Marcus Cohen enters his fifth season as an Ole Miss Rebel without having made the mark on the UM football program he had hoped to.
For most of his career, he has teetered on the cusp of breaking through and making a significant contribution to the squad, but he's never gotten over the hump.
He'd like to change that this season, his last one as a Rebel.
"I've been close to getting significant playing time in the past, but I just haven't gotten there for one reason or another," said Cohen, a 6-5, 295-pounder out of Clarksdale. "This is my last year. I want to contribute more and make sure I have done all I can do during my time here."
Cohen made strides toward that objective in spring training, according to Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe.
"Marcus made himself viable in spring. Last season, I wasn't quite sure how effective he'd be in a game, but the spring convinced me he can help," Kehoe noted. "He had a little extra spring in his step during spring training and he started producing more and on a more consistent basis."
Marcus is currently playing behind Maurice Miller at right tackle, but he's a veteran who can swing to any position needed on the OL except center.
"He gives us someone versatile and someone who knows the system and what to do at all positions," Art stated.
At this early point in the 2007 season, Marcus would be considered the third OT behind Miller and LT Michael Oher. If one of them goes down to injury, Marcus would be the man, unless something changes in August.
"I'd like to start - that's my real goal," Cohen stated. "I'll do everything I can to impact the team and help us win in my last go around. I'd like to leave here with a taste in my mouth of the team being a success and with me being a bigger part of it."
Marcus spent the whole summer in Oxford, working out and working a job at Wal-Mart in the afternoons.
"I made the effort this summer to get better," he said. "I feel real good about myself right now. I'm in shape, I know what I'm doing on the field and I'm motivated to go out with a bang."
Marcus said there's some urgency in his approach this year.
"It kind of hits you when it's your last year. You start asking yourself if you have truly done all you can do - in the classroom and on the field that you could have done," he closed. "I realized I didn't want to leave anything on the table and I didn't want to leave here with regrets."
How much will Marcus Cohen help the Rebel offensive line in 2007? That remains to be seen, but Kehoe has talked about having more depth that he can rely on than he has had in the past.
Cohen is a big part of that statement.
Marcus Cohen update -
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