During his high school football career, Central-Phenix City receiver Robert Marsh was a player who could come up with a big play when it was desperately needed. Now, Marsh is taking that talent to the next level.

Marsh announced he was committing to Troy as a preferred walk-on on Monday. The 5-foot-7 senior had six other offers, including ones from Austin Peay, Mississippi Valley State and Reinhardt.

“It’s just a great program altogether in the football and family aspect. It’s close to home so my parents can attend games, and me and (head coach Chip) Lindsey and (inside receivers coach John) Carr formed an early relationship last summer after attending a camp,” Marsh said. “I sat with my parents and made the decision with them. It made me happy to see the impact on so many people I’ve had, for them to care for me and care so much about my decision.

“Coach Carr and I talked on the phone for a while before I committed. When I told him Troy is where I’m going to be playing football, he loved it.”

Marsh was a crucial part of a Central receiving corps last fall headlined by Clemson signee E.J. Williams. Marsh wound up as the team leader in receptions by ending the year with 41 receptions for 528 yards and three touchdowns. In his final high school game, he had four receptions and a game-high 95 yards in the Red Devils’ state title game loss to Thompson.

Former Central head coach Jamey DuBose explained Marsh is nothing short of a special breed of football player.

“They’re getting a kid who’s going to outwork everybody. In my 27 years of being around football, he is one of the hardest-working kids I’ve ever been around,” DuBose said. “He worked extremely hard to make his hands better and become a playmaker. Everybody knew he was a good runner, but with the ability to catch the ball in the flats and make things happen. Then he could go over the middle and just run great routes.

“He’s a very special guy to have.”

Marsh credited playing at Central for preparing him to take the next step, saying that the school’s nickname “CU” is spot on. He also spoke highly of his experience in 2019 despite Central losing in the title gamme and explained that there were so many bonding experiences — both in good and bad moments — that will stick with him forever.

Marsh made a habit of coming to the rescue and delivering in crunch time for Central. Thanks to his new opportunity, he’s eager to do the same at Troy.

“I just hope to contribute to the program as much as I can and help us win games and a title,” Marsh said. “I want the fans to know they are getting someone who is electric, all energy and someone who is able to make a highlight play anytime the ball is in my hands. I want to bring that energy and exhilaration to Veterans Memorial Stadium every Saturday.”

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