Photo by Brian Ray
Mac Marsh, center, signed his letter of intent to play football for Western State College of Colorado at Steamboat Springs High School on Thursday morning. Marsh's parents, Steve and Jeannie Marsh, from left, and coaches Lonn Clementson and Aaron Finch were all present to support Marsh as he signed the letter.
Steamboat Springs After Mac Marsh's sophomore year, he was a man without a starting position.
Marsh was buried behind senior starting linebackers on the Steamboat Springs High School football team. It looked like he would just provide depth.
But after a team camp, Marsh's size and athletic ability screamed for a move from the linebacker position.
"When we did our spring camp, coach (Pete) Perry was watching Mac and said, 'You have to put his hand down and see what he can do,'" Steamboat head coach Aaron Finch said. "Mac and I chatted, and immediately thought (defensive end) was much more the right position."
So, Marsh put a hand on the ground in a three-point stance, and two years later, Finch has never had a defensive linemen record more tackles for loss of yardage. And now the guy without a position two years ago is heading to play college football.
Marsh has signed a letter of intent to play football at Western State College in Gunnison. Marsh, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 215 pounds, said the plan is to redshirt his first year and compete for a starting job the next year.
"I really like the environment down there," said Marsh, who compared the feel of Gunnison to Steamboat. "The defense is the same one we ran so it won't be hard to learn. I really like the coaches down there. They seem really level-headed."
Marsh played defensive end and offensive tackle the past two years for Steamboat teams that advanced to the Class 3A playoffs.
Sailors' defensive coordinator Lonn Clementson said Marsh's athletic prowess and ability to read plays were key components to Steamboat's defense.
"He's able to run," Clementson said. "It's hard for people to get on the perimeter. He could run people down."
Maybe the most exciting thing for Marsh - Clementson and Finch agree - is what will become of the lanky defender.
With Marsh's 6-foot-4 frame, Clementson said, there's plenty of room for Marsh to get bigger and grow into his body.
"He's got a big frame and he's been lifting every day," Clementson said. "The potential is huge. It'll be fun to see him 12 months from now."
Marsh - who also received interest from CSU-Pueblo and thought about walking on at the University of Wyoming - plans to head to Gunnison in August and study either business or petroleum geology.
Until then, the focus will be getting bigger and enjoying something he's wanted his whole life.
"It's been a rollercoaster," Marsh said. "I'm glad it's over. I finally find out where I'm going to college. Ever since I started playing football, it's been my dream to play football in college."