Four Quarters with Johnnie Marsaw
Bastrop defensive line coach LaMarcus Williams noticed a change in Johnnie Marsaw in the spring. It was evident from the first practice that Marsaw was going to play a leadership role as a senior.
"It was one of those situations where somebody had to emerge as a leader and it happened to be Johnnie," Williams recalled. "Once you start taking a leadership position, you have to finish it and Johnnie was a natural."
In his third year as a starter, Marsaw has returned to defensive tackle this season after playing end as a junior.
"Johnnie's a natural tackle because he's able to utilize his quickness," Williams said. "Plus, he's one of the stronger kids on the team."
Marsaw recently received his first scholarship offers from McNeese State and Alcorn State.
A former All-State defensive tackle at Bastrop who went on to play for Mississippi State, Williams says Marsaw has what it takes to play at the next level.
"Johnnie will definitely get the opportunity to play college ball," Williams said. "He'll need to get bigger, stronger and faster, but he has the body and the tools."
He also has the grades.
As comfortable sitting at a computer, reading a book or squirrel hunting as he is on the football field, the well-rounded Marsaw is academically qualified with a 3.5 grade point average and an ACT score of 20.
BDE: When did you start playing football?
Johnnie Marsaw: I started playing flag football at age 6 in Dallas, Texas.
BDE: What memory stands out from your first season?
Marsaw: I played quarterback. I was skinny then.
BDE: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of football?
Marsaw: My least favorite part is injuries. My favorite part is winning.
BDE: What has gone wrong for the Rams this season?
Marsaw: I feel like there are a lot of mistakes we need to correct; little details we need to work on. It's nothing the opponent is doing to beat us — we're killing ourselves.
BDE: What's it going to take to turn the season around?
Marsaw: I believe we can get it turned around. It's just going to take effort, commitment and the will power to correct our mistakes.
BDE: What challenges does Franklin Parish's offense present for the Rams' defense?
Marsaw: They're big up front. Watching them on film, they're fundamentally sound and execute their scheme. They're a lot like Union Parish — they're physical and they run the ball.
BDE: Are you more comfortable at defensive tackle or end?
Marsaw: It really doesn't matter. I'll play wherever I'm needed at that particular time.
BDE: What are the hardest hits you have received and delivered?
Marsaw: I got blindsided by Rodriguez (Moore) my freshman year and had the wind knocked out of me.
Last year, I hit a guy from Woodlawn and knocked him back and heard the crowd say, "Ooooh!"
BDE: Outside of football, what is something you hope to accomplish during your senior year?
Marsaw: I want to graduate in the top fourth of my class and get some academic scholarships to help out with my football scholarship.
BDE: How do you spend a typical Saturday during football season?
Marsaw: Sleeping, watching college football and hanging out with friends.
BDE: Do you have a favorite hunting story?
Marsaw: The first time I went squirrel hunting, I missed every squirrel I shot at. I was 0-for-8. I gave it up for that day.
BDE: What are your future plans?
Marsaw: I'm just waiting it out as far as deciding on a school. I plan to major in computer engineering.
BDE: Why computer engineering?
Marsaw: I'm a computer freak. The whole anatomy of computers fascinates me.
It's like putting a puzzle together — some people think it's boring and some people take on the challenge. It gives me a thrill.
Plus, four years from now when I get out of college, the world is going to revolve around technology — not that it doesn't now.
I want to make an impact on the world.