Robert Marve is ready for his second chance, and after being named the Boilermakers' starting quarterback, he'll soon get that opportunity.
In an announcement that came as little surprise but had not yet been formalized until Tuesday, Coach Danny Hope awarded Marve with the starting quarterback gig, as the highly touted Florida native beat out Caleb TerBush and Rob Henry. It'll be Marve's second chance after his failed stint with Miami a few seasons ago.
Since his falling out with the Hurricanes, Marve says he's matured as a person and player.
"I've realized that you have to be a captain off the field also," the junior said. "That's my biggest thing. You can't just go around being like everyone else, or messing around and making mistakes off the field, and then working hard on the field. That wasn't acceptable.
"So off the field, I'm just understanding that I'm a college student and I need to work in the classroom just as hard as I work on the field."
It's that maturity, namely his work in the classroom since he arrived at Purdue a year ago, plus his improved health and overall performance that led Hope to name him starter. And Hope wanted to do it now, in mid-July with nearly four weeks to go until training camp, to bring some clarity to the position.
"Going into a big game like Notre Dame, experience is a big part of it," Hope said, "and Robert's already played in some big games. He has more experience than the other guys. And I think from a leadership standpoint, he may have an edge. He certainly spends a lot of time with the players and is a natural leader in a lot of ways.
"The timing is right because each one of these guys has competed and Robert has surfaced."
While at Miami, Marve took over as the Hurricane's starting quarterback in the second game of the 2008 season, his redshirt freshman year. In 11 consecutive starts, he threw for 1,293 yards and nine touchdowns with 13 interceptions. But the stint was marred by off-the-field distractions and disagreements with the Miami coaching staff.
It led to his eventual transfer, as he chose Purdue over Tennessee and others prior to the start of the 2009 season. Marve, aside from having to sit the '09 season due to NCAA transfer rules, also tore his ACL, which limited him during the year.
But he was close to healthy by the spring, when he split first-team duties with TerBush. Now, he's 100-percent, he says.
"They've done great with me," Marve said of Purdue's training staff, "spending time in the therapy room consistently. I feel good with it and am doing all the running and lifting."
Marve says the yearlong stint on the sideline has left him eager to return to the field.
"What it did the most was make me hungrier," he said. "It made me realize that (football) is a great blessing, that this is a big deal. You keep playing football and sometimes you take it for granted, but it humbled me and made me realize it's a very special game and is something to work hard for.
"I've been counting down the days to Notre Dame for a while now, and I'm looking to getting close to it."
In Marve, the Boilermakers get one of the state of Florida's most highly regarded prep players ever. The 2007 Mr. Football from Plant High School in Tampa, Marve broke three state season records as a senior, including Tim Tebow's marks for passing yards and touchdowns.
On Tuesday, Hope was asked for a scouting report on his new QB.
"Damn good one," Hope responded. "He's very, very talented. We've known about him for a long time, and he was certainly one of the more talented quarterbacks in the country coming out of his senior year of high school.
"He's an excellent passer and has great arm strength, a lot of velocity on the ball. He can run very fast and can beat you with his legs and beat you with his arm. He has a great passion for his teammates, so we're really excited about him; I think he's an A-plus quarterback prospect."
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