Now that he is a full-time tailback, Arkansas sophomore-to-be Korliss Marshall has a rather lofty goal for the 2014 season.
Marshall (6-0, 203, 4.3) thinks that he and fellow tailbacks Jonathan Williams (900 yards rushing last season) and Alex Collins (1,026 yards) can all hit a magic mark.
"As a group, I feel that we can have three 1,000-yard rushers this season," Marshall said Tuesday night after spring practice ended. "Honestly just because of the talent we have back there.
"I mean J-Will just about broke 1,000, Alex broke 1,000 so why not me break 1,000?" Marshall added. "With us combining that in the backfield and everything else utilizing on offense, I don't think we can be stopped."
Marshall – who came in from Osceola as a safety - electrified Razorback fans last season as he carried the ball 17 times for 146 yards – on the two plays that he learned.
"Probably just two," Marshall said. "Toss right, toss left. I did pretty good with them. It's just that extra burst. I utilize my speed when I get the ball. Especially on toss plays. I just don't feel that I can be caught. I just ran as fast as I can."
Marshall had expressed his desire to be only a safety, but moved to offense full-time after a talk with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.
"I was actually talking with Coach B and he was telling me that I need to be on the offensive side of the ball and they wanted me on the offensive side of the ball," Marshall said. "He told me like a year or two down the road that maybe if I wanted to play safety and I could help us in the long run so I am going to think about that…But I think I am going to stick to running back."
It was a battle that running backs coach Joel Thomas was glad the offense won.
"It's been a battle since minute one because we really wanted to get him over with us," Thomas said. "I like him as a running back and I think he has really bought into playing the position now.
"Day-by-day, I kind of step back to see how he handles the true scheme of what we do – with pass protection being a major part of it," Thomas added. "He has done a nice job stepping up and identifying his keys and protecting that quarterback."
Williams is a clear number one right now per Thomas, but he sees room for everybody.
"Obviously he (Marshall) has got speed and power and can run the ball very well," Thomas said. "It has been a nice addition to the room."
Marshall feels good about his coach and the group as well.
"Being full-time at tailback, it's pretty cool," Marshall said. "I get along with Joel Thomas. We have a very good relationship. I can call him out of football and talk to him as if he is my father. I can do the same with any of the other running backs. We give advice to each other and we use the buddy system or whatever. It is a family thing with us running backs."
He has grown from 190 to 203 and has a number in mind he would like to play at in 2014.
"I am trying to be 220 before the season starts, 215 at the least," Marshall said.
Marshall is excited that he is getting to learn the full playbook this spring.
"It's so much better because I got tired of just running toss plays," Marshall said. "You notice that you are not the fastest person in D-I football and you can't beat everybody with speed. So I've got to run inside a little bit. You get hit pretty hard out there."
He is learning to use his vision in addition to his speed.
"It's different and I know that is one thing that I really have got to work on," Marshall said. "I am basically a North to South runner and I have never been an East to West runner. That is just something that I am going to have to work on and pick up as we go throughout the spring."
Marshall got a chance to start late in the season against Mississippi State when both Williams and Collins were late to a meeting and suspended for a half.
He carried 9 times for 36 yards while Williams (59 yards) and Collins (52) yards got the bilk of the second-half carries in a 24-17 loss in Little Rock.
"It felt pretty good starting for the first time," Marshall said. "But I mean eventually I was looking forward to our starting backs getting in and doing what they do best. It was just a little mistake and I am sure it will never happen again."
Marshall, who had 422 return yards including one 87 yards against Auburn, had three carries for 45 yards in the finale at LSU.
He is studying hard to make the biggest impact he can in his second year in college.
"I know I have got a learning process so I am just going to get in where I fit in and play on through," Marshall said.
Pass blocking is the biggest adjustment for Marshall.
"It actually was, but they make it so easy to remember," Marshall said. "It's like key words to let you know who you have. Basically you just have to hit the playbook. I make sure I do it every day. I look at my playbook, even if it is just for five minutes. If you look at your playbook for five minutes, 9 times out of 10 you will remember that the next day."
Korliss Marshall heads off on a kick return against LSU that was called back due to a penalty.
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