A year after transferring from Georgia Tech, running back Marcus Marshall is helping take James Madison to the FCS national championship game. Marshall, who transferred at the end of the 2016 regular season after falling behind Dedrick Mills on the B-back depth chart, ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns in just 15 carries in the Dukes’ 51-16 semifinal win over South Dakota State Saturday in Harrisonburg, Va.
Marshall was one of eight players who transferred from Tech following the 2016 season and has arguably had the most success of the group. Marshall has had an up-and-down season, but now has 820 yards and 10 touchdowns for the season. In the quarterfinal, he gained 128 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
No. 1 James Madison, whose all-time leading rusher is Marshall’s father Warren, will play for back-to-back national titles against No. 2 North Dakota State January 6 in Frisco, Texas.
“I was telling my teammates (Saturday) on the sidelines, this is kind of a dream come true for me,” Marshall said following the win over South Dakota State. “Being a transfer and how this season has went, I couldn’t have asked for anything better, honestly.”
A rundown of how Tech’s seven other transfers – as well as Mills, who transferred in August – have fared since leaving Tech.
Bridges had a productive season at East Mississippi Community College, better known as “Last Chance U,” the name of a documentary series about the team’s players and their ambitions to play big-time football and get to the NFL. Bridges, who transferred from Tech after redshirting the 2016 season, was second on the team in tackles with 93 as the starting middle linebacker. He was the NJCAA national defensive player of the week late in the season after a 20-tackle game and helped the Lions win their fourth NJCAA national championship in seven seasons. He has not made his transfer plans public, but his 247 Sports recruiting page lists offers from Florida Atlantic, Iowa State and Tulane. He has three years of eligibility remaining. He can sign in the mid-year signing period that begins Wednesday.
Dotson, a cornerback who played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2016 before transferring to Garden City Community College, played in eight games and came up with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He was a teammate there with former Tech B-back Dedrick Mills. Dotson is committed to Appalachian State, according to Garden City coach Jeffrey Sims, and can sign Wednesday. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.
Howell, a wide receiver who redshirted in 2015 and played in six games as a freshman in 2016, transferred to Northeast Mississippi Community College last January. This season, Howell appeared in six games, catching six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Howell, a Wheeler High grad, has not made his transfer plans public. He would be eligible to sign Wednesday.
After being dismissed from the team in August for violating athletic department rules, Mills transferred to Garden City (Kan.) Community College, where he ran into some bad luck. Mills broke his collarbone in the second game of his season, a season-ending injury. It prevented him from accumulating more game video to show coaches who might have been interested in recruiting Mills, who ran for a team-high 771 yards as a freshman in 2016. Mills will return to Garden City for the 2018 season, Broncbusters coach Jeffrey Sims said in an e-mail. Mills can apply for a medical hardship and gain an extra year of competition after he transfers back to a four-year college and have two years of eligibility remaining.
One of the more highly-touted prospects in his class (2015), Philpott transferred to Tennessee-Martin after appearing in only three games as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Philpott played in all 11 games for the Skyhawks, starting three. He caught eight passes for 114 yards.
Klock, who left Tech as a graduate transfer for Northwestern following his graduation, played in seven games as a backup for the Wildcats this season. After starting four games last season and playing regularly, Klock’s departure was among the more surprising for the Jackets. Klock, who is pursuing a master’s degree in sports administration at Northwestern, has one more year of eligibility. Northwestern will play Kentucky in the Music City Bowl December 29.
Sellers transferred to Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College after his redshirt freshman season, in which he appeared in one game. Sellers started at Coffeyville at defensive end and is deciding on his transfer destination, Coffeyville coach Aaron Flores said Monday. Among his choices are Tulsa and New Mexico, with whom he can sign this week. “He played well for us,” Flores said. “He’s a good leader on and off the field. Great work ethic. Can’t say enough good things about him.”
A cornerback, Walker was one of the more productive members of the Kennesaw State defense. Walker, who transferred after playing all 12 regular-season games as a redshirt freshman for the Yellow Jackets, had 40 tackles, five for loss, and two interceptions. He played in all 14 games for the Owls, who won the Big South Conference title in just their third season of play and reached the FCS playoff quarterfinals. Walker has two seasons of eligibility remaining at Kennesaw State.
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