“I’m at peace when I’m out there playing the game I love with those three things in my mind and my heart,” Marshall said. “When I think about those three things and who I’m playing for — it’s bigger than yourself at the end of the day.”
So it’s no surprise why the 37th Ohio Mr. Football recipient said the prestigious award is a way to honor Moeller and his teammates from the past four years.
“That award goes to every single one of them,” Marshall said. “And I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
Marshall, a Michigan verbal commit, was named Ohio Mr. Football on Thursday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
Cleveland Heights junior running back Marquise Davis was the runner-up in the statewide media panel vote.
Marshall, a 2022 Ohio Mr. Football finalist, is the third Mr. Football winner from Greater Cincinnati in the past five seasons. Former Roger Bacon running back Corey Kiner (2020) and former Wyoming quarterback Evan Prater (2019) earned the award, which has been given the state’s top individual football player since 1987.
Former NFL fullback Marc Edwards, a former Norwood High School standout, was the first Cincinnati-area player to win the award in 1992.
“It’s a blessing,” Marshall said. “There’s only been four in Cincinnati so to just be up there with those names is just special. And to honor my school and the people here is what’s most exceptional about it.”
Tears of joy accompanied Marshall as he hugged Moeller coach Bert Bathiany upon hearing the news.
Marshall immediately thought of his mother, Amy Allphin, who he said inspires him to be his best every day in life.
“It’s all a credit to her,” Marshall said. “She’s the real MVP. She’s Mr. Ohio in my heart.”
Marshall played with heart throughout his senior season. It was a campaign that saw him break the school’s all-time rushing yards record in late September.
“You think of Moeller’s history and the tradition of this school and he’s the first Mr. Football,” Bathiany said. “I think that says a lot. It’s pretty special.”
Marshall, rated the nation’s No. 6 running back by the 247 Sports Composite, helped to lead the Crusaders (10-5) to the state semifinals for the third straight season.
Marshall rushed for 1,550 yards and 17 touchdowns this season in 13 games. He had 30 receptions for 394 yards and four touchdowns. He completed his high school career with 4,787 yards rushing.
Other Mr. Football finalists included Findlay junior quarterback Ryan Montgomery, Canton South senior quarterback Jack “Poochie” Snyder, Medina senior quarterback Danny Stoddard, Hilliard Bradley senior quarterback Bradyn Fleharty, Bishop Watterson senior linebacker Dominic Purcell and West Muskingum senior running back Rashid SeSay.
The OPSWA district chairpersons and officers selected eight student-athletes as finalists for the award.
The voting process was nearly identical to that used to determine the Heisman Trophy winner in college football.
The award was presented by the Associated Press from 1987-2016. Since 2017, it has been presented by the OPSWA.
The All-Ohio teams will be announced beginning Monday.