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Leonard Marshall

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Leonard Marshall
No. 70
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1961-10-22) October 22, 1961 (age 62)
Franklin, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:288 lb (131 kg)
Career information
High school:Franklin
NFL draft:1983 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37
Career history
Percy E Roberts Award 1982

LSU MVP-honors 1982

Career highlights and awards
3x Giants MVP

5 NFC East Titles

3X All Madden Team 1985,1986,and 1991

Career NFL statistics
Games played:177
Player stats at PFR

Leonard Allen Marshall Jr. (born October 22, 1961) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive lineman for twelve seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Selected 37th overall in the 1983 NFL Draft, he spent the first ten seasons of his career with the New York Giants where he accumulated 79.5 sacks, ranking him third in team history. He was twice selected to the Pro Bowl and twice named NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year following the 1985 and 1986 seasons. He won two championships with the Giants, recording three and a half sacks in the two Super Bowl games which he played in. Marshall is most famously known for his 1991 hit on Joe Montana that knocked him out of the NFC championship game, after which Montana would not play another regular season game for almost two years. After his time with the Giants, Marshall went on to play a season each for the New York Jets and Washington Redskins before retiring from football at the age of 33. Marshall played college football at Louisiana State University.

Marshall has been active in several business and entrepreneurial activities since retiring. He also has spent time as a football camp instructor, a football head coach,written a couple of books,an Executive in Residence at Seton Hall University, a adjunct professor at Seton Hall University , and a radio broadcaster who made several appearances on The Howard Stern Show for 6 years starting in 1985-1991.In 2013, Marshall was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease detected in a growing number of retired NFL players.He has been involved with efforts to spread awareness about the issue and concerns of his fellow teammates and colleagues.Marshall is currently on the board of Carver Bank of Harlem, PikeTx.com, The Concussion Legacy Foundation, CaringKind of New York,and several other non profits. He is also an Outside Advisor at Rockefeller Capital Management of New York City where he works along side Edward Moldaver James Lee and Steve Cohen.

Early life and college[edit]

Marshall was born in Franklin, Louisiana. He was the oldest of seven children, whose father, Leonard Marshall Sr., was a foreman at a shipyard.[1] 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 his son from doing more productive things.[2] 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.[2]

Marshall played college football at Louisiana State University from 1979 to 1982, accumulating 180 tackles and 5 sacks during his four year career.[3] During his senior year, he recorded 53 tackles and 4 sacks[3] and was named the team's defensive Most Valuable Player.[4] Marshall also played a crucial role in LSU's 1982 victory over the University of Alabama, making several key tackles and prompting Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant to state his regret after the game for not being able to successfully recruit Marshall.[5] The team finished 8–3–1 that year and narrowly lost, 21–20, to the University of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.[6]

Marshall graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Business Administration.[7] He was later inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 2008.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Marshall was selected 37th overall by the New York Giants in the 1983 NFL Draft. He was the fourth defensive lineman taken that year. At the time, Los Angeles Raiders managing general partner Al Davis described him as the steal of the draft.[9]

During his rookie season with the Giants, Marshall struggled initially with weight problems, drawing the ire of the coaching staff.[9] After trimming down, Marshall made an impact and played strongly against the run[10] but was unable to mount much of a pass rush and finished with only 0.5 sacks on the season. He improved significantly in 1984 however, recording 6.5 sacks. He also made several key tackles to help the Giants preserve a 16–13 win over the Los Angeles Rams during the wild-card round of the playoffs.[11]

Marshall's emergence as a pass rusher continued in 1985 as he racked up 15.5 sacks, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl and recognition as NFL defensive lineman of the year.[2] Marshall repeated both honors in 1986,[12] teaming up with Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor to form a potent pass rush on the right side of the Giants defense. He finished the year with 12 sacks, helping the Giants to a 14–2 record and an appearance in Super Bowl XXI to face off against the Denver Broncos. Marshall recorded two sacks in the Giants' 39–20 victory, earning him his first Super Bowl ring.[13]

Marshall recorded 8 sacks in 10 games played during a strike-shortened 1987 season in which the Giants finished 6–9–1. He compiled another 8 sacks the following year as he split time with fellow defensive end John Washington.[14] During the 1989 season Marshall collected 9.5 sacks, with the Giants losing in the first round of the playoffs that year to the Los Angeles Rams. Marshall later described the season as a lost opportunity as he felt the Giants had the best team in the league that year.[15]

