NU Football Practice, 9/4/2012
KRISTIN STREFF/Lincoln Journal Star

This had been a long time coming for Mike Marrow -- almost four years since he'd last played in a football game. That was high school.

Now, finally, his number was being called in a college football game. And on the third play of the game, no less.

Third-and-1. Yeah, give it to the 6-foot-2, 250-pound bruiser and take your chances.

Marrow met the moment, barreling for three yards. Chains moved. Mission accomplished.

Marrow's mindset in that moment? "That I have to get it if I wanna be the third-down back," he said. "Just use my power and go."

The junior Husker fullback ended up carrying the ball four times for 15 yards in that 49-20 win over Southern Miss.

Two of those runs came on third-and-1 situations. Another on a second-and-1. He batted 1.000, picking up the first down on each of those carries.

At one point late in the game, the Huskers had Marrow blocking in front of 6-foot-1, 225-pound true freshman running back Imani Cross.

That's a lot of beef to deal with.

"It's pretty cool having me and him in the backfield," Marrow said. "Two big guys being able to move. I think we're unstoppable pretty much."

Marrow's power is evident. But the trait he's really had to show is patience -- especially off the field.

He spent one year at Alabama, becoming friends with former Crimson Tide stars like Trent Richardson and Dont'a Hightower. Both were drafted in the NFL before Marrow even got to play a down in a college game.

Such was the wait after transferring from Alabama, where he redshirted in 2009, to Eastern Michigan. He said he liked Bama but wanted to be closer to family. He spent a year at EMU, then transferred to Nebraska.

He hoped to play last year but the NCAA didn't allow it after his transfer. Marrow spent much of the fall on the scout team playing the role of the opposing team's running back in practices.

While not ideal, it gave him some time to study up on his role.

"There's a lot to learn at the fullback spot and it's not easy in this offense at all," he said. "(Learning) who to block and who to let go on options. You think you're supposed to block a certain guy, but you're not to make the option work."

What helps thing along is having his father, Vince Marrow, close by, serving as a Husker grad assistant.

"There's some days you're tired and really don't want to practice," Marrow said. "But seeing your dad just pushes you to go harder each day."


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