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Countdown to Virginia Football: #49 Brendan Marshall

Brendan Marshall came in as a QB, with good mechanics a good frame and a good head on his shoulders. And was quickly moved to TE by the previous regime. Figures.

Virginia Media Relations

Position: TE
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 245
Year: RS Junior
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Twitter: @Matteo_UVA

Coming out of one of the top HS football programs in the area, Marshall was recruited by schools all across the nation. He’s an excellent student, so his offer list reads like the US News and World Report College Rankings. Stanford, Cal and Virginia all offered, and all are 3 of the best academic schools in the nation, at least among schools in Power 5 conferences.

Marshall led Our Lady of Good Counsel HS to a national ranking as a senior. He threw for 1375 yards, completing 60% of his passes. He was also the team’s punter, and was honorable mention all-state there. He’s got prototypical QB size and a solid arm, though not a great one. His mechanics though, are wonderful. His experience in HS were perfect for an adjustment to a pro-style offense, similar to what the Hoos ran under Mike London. He had experience both under center and out of the shotgun. He was very good at play action, and threw a very nice, accurate, catchable ball. And as expected for such a smart kid, he’s very good at reading the play.

Alas, Mike London and company didn’t know the first thing about developing QBs. So, Marshall was moved to TE. Maybe they thought they had the next Heath Miller. Marshall, though, doesn’t run particularly well. (Heath was a running QB, whereas Marshall was a pocket passer.) Anyway, through 3 years on the field, Marshall has seen action almost exclusively on special teams. He has 1 career catch, coming last year against UNC. He did play a handful of snaps at QB, handing the ball off at the end of the Kent State blowout in 2014.

Yes, we know it’s a highlight reel. Tough to really learn much about a QB from a highlight reel. Obviously, they aren’t going to include the time he threw into triple coverage and it was interception. Still, he makes some tough throws into tight windows. And it seems like his reads are always correct. And, again, his mechanics are pretty much picture perfect.

As we’ve discussed, the move to a spread offense isn’t going to be very good for the TEs. Is it possible that Marshall gets moved back to QB? No, not likely. Could he be included in some offensive sets for a possible trick play. A double pass, for example. Sure, it’s possible, but don’t bet on it.

Marshall has become a solid special teams player, and that is likely his future as a Hoo.