Marcus Cromartie has one thing that will get NFL scouts attention – the name Cromartie is already associated with Pro Bowl caliber defensive backs. Marcus is a cousin of Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and younger brother of Antonio Cromartie, both of whom play in the NFL, and he has taken advantage of the same talented gene pool.
Cromartie, 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds, is a fifth year senior Defensive Back who started 26 of the 38 games he has played in, but made a giant impact for Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game when he intercepted the ball (first time in his college career) and returned it 29 yards for the touchdown. He was a consensus honorable mention all-Big Ten selection.
Cromartie played his H.S. football at Timberview in his hometown of Mansfield, Texas, where he was a team captain his senior season, as well as a 2 year captain of the track team and attained the school record in the 200 meter dash (21.77). His major was Agriculture, with a focus in life sciences communication.
Pro Player Insiders caught up with Marcus at practice for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which he will be participating in this weekend.
ProPlayerInsiders (PPI): What are some things you you’ll take away from the NFLPA Bowl experience?
Marcus Cromartie (MC): I’ll take a lot from this experience. It’ll help me to come prepared to do the best I can (in the NFL).
PPI: What do you think will be the biggest adjustment from college to the NFL will be?
MC: I would say the new coaching staff. This is because the Wisconsin coach is super helpful, but also treats your body like a machine.
PPI: What differentiates you from the other NFL prospects?
MC: I played against a lot of talent growing up. I also have the confidence and size to compete in this league.
PPI: What has been the hardest transition for you?
MC: I would say getting used to treating my body like a machine and the fact that it’s a job has been the hardest.
PPI: Do you know any players on either team?
MC: I know Eric Stevens from the National team. He’s a high school running back from Dallas.
PPI: Who do you look forward to playing with/against the most this week?
MC: I’m looking forward to playing the guys from Stanford because they won the Rose Bowl. And when I win against them it’s kind of like I’m getting the last laugh since we didn’t win that game… It’s fun to represent for your school and conference.
PPI: How does knowing that you could be on an NFL team next season within the next few months change the way you’ll watch the playoffs/Super Bowl?
MC: It definitely changes my mindset. Things are changing since the Rose Bowl.
PPI: Who are you rooting for in the playoffs and why?
MC: I’m not rooting for anyone since the Saints are out.
PPI: What player in the league do you follow or look at as a role model?
MC: My cousin Antonio (Cromartie). It’s cool to see him in my position and caring enough to check up on me. He’ll text me after games and talk every couple of weeks so its cool. I’ve trained with him in California before.
PPI: How was your first practice playing under Coach Herm Edwards?
MC: Playing under a new coach is cool. Coach Edwards is cool. He has a certain swagger about him.
PPI: How did today’s practice compare to your college practices?
MC: Wisconsin practice is way harder than today! We practice really hard. Any time a former player comes back they always say their practice is easier than it was at Wisconsin. We become better because of it… but it pays off.
PPI: What has been your favorite part about the events NFLPA has put on for you guys?
MC: I would say everything…the experience, the coaches, and the players. All of it.
–Interview by Roni Wade