Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Keith Marshall's cleats, what would you do?

First off, I believe the decision of whether to redshirt this upcoming season or go ahead and play when physically ready is up to Keith Marshall. In many situations the decision to redshirt is heavily influenced by the coaches. Sure.

But in this case I think it will be Marshall who ultimately decides. Here's the rub:
Marshall and fellow tailback Todd Gurley are juniors. The top job is presumably Gurley's for as long as he's on campus, but he has the option of going pro after this season. If he does, Marshall could be the featured tailback for only one year - or two if he redshirts.
Marshall taking a redshirt was labeled a possibility back in December by offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Since then Marshall has recovered ahead of schedule, but that doesn't mean he will definitely play in 2014, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Tuesday.
"Right now the plan is to see how far along he is, and then do what's going to be best for him," McClendon said. "That's going to be priority No. 1. To do what's best for him. And that way, I think everybody will be able to sleep good at night."
Gurley will be the starter for every game as long as he's healthy. JJ Green is on the other side of the ball. Brendan Douglas had an impressive freshman season but is still mostly a situational tailback option. The two freshmen have a lot to learn, but I doubt they both redshirt.

Add in how well Marshall has recovered from his knee surgery and there's a lot to consider for the junior's near and distant future. Regardless of what the ultimate decision is for this season, it's good to read this:
"I've gotta scale him back a little bit, and tell him: Hey, don't do that, or obviously constantly modifying things for him," McClendon said. "But I'm very pleased with how he's been. Obviously you've just gotta know when you've gotta know when to say when. And that's what I'm talking to him about."
Whether it's this fall or next, looking forward to seeing Keith Marshall back in action.