Marshall elated to begin his pro career

After a 2012 season that's saw a noticeable drop-off in his statistics, Cameron Marshall had no expectations of being selected in this year's NFL draft. Ultimately it was a mindset that served him well, as he's expected to sign with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. After a challenging senior season, the former ASU RB naturally welcomes this opportunity.

As often the case with prospects, the team that contacts you immediately after the draft, is usually a club that didn't necessarily show increased interest in the weeks and months leading up to the draft.

"It feels great and I'm excited for the opportunity they gave me," Marshall told Devils Digest Sunday afternoon. "I'm looking forward to getting out there this week. I've never been to Miami before so it should be fun, and I'm going to work hard to make the team.

"Miami called me about half an hour after the draft and I was surprised. Everything happened so fast. They called me, got in touch with my agent and started talking about signing me. Before that, I really didn't talk to Miami other than giving them my contact information. I can't say that they showed a lot of interest in me or anything out of the ordinary – that's why it was a surprise that they called me. I really didn't have any conversations with any teams that told me that they really wanted me. So I was just hoping to get a call from someone."

After tying Arizona State's single-season rushing touchdown record with 18 scores in 2011, as well as collecting 1,050 rushing yards that season (despite an ankle injury that lingered all year), The 5-11 215-pound Cameron Marshall's senior campaign saw him post 583 yards and only nine touchdowns as his role was redefined under first-year Head Coach Todd Graham.

Consequently, the San Jose product wasn't invited to the NFL combine and had to impress scouts during the school's Pro Day.

"I had a good Pro Day and I think that it solidified the fact that I am athletic," Marshall noted, "even though I didn't run as fast as I wanted to. I ran (the 40-yards dash) in the low 4.5's and I've been running in the 4.4's all throughout my training. But that's all in the past and it was good that teams got to see me in person on that platform."

The Miami Dolphins is certainly one NFL team that leading up the draft has seen significant free agent additions and departures. One of those off-season moves that is probably of particular interest to the former Sun Devil running back, was Miami's leading rusher last season, Reggie Bush leaving the team to sign with the Detroit Lions. Miami did draft one running back, Florida's Mike Gillislee, in the fifth round. Miami's leading returning rusher, Daniel Thomas, had posted just 325 yards on 91 carries in 2012.

"I think this is a good situation to go into," Marshall said of the Dolphins' depth chart. "There's a good opportunity in Miami, but obviously I don't have the job won. I'm going to have to do well to make the squad and they obviously drafted a running back as well. But in terms of depth chart, running back is one position they wanted to get some depth in and I think I can help."

Marshall is scheduled to fly out to his new team on Wednesday and could officially sign his contract at that time, as the Dolphins open mini-camp later this week. In a few days, Marshall will get to see a very familiar face in ASU teammate, safety Keelan Johnson, who is also scheduled to sign with the Dolphins this week as well.

"I was surprised that none of us got drafted," Marshall admitted. "I was very happy to see Keelan going there (to Miami) and a lot of other guys going as free agents to other teams. So it will be cool to be on the same team as Keelan, as well as Michael Clay from Oregon who I played against in high school. We go way back."

This year's draft marked the first time since 1960 where no ASU player was drafted. Needless to say that some of Marshall's ASU teammates are disappointed in light of that fact, but the running back is simply counting his blessings.

"Like everybody else I wanted to get drafted," Marshall commented, "But I know that there was a possibility that I wouldn't get drafted. So I was prepared and wasn't disappointed with anything that happened on draft day.

"I'm happy that the Miami Dolphins chose me to come in and be part of their organization and I look forward to working with them. Not being drafted means that I have to work that much harder to make the team. So I know all of this ahead of time and I'm prepared to work and do whatever they ask of me."

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