Posted in Football, NCAAF, NFL

Posted By: Christian Marin

He is one of the most electrifying players in the National Football League. He is notorious for dodging and breaking out of tackles and is said to be one of the hardest wide receivers to stop when it comes down to a one-on-one battle during a game. His name is Brandon Marshall.

Drafted by the Denver Broncos 119th overall in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft, the 6’4’’ wide receiver has shown both on and off the field over the last few seasons that Denver walked away with a late round steal from what was a heavily talented draft class. He played on both sides of the field in college as he was used on offense and defense; where he played safety for seven games and led his team in tackles with 51. In his final year in college while playing at the University of Central Florida, he was named the 2005 Hawaii Bowl MVP for a game in which he finished with 11 receptions, 210 receiving yards, and three touchdowns scored. He wasn’t talked about as highly as some of the other players that were in that year’s draft; like Reggie Bush; Mario Williams; and Vince Young who were flying around on everyone’s radar, but he managed to get recognized by the NFL as he finished off his college career with a successful senior season.

Despite suffering a slight tear to his PCL in a preseason match against the Lions, Marshall started just one game in 2006, finishing the season with 20 catches, 309 receiving yards and two touchdowns; with one of the touchdowns being a 71-yard score in which Marshall broke off and spun away from three defenders. The following year, injuries would hit Brandon again, but this time it didn’t cause the two-time Pro Bowler to miss any action. He would start in all 16 games that season, finishing the year with 102 receptions, 1,325 receiving yards, and scored seven touchdowns; which put him on a list with Isaac Bruce and Larry Fitzgerald as the only three second-year players to record 100+ catches in the season.

After making a name for himself in 2007, all eyes were on Marshall for the following season with football fans everywhere wondering if he was the real deal or just a one-year wonder. His numbers spoke for themselves that season as Brandon finished the season with 104 receptions, 1,265 receiving yards, and scored six touchdowns through the 15 games he started in. The fact that he lived up to expectations from the previous season won over many fans as he was selected to play in his first Pro Bowl where he was a starter for the AFC. The following season he started right where he left off. Although he was cut back to just 13 starts for the 2009 season, Marshall finished the year with 101 receptions, 1,120 receiving yards, and scored a career best 10 touchdowns. He joined Jerry Rice; Herman Moore; Marvin Harrison; and Wes Welker; as the only players in NFL history to record three straight seasons of 100+ receptions. That year he also broke the record for most receptions in a single game finishing with 21 receptions against the Indianapolis Colts, succeeding Jerry Rice’s previous record of 20.

Despite recording 100+ receptions and 1,000+ receiving yards for three straight seasons in Denver, the Broncos traded Marshall during the off-season to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for two second round draft picks. As soon as the Dolphins got their hands on Marshall they knew what they just landed as they signed him to a four-year, $47.5 million contract extension. In his first season with the Dolphins, Marshall appeared in 14 games during the season but for the first time since his rookie season failed to record 100+ receptions. However, his receiving yards remained over 1,000 yards for a fourth consecutive season as he finished with 1,014 receiving yards but only managed to score two touchdowns.

The previous season may not have been Marshall’s best season to date but it was certainly a memorable one. He has always been one to help others out around the community and was never afraid to give back. In 2010, The Brandon Marshall Foundation; a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve as a charitable initiative dedicated towards encouraging the giving of time, financial resources, and information to improve the lives of disadvantaged youths and to assist single families, was hard at work with the community’s youth. He sponsored hundreds of young football players so they could attend Camp19; a free camp that is hosted annually by Marshall. At his camp he helps children develop both football and life skills. He also brings out 100 kids to Miami home games, something that he was so used to doing in Denver. While in Denver, Marshall worked closely with Rev. Leon Kelly’s Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives which is an after-school program to help keep troubled youth away from gangs and violence.

After bursting out during a team meeting last season, former Dolphins running back and now a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Ricky Williams, approached Marshall about his problem as he too went through a similar scenario when he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder years before. Marshall started attending Boston’s McLean Hospital where he was diagnosed with BPD. Throughout his pro career and adult life he always felt symptoms but didn’t learn to cope with them until he went to therapy. Brandon went live on the NFL Network to tell the world about his problem as he wanted to help encourage others suffering from the disease to go and get the proper care.

Brandon Marshall has always worked to better himself and the people around him. Now that he is aware of what he was feeling and what he was going through, therapy has not fully recovered his mind, but it has definitely helped him deal with the emotions and thoughts that run through it. He’s one of the most invigorating players to watch on the field and has become one of the biggest role models in the league. He’s thriving to get better both on and off the field and is a true inspiration to not only athletes, but to everyone. He realized there was a problem and set out to solve it. Now he’s taking his knowledge of borderline personality disorder and using it to educate people everywhere. Through five seasons in the NFL he has recorded 413 receptions, 5,033 receiving yards, and 28 touchdowns. He is looking for his fifth straight season of 1,000+ receiving yards and will try to get his receptions back up to the triple digits.

Despite suffering from BPD, Marshall has been in the process of changing his life around for the better. He is spreading the word of the disease that has haunted him over the years and wants to make sure that people get the help that is necessary to help cure them.  He is working on making himself a better athlete, husband, and overall a better person.

To learn more about Brandon and The Brandon Marshall Foundation; visit http://thebrandonmarshall.com/

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