Depth at running back was one of the biggest questions surrounding Nebraska heading into the 2011 season for Nebraska, but with its most recent commitment Wednesday night, the position is quickly becoming one of the deepest on the team behind starter Rex Burkhead.
Former Alabama and Eastern Michigan running back Mike Marrow committed to Nebraska on Wednesday, adding depth to the 2011 running back class that also includes Aaron Green, Braylon Heard and Ameer Abdullah. Marrow played his high school football at Toledo, Ohio Central Catholic and his father Vince currently serves as an offensive graduate assistant at Nebraska.
The 6-1, 255-pound Mike Marrow said his size and versatility will provide a change of pace for Nebraska at running back, while also allowing him to lineup at fullback.
"They told me they were excited to have me, and they were saying it was great to have a bigger back, because of the smaller backs they have coming in," Mike Marrow said. "And especially going to the Big Ten it would be good to have some power and mix it up. Also, I could play fullback and running back, it doesn't matter. I can block or run with the ball."
Marrow’s commitment gives the Huskers a full house in the backfield, with Burkhead, Green, Abdullah, and Heard in position to get carries. Mike Marrow said he hasn't received confirmation from the NCAA, but believes he will be eligible for the fall, when he will have three years to complete three seasons of eligibility. He said he was planning to come to Lincoln as early as next week.
Mike Marrow played H-back at Alabama and played a bit at running back as well. He left the Crimson Tide in September after a string of family tragedies and transferred to Eastern Michigan, where he sat out a year because of NCAA transfer rules.
Mike Marrow visited at the spring game and said he watched intently to see how Nebraska used its fullback. Nebraska fullback Tyler Legate scored two touchdowns in the game, and had six carries for 27 yards. Mike Marrow said he liked what he saw.
"I was always kind of leaning Nebraska," Mike Marrow said. "I was watching to see how much Nebraska used their fullback and when they put him at running back, it was the same thing they said they would have me doing. I like their offense and how they give their fullback the ball."
Mike Marrow committed to Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown, and said that he and Brown talked about how Nebraska could use his talents.
"Every time I was up there, (Brown) was spending as much time with me as he could," he said. "He kept saying they have plans for me and could use me in a lot of different ways."
Mike Marrow's commitment provides one more link to Ohio for Nebraska. Marrow joins defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Heard. Marrow played with Williams at Toledo Central Catholic. Junior wide receiver Tim Marlowe is also an Ohio native.
He'll also be reunited with his father, who played professionally with the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Carolina Panthers as a tight end.
"My dad coached me a lot growing up, like in Pee Wees, when I was growing up and it will be nice to be on the same team again," Mike Marrow said.