The third day of the 2014 NFL Draft has started off with a BOOM! With the 8th selection of the day, and 108th overall pick in this year's draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Bruin defensive end/sometimes tight end Cassius Marsh.
At the NFL Combine earlier this spring, Cassius measured in at 6'4, 252 lbs and tested as one of the two or three most agile D-line prospects. His size isn't quite up there with your prototypical NFL defensive ends, but his versatility along with his attitude and determination will help him earn a spot on the Seahawks roster, likely as a rush end or outside linebacker.
Speaking of his versatility, during UCLA's Pro Day, he worked out at three positions, on both sides of the ball. Here's video of Coach Mora at the end of that day, with the transcipt of that bit here.
Cassius was amazing today. These guys that were out here today aren't going to go to another school where a guy like Cassius is going to do what he did. Cassius worked out as a defensive end, he worked out as an outside linebacker, and he worked out as a tight end So you talk about versatility. I mean that's amazing. I've never seen that.
Mora may have been talking up Cassius just a bit after Pro Day, but the motor is definitely there, along with the ability to play a bit of offense if needed, as shown by his 2 TD catches over the past 2 seasons to go along with his defensive performance. His draft stock was also helped by a strong performance during the week of the East-West Shrine Game.
PROSPECTS WHO HELPED THEMSELVES AT THE SHRINE GAME: 4. DE Cassius Marsh, UCLA (6-4, 260, 4.92, #99)...When the flip is switched, Marsh is an active, disruptive force who can penetrate the pocket or string plays outside before making the stop. And his fiery attitude was on display in practice as he made several impressive stops in drills, fighting through blocks and tracking the ball. Marsh needs to stay motivated to allow that competitive streak show, but he's a force rushing the passer and stopping the run. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
In the leadup to last year's Sun Bowl, Cassius talked with UCLABruins.com's Ralph Irvin about his four years at UCLA and particularly the highs of the last couple of seasons.
While I can't say that Cassius has gotten himself fully under control - or that he ever will - I think that is probably for the best. He is a player who as much as anyone that I have seen wearing the blue and gold plays with his heart on his sleeve and feeding on his emotions. Sometimes they get the best of him, but they also drive him to make spectacular plays on the gridiron.
While we are going to miss him attacking whoever lines up under center this fall for Southern Cal - and playing against the 49ers for Pete Carroll will be a particular PITA for me - we all wish Cassius the best as he starts his NFL career!
Go Cassius, and Go Bruins!