'Star' ready to shine
Florida State defensive back Trey Marshall had his world flipped upside down.
During the first quarter of a game against Louisville last year, Marshall suffered a violent arm injury after colliding with a blocker.
He knew it was bad, just not that bad.
It would be his last play of the year.
The gruesome injury put a screeching halt to the best season of his college career.
Marshall felt empty not being able to go to war with his teammates. Torn biceps forced him to spend the rest of the season rooting from the sidelines.
“I was at every home game cheering for them, at practice I was out there,” he said.
But five months removed from surgery, Marshall has returned to the gridiron.
The vicious hitter from Lake City is back swarming around the Seminoles’ practice field, stoked for his highly-anticipated junior season.
“It feels great,” the former Columbia star said. “I’m finally out there doing what I came here to do, that’s play football instead of watching. I feel good.”
This year Marshall hopes to build on his breakout season, one in which became one of the Seminoles’ household names — a season that ended way too soon.
Last year as a sophomore, he cemented his role as the starting nickel or “star” on Florida State’s heralded defense.
He quickly emerged as a bonafide playmaker. Not to mention his outing against Wake Forest, when he recorded 11 tackles en route to winning ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors.
But six games into the season, all the positive energy was zapped. It vanished in just one play.
It was a disappointing time for Marshall, who already once recovered from a ruptured stomach during his senior year at Columbia.
Despite strong play from defensive backs Javien Elliot and Derwin James in Marshall’s absence, Florida State’s secondary never quite recovered last season.
“He was being a very dominant player at that ‘star’ position,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told Seminoles.com. “It was significant when he went down.”
The Seminoles are thrilled to have No. 20 back around. He’s returning at the perfect time, when his teammates need him most.
Marshall knows how important his leadership is moving forward. Replacing four seniors in the secondary, along with star Jalen Ramsey, surely will be a task.
The normally quiet Marshall says his voice should be heard more than ever.
“Everybody has to step up and play their roles,” he said. “I feel like I need to be more vocal.”
For Marshall, it feels like yesterday when he first stepped foot on Florida State’s campus – just soaking up the new atmosphere.
These days he’s guiding the younger players like veterans once did for him.
“It’s flown by,” he said. “I’m already a junior. I remember coming in my first spring, not knowing nothing. Now I pretty much know the whole defense. I tell the [younger players] make good decisions because time flies by.”
Marshall, on top of his duties playing at ‘star’, could get work at safety and corner as well this season as the Seminoles restore their secondary. He’s just happy to be back with his teammates.
One of the most forgotten stars of college football returns to the field with a vengeance this season.
The spark of Florida State’s defense is back.
“I’m just trying to pick up where I left off,” he says. “This is going to be a big season for me.”