USC pro day: Iman Marshall adapting to safety role

USC cornerback Iman Marshall runs through a drill during USC Pro Day on Wednesday.

Former USC cornerback Iman “Biggie” Marshall needed help remembering what day it was Wednesday after working out in front of representatives from NFL teams at the Trojans’ pro day.

“Time is all messed up for me right now,” Marshall joked. “It’s been hectic. I’ve been going everywhere, the combine, the Senior Bowl, all that stuff. It’s truly a blessing.”

It has seemed like one question has followed Marshall everywhere he has gone since playing his last game for USC on Nov. 24.

“Same thing everyone else has been asking: my transition to safety, my ability to play safety,” Marshall said.


Marshall, who was a highly rated prospect out of Long Beach Poly High, played only cornerback at USC. He graded out as one of the top cornerbacks in the country last season, but NFL teams appear to be pegging him as a better prospect at safety.

Wednesday provided him a final chance before April’s NFL draft to show what he could do at all positions.

Southern California cornerback Iman Marshall runs through a sprint drill during USC Pro Day, Wednesd
USC cornerback Iman Marshall runs through a sprint drill during USC pro day on Wednesday.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

“Teams talk to me about moving everywhere,” Marshall said. “That’s the thing. This game is becoming a more pass-oriented game. With spread offenses, you need a lot of safeties and corners that can play in the box, can play up-field, because you’ve got a lot of quick tight ends.


“I feel like my ability to be a sure tackler and come down and make plays in the run game, my football IQ, are things that could make me play safety.”

Marshall said that he has been hearing about a possible move to safety since he was a high school player. It didn’t happen at USC, which happened to recruit a talented safety in his recruiting class in Marvell Tell III.

Sure enough, Tell is being projected by more NFL teams as a cornerback.

Tell also worked out Wednesday at pro day.

“Marvell is a freakish athlete,” Marshall said. “He can do whatever. I see him being able to play any position he wants to put his mind to. He’s going to be tremendous.”

Marshall was asked if he had made any plans for the draft.

“I haven’t even thought that far,” he said.

Recently, Marshall has been thinking more big picture.


“I want to be considered one of the greats when it’s all said and done,” he said.

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Olson hits the bench

Former USC long snapper Jake Olson announced several weeks ago that he was going to bench press to raise money to research retinoblastoma, the aggressive cancer that took his eyesight when he was 12 years old.

Olson’s fundraising campaign for his charity, Out of Sight Faith, was tied to the number of repetitions he could complete of 225 pounds on the bench press. He registered 17 reps, and as of Wednesday night he had raised nearly $50,000 with his effort.

“With the weight room,” Olson said, “people say weights are your best friend because they’ll never lie to you, and they won’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re blind, if you’re deaf, if you’re white or black, weights are going to treat everyone the same, and I think that’s the special thing about the weight room. What you put in, you get out.”

Twitter: @BradyMcCollough