Abbeville is still abuzz after last year's state championship. The community loves their Panthers and they return plenty of firepower in hopes of defending their crown. One of their top defensive standouts is safety Rod Marshall. The 2012 prospect was a integral part of their championship season last year and we caught up with Marshall for an update.
Having won a state championship is something that many players never have the chance to experience so right off the bat we asked Marshall his thoughts about winning it all a year ago.
"This was one of the best experiences of my life. I could say I was a State Champion. Before the game I was very nervous but once the first play happened I got in the zone. Our defensive line stopped a lot of the running so it was hard for the secondary to get involved since they (Bamberg-Ehrhardt High) didn't pass as much. I still manage to record 2 tackles and 1 assist."
With Abbeville returning a strong corps of players Marshall and his teammates are hungry to try and repeat this year. He talked about what it will take and some of his goals for the team and himself.
"I feel if we want to win another championship we've got to come together as a team for one thing. Our line have to block, running backs have to block, defense has to communicate, work together, and make big plays. I feel if we do these things we can make our way to another championship. My personal goals for this season are to lead the secondary in tackles again, have more interceptions, and help lead my team to another championship."
Last year as a junior Marshall had a solid stat line for the Panthers. He also told us about his best game a year ago as well.
"I had 62 solo tackles, 28 assists, 1 interception, 6 pass break ups, 1 punt block, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. I also lead the secondary in tackles and was second on the team overall. I was named All-Region too."
"My best game last year was against Crescent High School. In this game I recorded 9 solo tackles and had 3 assists. I helped be a major part in getting this win with my team."
So what gives Marshall that edge as an all-region safety?
"I would have to say my ability to read and knowing the game. I might not be the fastest or strongest but I use my knowledge of the game to make plays."
The senior safety says he patterns a lot of his game after Pittsburgh Steeler safety Troy Polamalu. "I try to follow his game because he is a playmaker. He does whatever he can to help his team win. He is the general of the team."
This summer Marshall says he's focused on improving his speed and technique.
One game on the schedule that the safety says he's really looking forward to is the Panthers battle against Chester High, and he told us why.
"They beat us last year and it was their passing game that really hurt us. I feel our secondary is more prepared for their passing attack this year."
Marshall says he has yet to hear from any colleges but he's hoping that will change in the very near future and SCPrepNation.com will be here to bring you the very latest.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...ROD MARSHALL
Bench press: 215 pounds
Squat: 395 pounds
Power clean: 205 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 4.73 seconds
Pro shuttle: 4.46 seconds
Check out Marshall's junior season video highlights below courtesy of YouTube.com.