Florham Park, NJ - Jalin Marshall went to Ohio State as a highly coveted five-star recruit as a dual-threat quarterback before transitioning to a full-time receiver. Injuries delayed his progress as he had to re-shirt in the 2013 season before developing into the team's second most productive receiver on their way to a National Championship in 2014.
Marshall was looked at as a talented athlete who fit the Ohio State system, taking advantage of stacked-sets and being used in an H-back role, but scouts questioned his ability to develop a full route-tree and become a complete receiver in the NFL. That combined with the fact that he entered the draft a year early left him as an undrafted rookie that really has to prove himself immediately to earn a spot on the final roster.
"For a pride thing you want to get drafted," Jalin said. "But I believe in God and he has a plan for me and I just rode that wave and the Jets gave me an opportunity and I'm going to give it everything I got."
After watching everything he had to give in OTAs some of his fellow receivers would take exception with those scouts as they are literally professing their love for the undrafted rookie.
"I'm in love with Jalin, it's as simple as that," Brandon Marshall said quite bluntly. "The kid is special. I mean, he's just got it. His mentality, his approach to the game, he's smart, he has skills. So, he's a rookie and he has to work at it and get better and we'll see."
Brandon wasn't the only receiver to use the L word when talking about Jalin either.
"Love Jalin a lot. Not only is he physically gifted, he's going to help us in the receivers' room (and) he's going to help us on special teams, but he's a guy that's hungry for knowledge in the meeting rooms, Eric Decker said. "He's asking questions, he knows his stuff, and being in the league for awhile it's good to see those guys when they're hungry and they want to learn. They ask you questions, that's very important because the craft of a receiver means a lot, so I'm excited about his development and what he's going to do to help us this season."
Jalin impressed reporters throughout OTAs but as his fellow receivers said, he continued to impress everyone by his desire to learn and improve. Now us reporters are starting to get a glimpse of that as well, when he was asked what one area he is focusing on most to improve it was all about the details.
"Really just attention to detail, all details, being able to be where I'm supposed to be at all times, being able to play any position on the field and being a reliable target for the quarterback," Jalin said. "Like I said, be where I'm supposed to be and do what I'm supposed to do for the team."
And incase you're wondering the feeling of love is mutual from the rookie's point of view.
"Brandon and Eric have been a very big help to me," Jalin said. "Like I said, it's a blessing and a honor to be able to learn from these guys, you know learn from the best guys in the game everyday and for me I just look up to those guys and keep building and like I said, hopefully make this team."
If he keeps building on what he's done so far, Jalin Marshall will make the final roster and it's clear that he's determined to put the work in to ensure that goal will be accomplished.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)