At any Rebel football practice, you can pick up senior Cornerback Marshay Green easily.
Green has a fast-paced chatter which is unique to him and he's not shy, talking most of the time.
It's a personality trait which has endeared him to his teammates.
"He helps keep us loose, but also intense and motivated," said fellow CB Cassius Vaughn. "Marshay is serious. He's a competitor and hates to lose, but he's also a funny person."
Marshay, now being a senior, is channeling those qualities in another direction - team leadership.
"The seniors on the team have a duty to lead by example and vocally," said Green. "We had great leaders last year in Peria Jerry and Jamarca Sanford. We want to continue the trend they started.
"I'm naturally vocal, so that part of it is easy for me, but I want to lead in other ways too. I want to help lead the team in the classroom and in drills and any way I can. Talking is fine, but there needs to be a point to your message."
Green is finally comfortable with his position now so leading will come natural to the flamboyant performer.
"At the first of the season, I didn't have a clue what I was doing at cornerback because I had only been playing the position since spring," he explained. "It's hard to lead or be very vocal when you are that uncertain about your own job.
"Now, going into my second year at CB, I feel like I know what I'm doing and I feel like I am playing more instinctively. With that kind of behind me, I can focus a little more on my team and my teammates and help by being a leader."
Starting from "nothing" at CB was difficult, more difficult than he ever let on during the transition and the learning phase.
"It was very tough, more than anyone can imagine," he sighed, "but I'm not the type who is going to complain or pout about it. All I did was do what Coach (Chris) Vaughn told me to do as hard as I could go and see where that took me."
There was never a time, as tough as it was, when Marshay felt like he could not get the job done at corner.
"I never questioned myself. I was frustrated and disappointed at times, but I knew I'd get it sooner or later if I kept plugging at it," said Green. "Coach Vaughn told me giving up some plays as I was learning was all part of it. He encouraged me to keep going hard and everything would work out in the long run. He was right."
Marshay said the light started coming on for him more brightly during the week of the Arkansas game.
"We gave up a few big plays at the end of that game, but we won and I could tell I was getting more and more comfortable with cornerback," explained Marshay. "I was more consistent and more confident and I just built on that. I felt I got better and the whole secondary got better from that point on in the season."
Green said his interception return for a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl is a fond memory, but it's a distant memory now and one he has put on the back burner.
"For the returning players off that team, we want to remember the feeling of winning, but last year is last year. For us to get where we want to go in 2009, we have to put last year behind us and stay focused on what's ahead of us," Green noted. "I just want to stay focused and make sure everyone around me is focused on the task at hand, not on what we did in the past.
"We all feel we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us if we take care of our business. We all understand it will be hard, real hard, to duplicate or better last year's results, so we all understand what we have to do to get there and one of the main things is to not look back. You want to reach back for that winning feeling, but beyond that everything is in front of us."
Marshay and Cassius Vaughn will enter spring training as the leaders at the corner slots, but Jeremy McGee and Marcus Temple will be nipping at their heels trying to take their jobs.
"Marcus was a freshman last year who made some big plays for us and wants to play more. Jeremy was like me - playing corner for the first time last year - and he kept getting better and better as the year progressed," Marshay said. "I think we will be strong at corner next year. We also have some good freshmen coming in.
"We will teach them everything they need to know after they get here and go from there."
Green is very excited about the prospects for the 2009 Rebel defense.
"We have a lot of starters coming back from last year and we have all been in the system a year. It's all mental now. We just have to perfect and stay consistent and I think we can be one of the top defenses in the SEC and in the nation," he closed.
There will be a loud voice in the ears of the defensive players this year.
That voice will belong to one Marshay Green.
Marshay Green -
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