“Just got up about to go workout at (Cardinal) Mooney” was the text at 7:31 a.m. from former Toledo Rockets Desmond Marrow.
Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, OH is where it all began for Marrow, who said, “I really wasn't too much into football until I went to Mooney and we started winning and I started to like football more and more."
Going back this morning to Mooney, where his football career really took shape before his professional football career begins, with Marrow hoping to receive that one, just one, important phone call from NFL. The native of Youngstown, OH is like the hundreds of other draft-eligible players across the nation who had to wait out the final day of the NFL draft hoping to fulfill a childhood dream and here their name called from the draft podium.
Only the select few draft-eligible players are invited to New York City to join in the festivities of the NFL draft, while the rest either meet with family and friends to watch it all play out, or some just try to avoid it all together and just wait for the phone to ring.
First team All-MAC in 2011, Marrow was granted his sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA as an injury hardship case due to missing the 2007 and 2009 seasons. When 2011 rolled around, the chiseled Marrow led the Rockets defense in tackles 83 (51 solo), interceptions with three and passes defended. Maybe most impressive was that he ranked second in the conference with 14 pass breakups.
It’s still morning in Youngstown, and the San Francisco 49ers have already called to let Marrow know that he may be selected by them in the later rounds of the final day of the draft.
The 49ers aren’t the only team showing interest in Marrow. The list includes the Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s safe to say that Marrow is going to be in camp one way or the other, regardless if he hears his named called or not.
Roughly 45 minutes before the final day of the NFL draft begins, Marrow got his workout in, took a call from the San Francisco 49ers and now is waiting for close to 25 to 30 family and friends to join him at home to watch the day play out. The scene is fitting, since Marrow said, "pretty much growing up all whole life I come from a football family. My uncles and my dad they all played football, so it was kind of expected of me,” and now those same people are 20 minutes into Round 4, watching with anticipation of the picks going off the draft board.
“Cool man; just chillin,” Marrow said in the middle half of the fourth found.
“Jags DB coach just called asking for my agent’s number,” Marrow said, with the Buffalo Bills with the 10th selection on the clock in the fifth round.
Still no call from the 49ers or Jaguars.
With about six picks left in the NFL draft, Marrow said, “I’m all good; it’s still a blessing," in regards to likely not hearing his name called.
The time between the NFL draft concluding and Marrow finding a home didn’t take very long, taking calls from several NFL teams. The San Francisco 49ers, who were on him heavy, called, as well as the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars, but he elected to go to Houston.
“Great organization, great coaches and I felt like home on my visit,” Marrow said were his reasons being signing with the Texans, adding, “it hasn’t hit me yet.”
Finally, the hard work of a lifetime thus far was celebrated in downtown Youngstown at Club Xclusive, where Marrow and Cincinnati Bengals sixth-round pick Dan Herron enjoy the evening with friends. Faces young and old, family and friends just giving the embraced hug and share in congratulating their friends on their accomplishments.
When he arrived with his Texans hat, I asked where he got it. Marrow responded “on my visit.”
That visit paid off.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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