'Marvelous' Marve leads Spartans into playoff

Memphis White Station linebacker Chris Marve, who tendered his commitment to Vanderbilt last June, was in the stands Saturday for the Commodores' Homecoming game with South Carolina. Just one night earlier, Marve and the Spartans had seen their unbeaten streak come to an end in a 7-3 loss to region foe Houston. The loss threw White Station into a tie with Houston for the region lead.

"It was a tough loss," said Marve, whose team fell to 8-1, 5-1 in the region. "We committed five or six turnovers, but the defense held strong and held them to only 7 points."

Marve, who accounted for 153 tackles in his junior year alone, is a 6-foot-0, 220-pound dynamo for the Bluff City's nastiest defense. His stature and relentlessness on film have caused Vanderbilt fans to call to mind former linebacker great Jamie Winborn. Foes of the Spartans are averaging less than 12 points per game.

"Its not just the linebacking corps, but the whole defense," Marve said modestly. "We play well together. We've been playing together for a while now, so we know how to play ball together."

The Spartans finish up the regular season this week at home against Hamilton, in a game in which they'll be highly favored. Houston ends its season against Whitehaven.

"We'll still definitely make the playoffs, win or lose this week," Marve said. "We're concentrating this week on winning the region. We've got to win out this week in order to do that. Hopefully we'll also clinch a high seed [in the playoffs]."

Despite the fact that the Commodores fell to the Gamecocks Saturday, nothing has happened to cause Marve to come close to wavering on his college decision.

"The coaches were just wonderful," Marve said of his recruitment by Bobby Johnson's staff. "Vanderbilt is a great school. It's close to home. It has great academics. It's the best fit for me."

Saturday's visit was an unofficial visit for Marve-- he'll visit Vanderbilt officially the week of January 19. Meanwhile, the Commodores are still evaluating one of his linebacker teammates, Brandon Boykin, who sat next to Marve on Saturday.

"He's considering Vanderbilt too," Marve said. "He's just waiting on an offer. He wants to come as well."

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