Bucs “Rooted” For Ali Marpet

May 2nd, 2015

Bucs GM Jason Licht had a soft spot in his heart for his late-second round pick, G Ali Marpet of Division III Hobart College.

It’s the classic American tale, rags to riches, Rocky winning the heavyweight championship of the world, the Miracle on Ice.

As George Patton famously said, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.” And no one likes winners quite like underdogs. That’s why March Madness is so appealing. Fans enjoy watching little schools take down giants.

So for a guy playing Division III football, which from what Joe has seen over the years is glorified high school football, to make it to the NFL is a monumental feat. For a Division III offensive lineman to actually be selected in the second round of the NFL draft, well, that’s like jumping over the Grand Canyon.

So pardon Bucs general manager Jason Licht if he got emotional when the Bucs traded up to acquire a true underdog, Hobart College guard Ali Marpet.

“Perhaps my favorite guy – and Lovie will tell you the same thing – in the draft of O-line was Ali Marpet,” Licht said. “Just in terms of him being a small-school guy that you rooted for. Not saying that we liked him better than Donovan [Smith], but just a guy that we rooted for.

“Watching college football every Saturday when Hobart’s on (television – laughter). Our scouts did an excellent job of digging him out early. We had scouts come back saying early in the year that there’s a guy at Hobart that we’re going to like. The first chance that I had to really watch him was at the combine. We immediately started watching tape on Ali while we were in the suite watching the workouts because he was that type of guy. We couldn’t wait to start watching him. He dominated there at Hobart, but the concern that a lot of people had is ‘How is he going to play against top-notch competition?’”

Licht said Marpet answered that question at the Senior Bowl where he held his own or dominated players who were stars on the Division I level. So right away, Joe thinks this guy is going to be a fan favorite when training camp rolls around later this summer.

Americans, as Patton also said, after all, like the toughest player, especially if he had to overcome massive odds to reach his goal.

37 Responses to “Bucs “Rooted” For Ali Marpet”

  1. Deminion Says:

    I love having 2 new Hogs. I want Rashard Greene now

  2. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    I see him as a CENTER…..this year or next

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ve been watching all sorts of videos on Marpet….and, I really, really am liking what I’m seeing……wow……I can’t wait for this guy to hit our locker room…..
    He will fit right in with our Oline right away…but I think he will be an inspiration for the entire team.
    From 2-14 to division champions to super bowl……from Hobart to the NFL….
    huge underdog story developing.

  4. NonyaDamnBucsiness Says:

    Like most, I’d never heard of this guy till the combine. Impressive stats. He seems very smart and reminds me a little of JJ Watt in appearance and demeanor. If he stays in the weight room, he could be a beast.

    Welcome 5o Tampa Ali! GO BUCS!

  5. Patrick in VA Says:

    I haven’t looked at any highlights, largely because i don’t know enough about line play to know whether to be impressed or not, but would you say that what you’re seeing that you’re looking is because he’s simply a man among boys in D3 or is he a legit diamond in the rough type of guy?

  6. Clodhopper Says:

    I’m loving this draft so far. Very intrigued to see what this beast can do.

    Great job this week Joe. Your dedication and hard work is invaluable to us. You hit it out of the park so far in this draft!

  7. Pat Says:

    I’m not kidding…check out the specs versus MANGOLD. Go Bucs!

  8. WinstonBomb3 Says:

    Ali really compares to Mangold? In physical measurements, game film, I’m not denying this but would love to see the facts for myself please.

  9. P'cola Buc Says:

    If he could succeed at all, he could become a sentimental fan favorite. It’s been a while since we had such Buc that we had that “special” feeling for. It’s kinda like the feeling the fans had for Mike Alstott.

  10. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    I am happy with the pick,very happy….

  11. Brandon Says:

    WR Jamison Crowder in round 4 Best slot WR/return man left. He is a terror as a punt returner.

