The Penguins' former quarterback is finding a new way to help the team.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- For four years, Aaron Marshall has wanted nothing but to be the starting quarterback for Youngstown State University.
And the Detroit standout did just that for two seasons.
But in 2004 when Tom Zetts emerged on the scene to take over that role, Marshall needed something else to get him onto the field more.
This fall, the 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pounder has been moved to tight end, and he's developing into a standout at the new position.
"This move isn't about Aaron Marshall," Marshall said. "This is about the football team. I've always said that I'd do anything to help this team win and if that means playing tight end, then that's what I'll do."
After being redshirted his freshman season in 2001, Marshall came back and took over the starting quarterback slot in the fourth game in 2002 after the Penguins lost two of their first three contests. He helped the team to a 6-2 finish over those last eight games.
As a sophomore, Marshall played in all 12 games, nine of them as the starting quarterback.
Different role last year
But last season, although he played in all 11 games, most of those appearances were as a reserve quarterback or the holder for the kickers.
Marshall didn't care where he played, just as long as he could get on the field and help the team.
"He's adjusted to the move very well," said, Brian Wright, YSU quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
New tight ends coach Casey Vogt welcomed Marshall with open arms after starting the fall session without two of his returnees in Shawn Carlson and Chris Kenney.
"He knows the offense," Vogt said. "He's a hard worker and is picking things up very quickly. He's definitely going to help the football team at this position."
In last week's jersey scrimmage, Marshall caught only one pass, but it was a beauty for 26 yards right over the middle.
Few brief flings
He's had a few brief flings at wide receiver in the past two years, but with his size and weight he's almost a natural for the tight end spot.
In his last three seasons, Marshall has compiled statistics that include 171 completions out of 343 attempts for 2,083 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was intercepted 12 times.
His best season was in 2003 when he threw for 1,316 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season, he only attempted 21 passes completing nine for one TD.
He was also an able rusher as he gained 583 net yards on 224 carries and scored three touchdowns. He is also the team's No. 1 holder on placement kicks, a job which he will continue this fall.
The Penguins will wrap up their campthis morning by going through their pre-game warm-ups, drills and meetings and then hold a brief workout.
They will take Thursday off and then return on Friday to begin preparations for the season opener which is against Division II Slippery Rock University on Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Stambaugh Stadium.
Their next practice will be Friday night following the Boardman-Ursuline game at Stambaugh Stadium.