Back The Marcus Green Show

Back To Sun Belt

The Marcus Green Show

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

He racked up 96 yards and a pair of scores on just four receptions, including a long of 49. Factor in his lone rush for nine yards, and he was Matt Viator’s only player to cross the century mark from scrimmage.

It wasn’t always pretty, but ULM found a way to beat Southern Miss and that’s all that matters. After falling to the Golden Eagles 28-17 last year, the victory embodies the progress that this program has made over the past twelve months.

The Warhawks’ opponents have perennially been one of the better defenses in college football over the past few years, and despite losing a ton of production from 2017, appears to be once again.

While most of the Warhawks were held in check for the better part of the night, especially relative to the firepower that was so often on display throughout the previous campaign, there was one man for whom Southern Miss had no answer. It won’t come as a surprise that the unstoppable force came in the form of one Marcus Green -- the human personification of a big play threat.

The senior seemingly always plays bigger than his 5’9 frame and tonight was no exception.’

He racked up 96 yards and a pair of scores on just four receptions, including a long of 49. Factor in his lone rush for nine yards, and he was Matt Viator’s only player to cross the century mark from scrimmage.

Impressive as it maybe, what’s truly remarkable is that it almost feels like the norm at this point.

Just last year, he was in the top three in the nation in all-purpose yards per game. What Marcus Green did last season was nothing short of spectacular, averaging 32.4 yards per kickoff return and tying for the national lead with four kick returns for touchdown. One of college football's elite return men, he is a leading All-American candidate. He also had four 100-yard games a season ago, including eight catches for 193 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas State and eight receptions for 106 yards at Florida State. Now that Rashaad Penny and Saquon Barkley are out of the way, the all-purpose crown is his for the taking.

In some ways bolstering his performance against Southern Miss, he achieved his typical level of productivity without any opportunities to show off that transcendent ability in the return game.

That’s what he was primarily known for last year, and with good reason. However, quite frankly, he was merely an above average pass catcher within the context of that offense. Through two games, and a combined 195 receiving yards and four touchdown catches later, he is on track to far surpass the production of his junior campaign.

No longer is he just a top tier playmaker, but a top tier pass catcher, and deserves to be mentioned alongside the rest of the best in the Sun Belt based on those merits alone.

The offseason development that he has displayed thus far embodies the growth that ULM has taken and is poised to continue to take this season.

There’s not a better return man in college football. Now, as he rounds out the rest of the game, there might not be a better all-purpose player in college football.

Hornung Award voters, turn your attention towards Monroe, Louisiana. Marcus Green has made the leap to the next level, and there ain’t much company up there.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP