Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Russell Wilson are just a few of the names that have had success as two sports stars. While attending N.C. State, Wilson played in the Colorado Rockies organization before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez played both football and baseball in college, but now he is focusing on making a career in the NFL.
Marquez was drafted by the New York Mets in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Instead reporting to the Mets after high school, Marquez arraigned a deal that allowed him to play football at Texas Tech while playing baseball for the Mets minor league affiliate the Kingsport Mets.
Marquez is signed to the Mets organization until 2018. Prior to his senior season at Texas Tech, Marquez announced that he was forgoing baseball to focus solely on football. While he can decide to return to baseball at any moment, Marquez says is fully committed to football.
“I had a chance to only play baseball out of high school, but I opted to attend college and play both football and baseball instead,” said Marquez. Right now, my focus is strictly on football and to make a team and play in the NFL next season.”
Marquez moved from running back to wide receiver prior to his freshman year at Texas Tech.
In his freshman year for the Red Raiders, Marquez played in 12 games, starting four of them. Marquez ended the 2011 season with 25 receptions for 240 yards with one receiving touchdown while averaging 9.6 yards per catch. He was also very active on special teams as he returned nine kicks for 168 kick return yards.
While it appeared Marquez was on his way to big things at Texas Tech as a sophomore, tragedy struck. On October 13, 2012, the receiver suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team’s 49-14 upset victory against the then No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers.
In six games prior to the injury, Marquez had 16 catches for 172 yards. The lone bright spot for Marquez in 2012 was the sophomore was named to the Academic All-Big 12 (First Team).
Marquez would play in 13 games in 2013. On October 19, 2013 against West Virginia, Marquez set a career-high in both receptions and receiving yards (eight catches for 112 yards).
Marquez concluded the 2013 season with 49 receptions for 633 receiving yards and six touchdowns while averaging 12.9 yards per catch. Not only was he named to the Academic All-Big 12 team for the second straight year, Marquez was also an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
The 2014 season would prove to be the best season of Marquez’s college career. He caught 65 balls for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. Marquez led the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns and was fifth in receiving yards and sixth in receptions per game (5.4).
Marquez will be one of the many receivers waiting for his name to be called in next weekend’s NFL Draft. The 22-year-old feels like he has a lot to bring to a team.
“My route running and hands is a big part of my game, said Marquez. “Blocking aspect and football is a team sport. I’ve gotten better at blocking over the years because I knew the importance of it from when I was a running back. I want to be an all-around complete receiver.”
While Marquez may not have great size (5-10, 196 pounds), his natural route running ability, toughness, and acceleration across the middle of the field is an attribute every NFL team is looking for. Marquez isn’t just a possession receiver; he is a player that can turn a five-yard reception into a 20-yard gain.
Marquez wasn’t invited to February’s NFL Combine, but he did work out for scouts at Texas Tech’s Pro Day in March. Marquez just wants the a chance to make it in the NFL.
“All just want the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Marquez. “To show teams what I can do.”
You can follow Antwan on Twitter @antwanststaley
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