BEREA—The Browns might have landed one of – if not the most versatile football players in college football in Owen Marecic.
First off, there are not many players at the college level who play both ways, but Marecic was a two-way performer on one of the best Stanford teams in their football history. Marecic played fullback on offense and middle linebacker on defense.
Marecic (6-0, 248) was named an All-American first team as an all-purpose player by the The NFL Draft Report and the American Football Coaches Association. He was All-PAC 10 Conference first team selection as a fullback and honorable mention choice as a linebacker. He was honorable mention at fullback in the Pac-10 in his first three years.
Marecic was also the recipient of the inaugural Paul Hornung Award. He was once described as "the perfectly engineered football player" by former Stanford coach and current 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Browns used the second pick they picked up from the Falcons in the trade (124th overall) on Marecic. He said he has been told by the Browns that he will be a fullback.
"I have been training for fullback," Marecic said. "I always try to train to be a football player, but being a fullback might be the place I fit the best."
Marecic scored 9 touchdowns rushing at Stanford and caught 25 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown as well. In addition, he had 51 tackles with two interceptions and two sacks in his final season at linebacker.
Marecic ended up on defense on a regular basis his Senior year.
"We were a little thin at linebacker and the coaches moved me over there during spring practice before my senior year," Marecic said.
Marecic said he's talked with the Browns coaches about how he could fit into the team's system.
"After talking with the coach, I would be a great fit in the West Coast offense," he said. "The systems are very similar to what I have been running in college. It won't be too much of a shock to learn a new system as I have some experience with it in college."
Lawrence Vickers is a potential free agent and the drafting of Marecic might spell the end of his career with the Browns.
"I believe I can play," Marecic said. "I understand it's a huge challenge and that challenge attracts me to the sport and to that possibility. I am going in confident, but am excited to take the next step in this process."
Marecic was one of a few college players in recent years to score on both sides of the ball in the same game as he scored on a rushing touchdown and an interception return against Notre Dame.
"It was a great game," he said. "It was awesome to get a win over Notre Dame and for those plays to happen. I always say it's more of a testament to the team than the individual.
"It was fun to be part of plays that helped us to win."
"My roommate just told me he was going to be on the cover of Madden this year," he said. "That's a testament to his ability and I'm excited and definitely humbled by this whole experience."
Marecic has a tie in with the Browns as former Browns great Clay Matthews, Sr. was his Pop Warner coach.
"I am great friends with Casey Matthews, his son, and we keep in touch through this process," he said.
Marecic said he learned a lot about the Browns from hanging around the Matthews' family.
"I know that Clay is very proud to be part of the Cleveland Browns family," he said. "The tradition was always evident in watching Browns games and hearing about the tradition. I am very excited to join in that tradition."