TE Zack Marshall of Michigan contributed to the Wolverines’ home-field advantage during their CFP run.
On stage during Michigan football’s national championship celebration, Trevor Keegan expressed gratitude to the Wolverines’ supporters for their support during their undefeated run, as well as for their attendance at the Rose Bowl and NRG Stadium.
The captain said, “You guys came up big when we needed you.” “You guys encouraged us.” In particular, when they began performing that “Dixieland Delight” bulls—at the Rose Bowl.
At certain moments in the overtime victory over Alabama and the thrilling first and fourth quarters against Washington, locations outside of Ann Arbor had the atmosphere of the Big House. Apart from the Michigan players who inspired supporters, one individual in particular—Zack Marshall—deserves recognition for energizing the U-M crowd.
The rookie tight end was aware that he wouldn’t play in U-M’srunthrough the College Football Playoffs, barring extraordinary injuries. He thus adopted a new role that involved “going nuts” on the sidelines, frequently climbing onto benches and facing the stands to ensure that everyone else was doing the same.
“You want the enthusiasm of the spectators and the enthusiasm of your fellow players.” I would say that a dull sideline leads to a dull game, Marshall told The Michigan Insider. “You require a noisy atmosphere. When the fans draw them offsides four times during the game, you should congratulate them. Do you understand what I mean? That is what needs to be done.
It was successful. There was definitely plenty for fans to yell about during both games, and Marshall isn’t the reason Michigan supporters outnumbered Alabama and Washington supporters in Pasadena and Houston. However, the tight end should be commended for prolonging and amplifying their cheers.
“I’m going to the bench to stand. I’m going to make an arm swing motion. That’s just me, so of course I’m going to be ecstatic,” he declared.
In the tight end room, that oversized persona was certainly a bit of an anomaly. Max Bredeson, according to Marshall, has a similarly large personality, but what about Colston Loveland and AJ Barner? He clarified, “They don’t talk much, but they get things done.”
Marshall was able to watch the games as a fan, just like many others, as Loveland and Barner produced plays that brought a national championship to Ann Arbor. During the 2023 season, he earned snaps against Minnesota and Indiana, but he spent the majority of his Saturdays doing what you did: watching, applauding, and motivating others to do the same.
He simply happened to be able to enjoy the extra luxury of watching from the sidelines and the assurance that one day he will advance from being a benchwarmer to a touchdown receiver.
“As a child, you were always itching to visit the Rose Bowl. And then I was on the sidelines for my very first time ever at the Rose Bowl. It doesn’t seem genuine,” he remarked.
“Just to get that feeling that maybe two years from now, when I’m playing another CFP semifinal game, I’m going to catch the ball, I went out on the field before the game and caught a bunch of balls.” I would like to feel that way naturally, having already experienced it.
And Marshall anticipates you going completely crazy if it does.