Jan. 6, 2006
Marshall said his decision was influenced by the NFL evaluation he received this week, which projects him to be selected in the second or third rounds. According to Hill, the NFL evaluation is done by a board of NFL personnel evaluators from 10 different teams who study film of the player and include the athletes' measurable statistics. Marshall will submit his intentions in writing to the NFL office by Jan. 15.
"We are happy for Richard," Hill said. "He has been a good student and a good leader and obviously a good football player. He needs six classes to graduate, which was his goal entering Fresno State, and he will take care of that this semester. I'm always going to counsel and advise student-athletes in their best interest. Right now, Richard is in a position where he is expected to go on the first day of the draft and he believes he's ready to start making a living in the NFL. I can't argue with that. We are going to miss him, but it creates an opportunity for another Bulldog to step up and pick up the flag."
Marshall is the third Bulldog to leave early for the NFL Draft since 1994 when Trent Dilfer became the sixth overall pick of the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last year, James Sanders declared early and went in the fourth round to the New England Patriots.
Marshall owns a 2.8 cumulative GPA and over the last three semesters has posted semester GPAs of 3.0, 3.6 and 3.5, respectively.
"It's important to know that Richard is a good student and does not have to leave for the NFL," Hill said. "Some players leave college early because they can't handle the academic rigors of being a student-athlete. That's not the case for Richard Marshall. I know when he leaves he will be successful and we are proud to have him as a part of our program and he knows he will always be a Bulldog."
Marshall led the Bulldogs in tackles in 2005 with 78. As a three-year starter, he was selected second-team All-WAC twice (2004 and 2005). He set a Bulldog career record for interception return yard average, 33.9 yards on his nine career interception. He scored three touchdowns on interceptions in his career and had 305 career return yards, most of any active NCAA player. He finished his career with 176 career tackles, five tackles for losses, three fumble recoveries and 22 passes broken up.
"My experience at Fresno State has been very good," Marshall said. "After talking with my fiancé [Bulldog women's basketball player Jasmine Plummer] and my family, they were all very supportive. They know my dream is to play in the NFL and they support whatever I decided. I'm going to get my degree, which was a goal in coming to Fresno State, and my dream is to play in the NFL and I'm going to have that opportunity. Fresno State and Coach Hill helped me achieve my dreams, for sure."
Richard Marshall had a team-high 78 tackles in 2005. Marshall had nine career interception for 305 yards and three touchdowns.