Nico Marley: A Legacy Of Greatness
Nico Marley, a young, energetic linebacker out of Tulane, has signed a deal with the Washington Redskins after impressing during rookie minicamp and was added to the NFC East franchise’s roster on Tuesday. But he’s not just a pretty face looking to make a name for himself in the NFL. In fact, he’s already got a legacy to live up to: He’s the grandson of famous musician and activist, Bob Marley.
The undrafted linebacker was a four-year starter in college, becoming Tulane’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 50. He had 319 tackles, six sacks and four interceptions in 49 games.
After he was officially signed by the team, he posted an image of himself signing his deal, wearing a Redskins cap, with the caption: ‘Blessed to officially be apart of the @Redskins organization!’
As an undersized linebacker there have been a few naysayers wondering if he’s really ready to make that leap to the NFL. He came to Tulane in 2013 weighing just over 180 pounds on a 5-foot-8 frame and has grown accustomed to being the underdog, even with that famous last name and a dad who isn’t afraid to spit.
“Coming out of high school, I heard people say, ‘He’s just a high school player — he’s not built for [college],’ so it would be weird if I wasn’t the underdog,” said Nico to The Undefeated. The handsome grandson was born in Haiti and lived in Jamaica for two years before moving to Miami when he was 4. “It would be weird if I was a top prospect, because [being an underdog] is all I know. When I got to Tulane, I was just a guy who got an extra scholarship. People figured I’d just be a special teams guy. I don’t think they thought I’d end up being who I became. I’m so grateful to Tulane for giving me my only Division I opportunity, but I knew they had some doubts about me.”
Curtis Johnson, Tulane’s coach at the time, saw more than just Marley’s height. He saw his potential.
“If you have a smart guy who can run, who leaves it all out on the field and plays as reckless as he does and is an exceptional leader, you have to take as many guys as you can like that,” said Johnson, who compiled a 15-34 record in his four seasons at Tulane, including three with Marley.
“Besides his size, which is a big factor for everyone, this guy could have played anywhere in the country with his…