Purdue QB Marve, who considered playing for OSU, finalizes drama-filled career
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 7:10 AM
DALLAS - Robert Marve isn't the same quarterback who signed with the University of Miami nearly six years ago.
As Marve's final game approaches, he acknowledges he has grown up throughout his drama-filled college career.
"It's humbled me," Marve said Saturday. "It's shown me football is not who you are but what you love to do.
"I know it sounds crazy, but it's matured me to the point where I understand that football is a blessing and it's a game."
Playing on his third torn ACL, Marve will conclude his eligibility Tuesday as Purdue's starting quarterback in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Oklahoma State.
"I want to play some more games, but it is what it is," he said. "It's time to go, so hopefully I can go out with a bang and get this 'W' in the bowl game."
Florida's Mr. Football in 2006 and the son of former NFL player Eugene Marve, Robert Marve originally committed to Alabama before switching to Miami. The summer before his arrival on campus, he was in a serious car accident in which another recruit fell asleep at the wheel. Marve sustained gruesome injuries to his left arm and hand, and as a result redshirted as a freshman.
In 2008, Marve split time with Jacory Harris but missed games because of suspensions - one for academic reasons, another for an arrest in which he broke a car mirror and ran from police. He opted to transfer after the season, and among the schools he considered was OSU.
"When I came out of Miami, that was one of the schools I was talking to," said Marve, who did not visit Stillwater. "Great program, great tradition, great fan support. I'm really happy to be playing them in the bowl game."
Instead, Marve wound up at Purdue, where bad luck followed. He promptly tore his left ACL, but would have sat out the season because of NCAA transfer rules regardless.
As a sophomore, Marve was named the starting quarterback but missed most of the 2010 season and the first two games of 2011 after retearing the same ACL. To make matters worse, Marve was tied to a Miami scandal and later admitted to receiving improper benefits from booster Nevin Shapiro.
On the field, Marve was bypassed by quarterback Caleb TerBush and remained the backup through last season and into this year after being granted a sixth year of eligibility because of injuries.
But when TerBush was suspended for the opener, Marve again got his shot, resulting in a big win against Eastern Kentucky. The next week, Marve replaced TerBush against Notre Dame.
During the 20-17 loss, Marve tore his left ACL for a third time, but the injury wasn't season-ending. TerBush started the next seven games, but Marve played in relief in nearly all of them.
Because of Marve's success, he re-earned the No. 1 role and started the final four games. He led Purdue to three straight wins and bowl eligibility.
"I thought I was done for the year," Marve said. "The trainers did a great job getting me back. The last four or five games, I don't feel my knee at all. It's like I'm not hurt."
In Marve's last three starts, he completed 63-of-88 passing attempts (71.6 percent, a school record) for nearly 800 yards and seven touchdowns.
"That's like the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life," Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen said. "Waking up every day if I am sick or if I am hurting or if I am feeling anything, all I do is think about him and if he can play without an ACL, I can play with anything."
Against Indiana, Marve had a tipped-ball interception and despite his knee injury raced 70 yards to thwart a potential pick-six with a saving tackle along the sideline.
"Watching him on film, he certainly doesn't look (like he is injured) because he has just taken the ball and run off with it several times," said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young, who was at Miami in 2008 when Marve was there.
"He is a very tough, physical guy and is smart and he's a heck of a football player. I have a lot of respect for him."
Cowboy QB J.W. Walsh can relate to playing through pain; Walsh played most of OSU's victory against Iowa State in October with a knee fracture.
"Anytime you can play with that amount of pain and that kind of injury, it speaks volumes for your courage and ... just your ability to play through pain," Walsh said. "That's really special to have a guy who can play through an injury like that."
Marve will require reconstructive knee surgery after the bowl but plans to work out for some NFL teams.
"I'm very glad to be in my situation," Marve said. "But at the same time (you have to) work as hard as you can, have fun with it but have your stuff together outside of football."
Quarterback Robert Marve is not the only Purdue player to return from three torn ACLs. Running back Ralph Bolden also has, while running back Brandon Cottom and backup QB Rob Henry have bounced back from ACL injuries this season.
"Those kids, their drive and what they bring to the team and their work ethic and just their resiliency is awesome," interim coach Patrick Higgins said.
In Purdue's last three games of the regular season, Marve, Bolden, Cottom and Henry posted impressive numbers.
Yardage totals in previous three games
Marve: 280; 173; 350
Bolden: 107; 106; did not play (injured)
Cottom: none; 32; 50
Henry: 29; 23; 26
Original Print Headline: Purdue's Marve knows drama
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
Purdue's Robert Marve looks to throw against Penn State last month in West Lafayette, Ind. Marve is playing on a third torn ACL. DARRON