The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
5 Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job After Graduation
July 11, 2024

Graduated and feeling lost about your next steps? Looking to set up your life, find a good job, and earn money? Who doesn’t want that, right?...

Justin Marshall: A complete football player in the making

Collegian | Lauren Mascardo
Colorado State University’s Justin Marshall (29) runs the ball down the field at the military appreciation game against San Diego State University Nov. 12. CSU won 22-19.

A half-century record is gone, all by the flash of Justin Marshall.

Ron Harris’ name was inked in the record book for 49 years, but finally, by the legs of Marshall, Harris’ mark of rushing for more than 100 yards in a debut fell Saturday night against San Diego State.


If Marshall’s name was a surprise to see Saturday, that’s because he wasn’t supposed to see the field this year. 

With the unfortunate type of injury luck the Rams have had this year, they just have to be prepared, and clearly, Marshall was. 

“Coach had me ready,” Marshall said. “(Getting) mental reps at practice, (coach getting) me into rotation at practice (and making) sure I’m ready to go in at anytime.”

The speed at which things intensify between high school and college is tenfold. That’s why first-years like Marshall have to come in and work that much harder.

Marshall gave running back coach Jeremy Moses a lot of credit for his historic performance. Moses has helped Marshall prepare in unique ways.

“(Moses) gave me some flashcards,” Marshall said. “I wrote the plays down so I could memorize them.”

Thanks to those flashcards — and of course the preparation and talent of Moses and Marshall — Ram fans weren’t the only ones taking notice.

“One of the key things that we look for in recruiting is a back that is versatile.” –Jeremy Moses, CSU football running back coach

Coach Jay Norvell knows the Rams need a solid running game if they’re to appear in a coveted 13th game. Thankfully for him, it appears that he’s found exactly what he has been looking for, and Marshall has more than earned his way into the game plan going forward. 

“He had over 100 yards rushing and really important runs for us, and I think you’ll see a lot of Justin this week,” Norvell said. 


While Marshall deserves a lot of the credit, so does the Rams O-line. Of the five players who started the season, all five remain — something that is incredibly hard to do. It’s that continuity that helped jump-start the Rams’ run game Saturday.

“Great to see them block it up,” Marshall said. “And then you’ve got to hit the hole and make people miss.”

The ability to make people miss is what made Marshall a must-have for Moses and the staff.

The twitch, the agility and the versatility were what Moses saw, and one game into it, he’s glad he bought into the Marshall stock.

“Recruiting-wise, we saw the versatility, we saw the bust and the twitchiness in space,” Moses said. “But we saw him be able to run through tough contact in order to create that space for himself, which are usually signs of a great tailback.”

The three-star recruit hailing out of Merrillville, Indiana, received a lot of attention during his senior year and had several Division I offers, including Indiana, Nebraska and Purdue.

Despite plenty of options, Marshall knew CSU was absolutely the right school for him.

“I just wanted to get away from home, and they love me here,” Marshall said.

Well, it’s no doubt that his teammates and coaches are happy to have him here.

It’s not every day that a team gets to play with someone who puts in the work both on and off the field like Marshall has. Academics have been a key aspect of CSU Athletics, and Marshall enjoys that he can take advantage of the support provided because of that.

“Support is great around here,” Marshall said. “(They) make sure I’m on top of my work and get my work done.”

Being in his first season, Marshall will have plenty of time to develop into the star he appears poised to become — and not just as a running back but a complete football player.

“One of the key things that we look for in recruiting is a back that is versatile,” Moses said. “Yeah, they can carry the football, but what else can they do? Can they play special teams? Can they come down and hit you? Can they pick up blitzes? And he showed a lot of versatility on film, lining up at slot receiver, catching a stick route, making a guy miss and going 50 yards with it. … So those things flashed a lot on film, and then seeing him live in games knowing that he’s not just a tailback, he’s a complete football player.”

Reach Damon Cook at or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *