

Now being an undrafted player trying to make a roster is probably the most difficult task in any professional sport. Marley though has already impressed Redskins special teams coach Ben Kotwica so much through training camp that he has earned a spot on the top kick and punt return coverage units. His physicality and speed have allowed him already to make a few bone-crunching hits on special teams. As well as his tenacity and intelligence on defense has allowed him to quickly pick up the nuances of the Redskins defense. He has so far amassed 8 tackles, 3 on special teams and a sack between the Redskins first two preseason games. So his presence is already being established on the field amongst competition.

Ultimately Marley due to a deep Redskins line backing corps will likely make the team more for his great special teams play. Though Tulane’s all-time leading tackler I am sure will perform at whatever role he is given. Marley will not just settle for making the roster he wants to make an impact. As despite being smaller than most his talent, hard work, and determination make him stand tallest above all the rest. Helping him further drive his expectation of being an NFL player.