Marshall engaged in a prolonged contract holdout leading up to the 1990 season.[16] He reported late, and after struggling initially to regain his starting job[16] he recovered to finish the year with 4.5 sacks. The Giants went 13–3 during the regular season and advanced to the NFC Championship Game where the two-time defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers awaited them. In the fourth quarter of the game, Marshall hit 49ers quarterback Joe Montana so hard that he suffered a bruised sternum, bruised stomach, cracked ribs, and a broken hand.[17] Montana was forced to leave the game and would not play another regular season game for almost two years (in December 1992), which ended up being his last game with the 49ers.[18] The collision was later ranked as the third most "devastating hit" in NFL history by Fox Sports Net,[19] and the third most "devastating hit" in sports history by The Best Damn Sports Show Period.[20] It would also turn out to be the moment of Marshall's career that he came to be most well-known for. Marshall finished the game with four tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles, and was named NFL defensive player of the week.[15] The Giants won the game 15–13 and advanced to Super Bowl XXV where they faced the Buffalo Bills. Marshall recorded the team's only sack in helping the Giants to a 20–19 victory, earning him his second Super Bowl ring.[15]

Marshall continued to play at a high level in 1991 as he totalled 11 sacks for the year. In 1992, he clashed with new Giants coach Ray Handley however, and the two got into a well-publicized shouting match during halftime of a September game against Dallas.[21] He ended up with four sacks on the year and entered into free agency afterwards. Marshall finished out his career playing a season each for the New York Jets and Washington Redskins.

Marshall retired from football at the age of 33. He later signed a ceremonial contract in 1996 that 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."[22]

Marshall was selected to two Pro Bowls, and finished his career with 83.5 sacks in the regular season, and 7 in the postseason. His total of 79.5 as a Giant ranks him third in team history.[23]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team GP GS Sk Tkl FF FR Int Sfty
1983 New York Giants 14 6 0.5 39 0 0 0 1
1984 New York Giants 16 11 6.5 60 2 0 0 0
1985 New York Giants 16 16 15.5 99 0 0 1 0
1986 New York Giants 16 16 12.0 63 3 3 1 0
1987 New York Giants 10 10 8.0 68 1 0 0 0
1988 New York Giants 15 14 8.0 62 1 0 0 0
1989 New York Giants 16 16 9.5 81 2 0 0 1
1990 New York Giants 16 6 4.5 50 0 0 0 0
1991 New York Giants 16 16 11.0 80 0 0 0 0
1992 New York Giants 14 12 4.0 58 0 2 0 0
1993 New York Jets 12 12 2.0 37 0 1 0 0
1994 Washington Redskins 16 3 2.0 17 0 0 0 0
Career 177 138 83.5 714 9 6 2 2

GP: games played, GS: games started, Sk: sacks, Tkl: combined tackles, FF: forced fumbles, FR: fumbles recovered, Int: interceptions, Sfty: safeties[24]


Season Team GP GS Sk
1984 New York Giants 2 2 0
1985 New York Giants 2 2 1.0
1986 New York Giants 3 3 3.0
1989 New York Giants 1 1 0
1990 New York Giants 3 3 3.0
Career 11 11 7.0

Life after football[edit]

Teaching and mentoring[edit]

Marshall hosted the Leonard Marshall Football Academy for a number of years, a football camp teaching the game's fundamentals to youth players between the ages 8 of 18.[25][26]

Marshall served as a professor of Sports Management at Seton Hall's Stillman School of Business from 2004 to 2009.[12][27]

In 2010, Marshall was named head football coach at Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.[27][28]

Business activities[edit]

Marshall was founder of Pro Star Athletic, one of the largest sports licensed apparel companies of the 1990s. He later negotiated sale of the company to International Apparel Manufactures Group of New York in 1999.[7]

Marshall is a partner with the Playbook Franchise Fund, which invests in franchise businesses to provide stable income for high net worth individuals, in particular current and former professional athletes.[29][30]

Marshall was named Vice President of Philanthropic Development for Seeman Holtz Financial Group in 2007.[31] In 2015, he was named Director of Strategic Initiatives and Brand Ambassador for the publicly traded restaurant chain The Original Soup Man.[32][33]

Marshall owned and managed The Marshall and Fox Sports Asset Management Group and was CEO and owner of Capital Source Mortgage.[34]

In 2019 Marshall was named brand ambassador and advisory board member for the Apple Rush beverage company.[35]

CTE diagnosis and advocacy[edit]

In 2013 Marshall was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma that has afflicted many former football players. Tests for the disease were performed at UCLA using newly developed technology that allowed detection in living patients for the first time. Marshall says he began to notice symptoms such as memory loss, severe headaches, and mood swings in 2006, and that his erratic behavior took a major toll on the personal relationships in his life, including his marriage.[36][37][38]

