Keith Marshall

During every NFL Combine, a prospect comes out from under the radar and blows everyone away with his insane athleticism. This year, the answer is obvious — Georgia RB Keith Marshall. And he proved it early and often.

On Thursday, Marshall showed he was the strongest tailback in this year’s class by doing the bench press 25 times. Things only got more incredible on Friday, when he posted a 4.31 40-yard dash, a full tenth of a second better than any other back.

To post these jaw-dropping times, he worked with Pete Bommarito of Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami, Fla.

“For my speed, we did a lot of technique runs,” he said. “That was the biggest thing, getting my technique down and working on our starts.”
But don’t mistake Marshall for one of those incredible athletes who can’t ever put it together on the field. He brings a lot to the table as a back, including skills at less glamorous job requirements like receiving and pass blocking.

“For catching, I did jug machines a lot,” he said. “It’s one of those things that you can definitely work on and get better at, but it’s kind of natural.”
As for protecting the QB, it’s not only something the 22-year-old is willing to do, but it’s something he relishes. “I am not one of those people who dreads pass blocking. I kind of enjoy it,” he said. “It’s all about technique, getting the right leverage, and understanding who to pick up.”

So, how in the world did such a complete and talented running back catch so many scouts and analysts by surprise?

Well, he suffered multiple knee injuries in college which limited his playing time. Most teams had no idea what type of athlete and player they would be getting.
Now, with his athleticism and attention at an all-time high, he credits his dad for helping him persevere through the tough times.

“My dad played in the league, so that always gave me a sense of what it takes,” he said. “He told me to keep working hard and do what got you here. Never relax because you always need to prove yourself.”

He’s off to a flying start.