Anthony Marin a big success in Idaho
As Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson and Texas A&M phenom Johnny Manziel have most recently demonstrated, great quarterbacks don’t have to possess great size. Athletic ability, smarts, a strong work ethic and toughness are often overlooked at the critical position, but they can be even more important than being big and strong.
And that conveniently leads us to Anthony Marin. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder squeezed every ounce of skill out of his undersized frame this past season while leading Skyview (Idaho) High School to the Class 4A state championship game. Marin was also named the Player of the Year by the Idaho Press-Tribune and the Statesman after completing 212 of 316 passes (67 percent) for 3,158 yards and 39 touchdowns.
“I don’t like to be thought of as a really cocky kind of guy, but I probably come off that way,” Marin said. “I don’t like to be that way. I’m a team-first guy and at the end of the day I would rather have a state championship than be Idaho Player of the Year or whatever. I’d much rather give something back to the school than have a bunch of trophies in my house.”
Marin led the Hawks to the state semifinals in 2012, but he thought they could go even farther in his senior season. “In the beginning of the season, way back in spring ball, we were pretty excited,” Marin said. “Just the people we had, and we went into summer camp and were basically destroying all the teams there. Offensively, we were just clicking on all cylinders, passing the ball, running the ball, blocking schemes. It didn’t matter what it was; we succeeded at everything. We bonded as a team through the summer workouts. There were a lot of differences between the seniors and juniors, but we worked our way through it.”
In the first game of the season, Skyview lost to Bishop Kelly 14-10. And it wasn’t looking too promising heading into the next game, at Kuna High School. “At that point of the season, we were facing a lot of adversity,” Marin said. “(Kuna) won its first game 56-0 and we were playing at their house and it was like a total college atmosphere. The music was blaring and it was really hard to hear, they did player introductions. It was something. We won 56-26 and I think that said a lot about our season. We were very business like.”
The Hawks won 10 in a row before falling again to Bishop Kelly 42-34 in the state title game, but that doesn’t mean there was an absence of adversity. The day before a game later in the season, Skyview’s offensive coordinator didn’t like what he was seeing at practice and left the offense their own. Marin stepped in as coach. “We weren’t run blocking, we weren’t throwing the ball, we weren’t running the ball, there was nothing,” Marin said. “I was angry as well. We had a heart to heart talk and I made the offense stay an extra hour and we worked things out and got everything situated.”
With Marin leading on and off the field, the Hawks had the most successful season in school history. “It was pretty tough losing in the state championship game,” Marin said. “We made it to the playoffs four years in a row, and this was the first state championship game my high school has ever been to. So just to break the ice, and let the underclassmen know it’s not impossible, hopefully we led by example.”
NFA a major influence
Marin gives NFA major credit for helping him develop into such a skilled quarterback. He attended his first camp as a freshman and remembers getting off to a somewhat shaky start. “My mechanics were all out of whack,” Marin said. “And I was the kind of kid that went into the camp and thought, ‘I’m just going to breeze through this camp and not go hard or anything.’
“The thing I like about NFA is they pick you apart. After my first camp, I was thinking, ‘I never want to play quarterback again. Ever.’ But that’s their job. They talk a lot about the 10,000 reps so that was a lot of what I was trying to do, get that 10,000 reps for my freshman and sophomore season. My sophomore season, mechanically I think I did really well. And I went after my sophomore year to the same NFA camp in Seattle and I could see a lot of progress, but I still needed to touch up on some stuff. No matter what, you’re not going to perfect. The way they break it down, they make sure you don’t think you’re perfect. I think they thrive off that, that’s all they want to do, make you feel like you’re not perfect but look at how much success they have. NFA has put amazing athletes all the way through.”
NFA Coach Mansur Ivie has worked with Marin through the years. “Anthony is an athlete I’ve seen grow from year to year by attending our Seattle Off-Season Development Camp,” Ivie said. “He’s a testament to what an attentive focus at our camps and hard work at home utilizing NFA methodology and training can do for a young athlete. Anthony poses the ability to place the ball where he wants and with correct velocity in the quick, intermediate, and deep passing game. This trait is enhanced by his high football acumen, decision making, footwork, and pocket presence allowing him to get the ball on time and throw his receivers open to maximize yards after the catch.”
Given his lack of great size, Marin is going to play for Mesa (Ariz.) Community College next season. “You ask just about anybody why they play high school football and they’ll say because they want to play at the next level. And they want to play Division I, playing on Saturdays on ESPN, College GameDay is there. With my size and coming out of Idaho – Idaho is really not a heavily recruited state at all – I think playing at Mesa is going to open a lot more doors for me. I’m going to be looking at D-I schools, I don’t care where they are. The thing I like about Mesa, I think over the last two years, they’ve put out over 20 D-I athletes.”