Marshall was part of a class action lawsuit against the NFL that initially resulted in a $765 million settlement, but was later amended to allow for a payout expected to exceed $1 billion.[36][39] Marshall is involved with efforts to educate the public about concussion and head trauma issues, serving as a speaker for both the Practice Like Pros[40] and Brain Unity Trust[41] organizations. He was featured in the documentary United States of Football examining the subject of concussions in the NFL and youth league football.[18] Marshall also founded the Game Plan Foundation to provide assistance for former athletes suffering from neurological disorders.[42]

In a December 2019 interview, Marshall wondered aloud whether he has been kept out of the Giants' Ring of Honor because of his outspoken advocacy. He said, “I don’t want to believe that, because I think that when you look back on the powers that be and the gentlemen that are running the team now ... I would believe these men have a lot of respect for what I did as a player, both on and off the field, within the community, and the surrounding area, and what I continue to do to support the New York football Giants. I think that yes, I have been a little outspoken about [CTE], because I feel like I have a platform which allows me to do that, and to help my brothers who can’t help themselves.”[43]

Medical cannabis[edit]

Marshall uses cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical extract of the cannabis plant, to treat the symptoms of CTE that he suffers from. He credits CBD with significantly improving his quality of life since he first started medicating with it in February 2016.[44][45]

Marshall has spoken publicly in support of cannabis as an effective treatment option for mitigating the symptoms of head trauma-related health issues.[46] He also says it can serve as a safer alternative to the pain-relieving opioid drugs that many NFL players become addicted to.[47] Marshall has stated that the NFL should make allowances for the use of cannabis products as a medical treatment for players.[44]

Marshall served as a keynote speaker and moderator at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York City on June 15–17, 2016.[34][46]


Marshall hosted a radio show on WFAN in New York. Named The Leonard Marshall Show, it was recorded in Hollywood, Florida near his former residence in Boca Raton.[48] Marshall currently provides pre-game and post-game commentary for Giants games on WFAN.[49] During his time as a player, Marshall was a frequent presence on The Howard Stern Show and he co-hosted NY Football with Dick Lynch.[32][48]

Marshall is co-author of When the Cheering Stops, a book about the Giants 1990 championship season that was released in 2010.[50]

Marshall received a master's degree in Business Finance from Seton Hall University in 2007.[7]

Marshall is a noted philanthropist who has received several awards in recognition of his charitable work.[48]

