With their second of two fourth round picks in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Browns selected Owen Marecic out of Stanford University. Marecic gave the Cardinal some versatility, seeing time as a fullback and linebacker.
Marecic has been a two-way player since his days at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. He was a first team all-state honoree and the Defensive Player of the Year.
“I’ve been training as a fullback,” he said. “I always try to train to be a football player, but fullback may be the place I fit at home best. I’m very, very excited to be a Cleveland Brown.
“It was the coach’s idea,” added Marecic. “That kind of came around my junior year. We were pretty thin at linebacker after a couple injuries about halfway through the season. I started to try to learn the defense and played here and there. We switched defensive coordinators for my senior season and I spent all spring ball learning the new system.”
During his days at Stanford, Marecic caught 25 passes, including an eight-reception, 132-yard, one-touchdown season in 2009. He is looking forward to playing in the Browns’ West Coast offense and facing all of the AFC North Division opponents.
“After talking with the coach briefly, he said it would be a great fit with the West Coast offense,” said Marecic. “I was part of a similar offense through four years in college, so I think it can be a great fit. I think the schemes and systems are very similar to what I’ve been used to running. Hopefully, it won’t be too much of a shock to learn a new system.
“There are such great players that have been playing for a long time and I’m going to do my best, everything I have to do to get ready for it and help out the team,” he added.
In his career, the 6-foot-1, 244-pound Marecic rushed 36 times for 67 yards and nine touchdowns. Last fall, Marecic finished with 46 yards and five touchdowns on 23 rushing attempts.
Marecic gained national attention with his play in a 37-14 win at the University of Notre Dame on September 25, 2010. With the Cardinal up 19-6 over the Fighting Irish in the fourth quarter, Marecic scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Thirteen seconds later, Marecic intercepted a pass from Dane Crist and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.
“It was a great, great game, very fun and it was awesome to get a win over at Notre Dame,” he said. “I hadn’t done that in my time. It was good to be a part of a team that could do that.
“For those plays, it’s more of a testament to the team than myself,” he added. “Stepfan Taylor took the ball like 40, 60 yards, hard-rushing down there. He got the ball to the one-inch line and I just had to get it in from there. It was great to be part of a couple plays that clinched the game in our favor. It was a typical display of what a team has to do in order to win a ballgame.”
In his Pop Warner Football days, Marecic was coached former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews. He knows the Matthews family, particularly Oregon linebacker and Philadelphia Eagles fourth round pick Casey Matthews, well and is familiar with the tradition of the Browns.
“We still keep in touch,” he said. “It’s been fun, this process through the Combine. We kept running into each other and it’s fun.
“I know Clay is very, very proud to be part of the Cleveland Browns family,” added Marecic. “They’re huge football fans and growing up, the tradition was always evident. Hearing about the team, I’m very excited to join that whole tradition.”
WHY HE PLAYS
Football is a sport that can be physically and mentally taxing, especially at the fullback and linebacker positions. However, success after working hard is what Marecic enjoys about the game.
“In order to be successful, the entire team has to come together to reach a greater goal and that’s always been an attractive part of the game to me,” he said. “The feeling of winning, coming off the field victorious with your teammates is second to none. It’s just a big rush. You learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. It’s been a great experience for me, playing the game.”
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