|Date of birth:October 22, 1961|
|Place of birth: Franklin, Louisiana|
|NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37|
|Debuted in 1983 for the New York Giants|
|Last played in 1994 for the Washington Redskins|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Leonard Allen Marshall Jr. (born October 22, 1961) is a former American football defensive lineman who played twelve seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Marshall played defensive end for the New York Giants for ten seasons, then played a season each as a defensive tackle for the New York Jets and Washington Redskins. He was a starter on the Giants teams that won Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV. Marshall recently completed a book, When the Cheering Stops, with CBSsports.com writer William Bendetson about the 1990 season and Super Bowl XXV.
Marshall was drafted by the Giants in the second round out of Louisiana State University (LSU) in the 1983 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for his performances in the 1985, 1986, and 1991 seasons and finished his career with 83.5 quarterback sacks in the regular season and another twelve sacks in the post season. He averaged nearly ten sacks a season from 1985 to 1991, and posted double digit sack totals 3 times. He currently is a professor of Sports Management and Executive-in-Residence at Seton Hall University and runs an annual instructional camp for youth football players in south Florida.
Early life and college
Marshall was born in Franklin, Louisiana. He was the oldest of seven children, whose father, Leonard Marshall Sr., was a foreman at a shipyard. Initially, Marshall's father did not like the idea of his son playing football, as he thought it was "a stupid game" that would prevent him son from doing more productive things. Later in his life however, Marshall Sr. expressed happiness over his son's success, and even rooted against his beloved Dallas Cowboys when his son's Giants teams played them. At the age of 18, Leonard met his future wife Janice Milburn, who was eight years his senior. She had a son, Rod Milburn Jr., who is the son of Olympic Gold Medal winning high hurdler Rod Milburn. Milburn Jr. was eight years old when Marshall and Milburn began dating.
Marshall majored in Business Management at LSU. He chose the school over the University of Alabama and its Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant, because of the school's academic reputation and because it allowed him to stay close to home. Marshall played a crucial role in LSU's 1982 victory over Alabama, making several key tackles and prompting Bryant to state his regret in a post-game press conference for his inability to recruit Marshall. The team finished 8–3–1 and narrowly lost, 21–20, to the University of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. He was named the team's defensive Most Valuable Player for his performance in the 1982 season.
Marshall was selected with the 37th overall selection (the fourth defensive lineman taken) in the 1983 NFL Draft. At the time Los Angeles Raiders managing general partner Al Davis described him as the steal of the draft. In his rookie season Marshall initially struggled with weight problems which drew the ire of the coaching staff. After trimming down, Marshall made an impact and played strongly against the run but was unable to mount much of a pass rush and finished with a meager .5 sacks on the season. He improved rapidly and recorded 6.5 sacks in 1984. He recorded several key tackles to help the Giants preserve a crucial 16–13 win over the Los Angeles Rams during the Wild-Card round of the playoffs. His emergence as a pass rusher continued in 1985 and he finished with 15.5 sacks, and was named NFL defensive lineman of the year. He repeated that honor in 1986 as he finished with 12 sacks. He teamed with Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor to form a potent pass rush on the right side of the Giants defense. The Giants finished 14–2 and advanced to the Super Bowl where they faced the Denver Broncos. Marshall recorded two sacks in the Giants 39–20 victory.
Marshall recorded eight sacks in ten games played in the strike shortened 1987 season. The Giants struggled to a 6–9–1 record in 1987 before rebounding to finish 10–6 in 1988. Marshall again recorded eight sacks as he split time with fellow defensive end John Washington. Marshall recorded 9.5 sacks in 1989, and the Giants lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Rams. Marshall later described this season as a lost opportunity as he felt the Giants had the best team in the league that season. Marshall engaged in a prolonged contract holdout leading up to the 1990 season. He reported late, and after initially struggling to regain his job, recovered to record 4.5 sacks during the season. The Giants started out 10–0 and finished 13–3. They advanced to the NFC Championship game where the two-time defending Super Bowl champions San Francisco 49ers awaited them.
Marshall is probably best known for his hit that knocked Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana out of that game. In the fourth quarter he hit Montana so hard that he suffered a bruised sternum, bruised stomach, cracked ribs, and a broken hand. This would be the last game Montana would ever start for the 49ers. In 2007, the hit was ranked as the third most "devastating hit" in NFL history by Fox Sports Net, and the third most "devastating hit" in sports history by The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Marshall finished the game with four tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles, and was named NFL defensive player of the week. He also recorded one sack in the Giants Super Bowl XXV victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Marshall continued to play at a high level in 1991, recording 11 sacks. He clashed with new Giants coach Ray Handley however, and got into a well publicized shouting match with him during halftime of a game against Dallas early in the 1992 season. He recorded four sacks in 1992 and left the Giants via free agency following the season. After a season each with the New York Jets and Washington Redskins, in which he recorded two sacks in both years, Marshall retired at the age of 33. In 1996 he signed a ceremonial contract which allowed him to retire as a Giant. Upon signing the contract he stated, "I wanted to retire as a Giant because it's where my career began. They were people who believed in my talents and helped mold me into the man I am today, and I wanted to thank them for that."
Marshall was selected to three Pro Bowls, and finished his career with 83.5 sacks in the regular season, and twelve in the postseason. His total of 79.5 as a Giant ranks him fifth in team history.
Post NFL life
Since his NFL career ended Marshall has hosted the annual Leonard Marshall Football Academy Camp which trains football players aged 8–18. The camp uses an extensive list of current and former NFL Pro Bowlers, to help teach the fundamentals of football in a non-contact setting. It is organized each June in south Florida. The camp also offers scholarships annually to 50 underprivileged youths who qualified through the Marvin Jones Foundation.
Marshall hosted a radio show on WFAN entitled the Leonard Marshall Show which was recorded in Hollywood, Florida near Marshall's former residence in Boca Raton, Florida. He also appeared on radio during his five-year stint on The Howard Stern Show where he co-hosted NY Football (CBS). Marshall is a noted philanthropist who has received several awards in recognition of his charitable work.
Marshall has also worked as an entrepreneur. Among his early ventures he was the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Pro Star Athletic, a licensed Sports apparel company, which was later purchased by International Apparel Manufacturers Group of New York. He also founded and runs a mortgage company in south Florida. He closed his mortgage business as a result of the change of the markets and now in employed as the Vice President of Philanthropic Development for Seeman Holtz Financial Group of Boca Raton. He also consults for Athena Financial Group alongside his friend and business associate Steven Levenson, President and CEO of Athena Group. Marshall is currently a professor of Sports Management at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.
Marshall was the head coach of the Hudson Catholic High School football team in Jersey City in 2010. Marshall wrote a book about the Giants championship 1990 season, When the Cheering Stops, with CBSsports.com sportswriter William Bendetson, which was released in 2010. He has previously been a resident of Mahwah, New Jersey.
|1983||New York (Giants)||14||.5||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1993||New York (Jets)||12||2||0||0||0||1||0||0|
* Third in the NFL.
Key to Abbreviations
GP= Games Played
t= Play resulted in a touchdown
FR= Fumbles Recovered
- History of the New York Giants (1979-1993)
- Living former players diagnosed with or reporting symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy
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