Marshall currently resides in Paramus, New Jersey with his wife, Lisa.[51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald. Giants Are Looking To Marshall at Defensive End, The New York Times, May 1, 1983, accessed May 9, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Litsky, Frank. For Masrshall (sic), Solid Level of Success, The New York Times, January 4, 1986, accessed May 12, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "LSU". leonardmarshall.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  4. ^ "2005 LSU Football Media Guide" (PDF). lsusports.net. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 16, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  5. ^ Mulé. pg. 156–59
  6. ^ "Orange Bowl - All Games". cfreference.net. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "About Leonard". leonardmarshall.com. Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Mule', Marty (June 19, 2008). "Former Tiger Marshall to be Inducted in Louisiana Hall". lsusports.net. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Litsky, Frank (July 31, 1983). "Heaviest Giant Is Making Slow Progress", The New York Times, accessed May 9, 2007.
  10. ^ Litsky, Frank (October 30, 1983), "Giants' Draft Picks Provide Optimism", The New York Times
  11. ^ Anderson, Dave (December 24, 1984). "Giants halt late Rams' rally to win, 16–13; Big Leonard's Big Tackles", The New York Times, accessed May 9, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Allen, Shannon (November 1, 2005). "Former NFL Player Talks Leadership". shu.edu. Archived from the original on September 5, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  13. ^ "Super Bowl XXI - New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos - January 25th, 1987". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  14. ^ Rhoden, William C. (August 3, 1988). "N.F.L.; Marshall Feels Competition", The New York Times, accessed March 25, 2008
  15. ^ a b c Eisen, Michael (January 6, 2005). "Where are They Now? Leonard Marshall". giants.com. Archived from the original on January 11, 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
  16. ^ a b Litsky, Frank (September 15, 1990). FOOTBALL (sic); Marshall Struggles to Regain Job, The New York Times, accessed March 25, 2008.
  17. ^ "What if Leonard Marshall had not drilled Joe Montana?", ESPN.com, February 16, 2007, accessed May 9, 2007.
  18. ^ a b Schwab, Frank (September 23, 2013). "Leonard Marshall, remembered for his big hit on Joe Montana, wants to draw attention to player safety". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on January 11, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Hench, Kevin (October 24, 2006). "Top 10 all-time devastating hits". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on November 6, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  20. ^ "Best Damn's Top 50 Devastating Hits". Fox Sports. December 14, 2006. Archived from the original on January 16, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  21. ^ Litsky, Frank (September 15, 1992). "Handley and His Defense Tangled at Halftime". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  22. ^ "Marshall Goes Home To Retire as a Giant". The New York Times. April 16, 1996. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  23. ^ Salomone, Dan (June 25, 2013). "Photos: All-Time Giants Sacks Leaders". giants.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  24. ^ "Leonard Marshall". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  25. ^ Gitlin, Marty. "Lessons On and Off the Field, Courtesy of Leonard Marshall". giants.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  26. ^ "The Program". Leonard Marshall Football Academy. Archived from the original on November 5, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  27. ^ a b Stanmyre, Matthew (May 3, 2010). "Former Giants, Jets lineman Leonard Marshall introduced as head football coach at Hudson Catholic". nj.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  28. ^ Cohen, Michael (May 3, 2010). "Ex-Giant Leonard Marshall: New Head Football Coach at Hudson Catholic". The Jersey Journal. nj.com. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  29. ^ Fox, Michelle (September 4, 2014). "Former NFL star's new playbook: Keep pros from going broke". CNBC. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  30. ^ "New Income Fund Offers Professional Athletes Investment Opportunity In Franchising" (Press release). PRNewswire. September 15, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  31. ^ "Seeman Holtz Acquires Former Football Great for Philanthropic Development" (Press release). Hollywood, Florida. PR Newswire. October 4, 2007. Archived from the original on July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Leonard A. Marshall". Linked in. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  33. ^ "LEONARD A. MARSHALL JR". originalsoupman.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  34. ^ a b "New York: Super Bowl Champion Leonard Marshall To Keynote Cannabis World Congress" (Press release). Hemp News. April 8, 2016. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  35. ^ "Apple Rush Company, Inc. appoints former NFL great Leonard Marshall to advisory board and brand ambassador" (Press release). Titusville, Florida. GlobeNewswire. February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Roberts, Jeff (November 13, 2013). "Former Giant, Jet Leonard Marshall dealing with degenerative brain condition". The Record. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  37. ^ Gola, Hank (November 20, 2013). "Leonard Marshall calls CTE diagnosis 'A damn good thing'". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  38. ^ Farrar, Doug (September 2, 2015). "Leonard Marshall on CTE, Concussion, and the NFL then and now". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  39. ^ "Judge OKs 65-year deal over NFL concussions; could cost $1 billion". ESPN. April 22, 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  40. ^ Fambrough, Robin (August 24, 2015). "Former LSU, Giants star Leonard Marshall tells coaches eradicating concussions is imperative". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  41. ^ Ginsburg, Steve (January 30, 2015). "Ex-Super Bowl champ Leonard Marshall to teach about concussions". Reuters. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  42. ^ O'Keeffe, Michael (January 28, 2014). "Former NY Giants star Leonard Marshall and the Game Plan Foundation on board with PAST for CTE benefits during Super Bowl week". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  43. ^ Leonard Marshall thinks stance on CTE has kept him out of Giants' Ring of Honor, USA Today "Giants Wire," Dan Benton, Dec. 26, 2019.
  44. ^ a b Kahler, Kalyn (June 24, 2016). "Leonard Marshall: A Giant in the World of Medicinal Marijuana". The MMBQ. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  45. ^ Haglage, Abby (June 17, 2016). "Football Stars: Weed Helped Our Brain Injuries". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  46. ^ a b McShane, Larry (June 11, 2016). "Ex-Giants star Leonard Marshall aims to blaze a trail for legal pot at NYC weed expo". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  47. ^ Russell, David (May 26, 2016). "Leonard Marshall On Life With CTE". New York Sports Day. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  48. ^ a b c "MR. LEONARD MARSHALL - BIO". Leonard Marshall Football Academy. Archived from the original on November 5, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  49. ^ "WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL SITE OF LEONARD MARSHALL". leonardmarshall.com. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  50. ^ Bendetson, William; Marshall, Leonard (2010). When the Cheering Stops: Bill Parcells, the 1990 New York Giants, and the Price of Greatness. ISBN 978-1600783821.
  51. ^ "The Newark Star Ledger. pg. B5".

General references[edit]

  • Mulé, Marty. Game of My Life: LSU: Memorable Moments of Tigers Football, Sports Publishing LLC, 2006 ISBN 1-59670-005-X

External links[edit]