The Browns selected Stanford fullback Owen Marecic today with their second pick of the fourth round (124th overall pick). Marecic also played middle linebacker in college.
In fact, the 6-foot, 246-pound Marecic was a full-time starter on both sides of the ball and the only player in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision to do so. He scored on offense and defense in the same game against Notre Dame in 2010. The touchdowns were 13 seconds apart.
Marecic said he believes the Browns intend to use him as a fullback in their West Coast offense. He said he discussed the subject with Browns coach Pat Shurmur shortly after he was drafted.
Marecic primarily served as a blocking fullback. He compiled only 36 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown in his four seasons at Stanford.
Former Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh, who's now the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, once described Marecic as "the perfectly engineered football player." Marecic was also a first-team Pac-10 all-academic selection.
Marecic was a teammate of Browns tight end Evan Moore at Stanford. After Marecic was drafted, Moore posted the following message on Twitter: "Owen is a stud. Happy to have him in CLE!"
After he was drafted, Marecic conducted a conference call with local reporters. Here is a transcript from the conversation:
Browns fullback Owen Marecic conference call 4-30-11
(On what position he will play in NFL) -- “I’ve been training as a fullback. I always tried to train to be a football player but fullback may be the place I feel at home best.”
(On if the Browns consider him a fullback) -- “Yes, I believe so.”
(On what he knows about Cleveland and if he thinks he will be a good fit in the West Coast offense) -- “After talking with the coaches briefly, they said it would be a great fit with the West Coast offense. I was a part of a similar offense for four years in college so it can be a great fit. I think the schemes and systems are very similar to what I’ve been used to running so hopefully, it won’t be too much time, too much of a shock to learn a new system. I’ll kind of have some experience with it from my college years.”
(On if he still stays in touch with his Pop Warner Coach, Clay Matthews) -- “I’m great friends with his son, Casey Matthews, who was actually just drafted by the Eagles I believe. We still keep in touch. It’s been fun, this process, through the Combine, the Senior Bowl. We’ve kept running into each other and catching up so it’s fun.”
(On if he has talked to Browns tight end Evan Moore) -- “He was here training here earlier in the quarter. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him too often, but he was here working hard. I haven’t seen him for a little bit, so I haven’t had a chance to talk to him. He’s loved his time with the Browns to say the least.”
(On where he is) -- “I’m on campus. I’m still in school, so I’m at Stanford.”
(On his expectations of where he would get drafted) -- “I’d say this about where I hoped to be now. I’m really excited. You definitely get anxious, very excited going into the weekend so I’m very, very excited to be a Cleveland Brown.”
(On the Notre Dame game last year when he scored an offensive and defensive touchdown) -- “It was a great game, very fun. It was awesome to get a win at Notre Dame. We hadn’t done that my time here so it was good to be a part of a team that could do that. For those plays, I always say it’s more a testament to the team than to myself. Stepfan Taylor took the ball, like 40 or 60 yards hard down the very physical Notre Dame defense. He got the ball down to about the one inch line and I just had to get it in from there. Then coming back on defense Matt Masifilo, our defensive lineman, had a great rush on the quarterback and was right in his face when he threw the ball, so all I had to do was catch it. It was a lot of fun. It was great to be a part of a couple plays that kind of clinched the game in our favor, but it was a typical display of what a team has to do collectively to win a ballgame.”
(On if playing both ways was the Stanford coaches’ decision) -- “It was the coaches’ idea. It kind of came around my junior year. We were pretty thin at linebacker after a couple injuries at the position about halfway through the season. I started to try to learn the defense about halfway through the year and played here and there. But, we switched defensive coordinators for my senior season and I spent all spring ball learning the new system on the defensive side. Being able to learn it with the other guys for the first time helped out a lot from the mental side. We went into training camp seeing if we could make it work and we did and took it from there.”
(On if he will miss playing defense) -- “Hopefully I can find big ways to contribute on special teams, which is a little bit of defense in itself. It was a lot of fun playing (defense) but I’m fully committed to doing whatever I have to do to help the team.”
(On how brutal a job playing fullback can be) -- “I think I’ll go into it trying to take it one day at a time. Right now, start pouring everything I have into my training. Once it is time to play football again, taking it a day at a time and I’ll pour everything I have into making this roster.”
(On how his physicality might fit into the AFC North) -- “There are such great players who have been playing for a very long time. I’m going to do my best, everything I have to do to get ready for it and help out the team.”
(On his receiving ability) -- “I think I have decent hands. I definitely can work on it as well as any part of my game. I think it’s a job that I can do and I’m excited for that role of the position.”
(On academic accolades and if he blew the doors off the Wonderlic test) -- “I don’t know about the Wonderlic test. I have no idea. Problem not, I’ve never really tested too well on standardized tests. I’ve taken academics very seriously and it’s a huge part of life being a Stanford student-athlete. Human biology has been an interest of mine more than anything else so it’s been fun to pursue studies in that area during my time in college. I’ll graduate in June and I’m just really excited to pursue a career in football.”
(On who he spoke to with the Browns in the pre-draft process) -- “In the pre-draft process, I met with the Browns over in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. I talked with scouts here and there during the process and today I talked to the head coach.”
(On his belief that he will make it in the NFL) -- “I believe I can. I understand that it’s a huge challenge and that challenge attracts me to the sport and to the opportunity. I know that all of the work is out there to be done and nothing is set right now but I’m going in confident and willing to do the work necessary. I know I have tons to learn and lots to improve on but I’m excited to take the next step in this process.”
(On his GPA) -- “It’s in the 3.5-3.6 area.”
(On people describing him as a throwback player and if that’s his mentality) -- “I wouldn’t really say it’s my mentality, but it is kind of a label people put on me. I don’t know, I don’t really consider myself too throwback, I just try to do things the best way that I can.”
(On if he’s heard from Clay Matthews since the Browns took him) -- “I haven’t but the process has gone pretty quick. It hasn’t been too long since the selection. We may be able to get in touch a little bit later today.”
(On blocking for Peyton Hillis and being part of a physical backfield) -- “My roommate just came in and said he was going to be on the cover of Madden, I think this year. That is a testament to his talent as a football player. I know watching parts of the season last year, he’s an incredible athlete. He’s just a force of nature. I’m excited. I’m definitely very, very humbled by this whole experience in the last hour or so. Like I keep saying, I’m just excited to get back to work and training and hopefully be able to contribute to the team and help them out in any way that I can.”
(On getting a sense from the Matthews’ family how important football is in Cleveland) -- “I think so. I know Clay is very proud to be part of the Cleveland Browns family. They are huge football fans and growing up, just the tradition was evident watching Browns games and hearing about the team. I’m very excited to join that whole tradition.”
(On what he likes about the game of football) -- “I like that in order to be successful, the entire team has to come together to reach this greater goal. That has always been an attractive part of the game to me. I enjoy the challenge and the feeling of winning. Coming off the field victorious with your teammates is second to none. The emotion, it’s a big rush. You learn a lot about yourself and the people around you and it has been a great experience for me playing the game.”