Greg Marshall has worked as a strength and conditioning coach at the NFL and college levels, so it’s no surprise that his son possesses the power and speed to make an impact on Sundays. It looked as though Cameron also inherited the toughness gene from his father, as well, as he cleared 1,000 yards in 2011 while playing through a preseason right ankle injury on which he had surgery after the season.
He earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 notice for his efforts as a junior, starting 10 of 13 games played and covering 1,050 yards on 230 carries. His 18 rushing touchdowns in 2011 tied the school record and also tied for ninth in the country; he had three scores in his breakout performance against USC, rushing for 141 yards in the Sun Devils’ 43-22 win. Marshall’s rushing yards that year nearly eclipsed his total for his first two years on campus; he ran for 280 yards and two scores as a true freshman (played 11 games, one start), and 787 with nine touchdowns in his first year as a starter (11, played in all 12 games) in 2010.
Overall thickness correctly predicts his tough running between the tackles; his lean and powerful legs make him difficult to bring down without his carrying a tackler for an extra yard or two. Makes cuts on stretch plays to get going north-south and has the vision to cut outside when he sees and feels space outside. Keeps his options open when running into traffic up the middle, occasionally coming out of the pile to find room outside. Possesses enough shake to get past a stunned linebacker in space, as well as the speed to take advantage of a running lane for a 20-25 yard run before safeties chase him down. Generally does a nice job in pass protection, finding a defender to hit, dropping his hips, and moving his feet to mirror. Worthy pass receiver, especially dangerous when flaring out into the flat and using his size to run over or shimmy to elude smaller defenders outside.
NFL-quality defenders stuff Marshall’s attempts to head east-west, as he lacks the lateral elusiveness to create his own space. His lean is also inconsistent, will be upright hitting a hole or when trying to bounce outside. Fought a bum ankle in 2011, slowing down his ability to explode from his cuts and take full advantage of his speed. Could improve his anchor, though, and will ineffectively dive at the feet of blitzers at times.
Though Marshall didn’t get to show his full combination of power and speed in 2011 due to a nagging ankle injury, he still showed enough (1,050 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns) to portend a big senior season. A healthy 2012 season and the strong Combine expected by many will vault him up into the top half of the draft.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.