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Marmo Knows What It Takes
By Paul Paterra

New Castle's Nick Marmo was one of the most sought after high school football players in the country. "He had his pick," said New Castle football coach Gary Schooley. "He could have gone anywhere he wanted." Street & Smith's College Football Magazine lists him among the top 50 seniors throughout the United States. Opposing defenses try to figure out ways to stop plays which they know will be run behind this mammoth lineman, while offenses attempt to devise blocking schemes to stifle the 6-6, 315 pound Marmo.

Yes, there's a lot of attention being focused on Marmo, who can even run a 5.3 in the 40. How does that make him feel? "It makes me feel good," Marmo admitted, "but you can't get real big with that. That was pre-season, and you've got to go out and do it. I don't let that get to me much. I'll read it, but I just kind of blow it off." In fact, most of Marmo's goals are team oriented this season. He enjoyed the experience of New Castle's WPIAL Quad A championship last season. He feels the Hurricanes have the potential to do it again.

"I think we're going to be better than last year," Marmo said. "Everybody's gotten better and there's some good young guys." It doesn't hurt that players like Marmo know just what is involved in a championship season. "We know what it takes to get there," Marmo explained. "We can help the younger guys out and we can show them what it takes." It's an attitude such as this that endears the four year starter to his coach. "He's a great kid," Schooley boasted. "He's one of those kids you enjoy coaching. He never says a lot, but he shows up for practice every day and works hard. He's great in the classroom; he's really kind of a model citizen. He's one of those kids that you wouldn't mind calling your son." Schooley will line up Marmo as an offensive guard and a nose tackle in his "Shade 4-3" alignment. Marmo gives offensive lines fits when he's playing "the nose." "That's the idea behind playing him at nose tackle," Schooley explained. "He does force a double team, and that kind of frees up the linebackers. All we want him to do is clog the middle, and he does a good job of that."

It's Marmo's attitude combined with his cornucopia of physical attributes that had college scouts drooling. But for him it always was Penn State. That's the team he dreamt of playing for since he started being a proficient member of the pigskin fraternity back in the seventh grade. Not that he didn't have other offers. He heard from schools all over the country, including Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh. "I really like everybody down there," Marmo said of Penn State. "I liked everything about it, and that's where I felt the most comfortable."

Marmo, who also was a reserve for New Castle's WPIAL Quad A championship basketball team, got a big taste of Penn State as he attended Saturday's 41-7 pasting of Arizona and came away quite impressed with the entire atmosphere. "It was awesome," Marmo stressed. "I thought they were going to win, but I didn't think it was going to be a blowout." Awesome is a word used to describe Marmo more than once, hence the amount of attention from the nation's Division I football programs.

Marmo is seen as an offensive lineman once he reaches the collegiate gridiron. Offensive line is where you'll find a player that Marmo enjoys watching play his trade - Jacksonville offensive tackle Tony Boselli. "I like to watch him play because he's one of the better lineman in the game," Marmo said of Boselli. Who knows? Someday fans of the NFL may be saying the same about Marmo, that they enjoy the way he plays on the offensive line.