  12. BucinNC Says:

    I work up at duke and got to watch a lot of crowder over the years. Kid is really good. Great quickness in and out of breaks and is not afraid to come across the middle even though he’s a small guy. I would love wr but am sto skeptical about our linebackers and even the ol still. It’s a lot to expect two rookies to come in and contribute right away on the line. I’m hopeful though.

    Go bucs and thanks joes.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Nfl network was all over talking about him after the combine….now that he’s a Buc, watch him get 0% coverage from them, lol……and I LOVE that!! It will make the glory taste even sweeter when we’re winning more games and become legit competition again!

    I said I wasnt going to get a new jersey because I hate the new style, but Yup, Im getting one now…..a Marpet jersey!

  14. Gator N Bucs Says:

    Im loving the picks but we Do have a Rook QB being protected by two Rook OLs and we have Warhop as an OL coach

  15. Nate_tweetz Says:

    As Buc fans I’m hoping that we’re all rooting for Marpet. If the picks this year and last pan out we will have a great offense for a really long time. It is possible that we may have 6 of the starting 11 on offense be rookies or second year players. We’ll need to be patient. Easier said than done!

    Donovan Smith
    Ali Marpet
    Mike Evans
    Charles Sims

  16. Gator N Bucs Says:

    What Nate said^^^^

  17. Eric Says:

    The largest crowd he ever played in front of in college was 1,997.

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ali Marpet’s (He test off the charts)

  19. Dr T Says:

    Had Ali Marpet in 3rd. Love the guy’s Combine and reputation at the Senior Bowl.
    Wanted Jake Fisher in 2nd. Let’s hope Donovan Smith is as good or better.

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs got the most athletic OLineman in the draft.

    How often does it happen that your newly acquired 310 lb Guard can run just as fast as your rookie QB who was picked #1 overall? How about Never – LOL

  21. INDYbucsfan Says:

    This dude could’ve gone in the first

  22. WS99 Says:

    Morning BUC FANS. I’m fckn stoked, how about you? We got the players I wanted in JW and D Smith.

    Personally I felt like we traded up for Gregory but Marinelli snatched him up first so we panicked a bit and got marpet. Love the pick, his journey is what legends are made from.

    We still need a slot recvr, safety and ILB. GoBucs

  23. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I haven’t seen this posted yet…am I the only one that remembers Marpet dropping the challenge on Jameis?

    So when Division III offensive lineman Ali Marpet goes appears on CBS Sports Network’s ROME and tells Jim Rome he can beat Heisman Trophy-winning Jameis Winston in the 40, it’s a worthwhile shots-fired moment.

    “I think I’m going to edge him out,” Marpet said. “I think I’d beat him.”

    I hope they race in training camp…would be fun

  24. Couch Fan Says:

    Im not sure why people think he’s not big enough right now. 310Lbs is plenty big enough and he’s only going to get bigger with age.

  25. WS99 Says:

    D smith is a fan of winston. He’s already talking SB. These kids are excited and are physically impressive talents. I want to give L&L a A-B+ on this draft. Well done indeed.

    I’m just shocked we didn’t fck it up. Feels good, for once!!

  26. WS99 Says:

    D Smith will play LT or RT? I hope LT, what say you?

  27. nickp91 Says:

    Happy for Ali Marpet. D3 player went in the 2nd round. Probably would’ve been a 1st rounder if he would’ve came out of a D1 school.

  28. Couch Fan Says:

    Licht said Dotson will stay at RT so I’m guessing he’s our new LT.

  29. JoeLikeToBloeBigBlackMenToe Says:

    Joe sucks koch

  30. WS99 Says:

    Everytime I look at smith I see penn. Hopefully smith is a bully too. #stoked

    Ali vs gmc. Welcome to the dance young fella. Lol

  31. WS99 Says:

    Thanks couch

  32. Ray Rice Says:

    It won’t be the first time Aunt Geraldine gets manhandled by a rookie!

  33. -Alexstotle00 Says:

    Who cares it’s better than last years draft!

  34. CalBucsFan Says:

    Shout out to LUVMYBUCS, thanks for the link, love the site. Loaded 3 different on my 27″ monitor with each our new OGs and Jake Fisher from Oregon to compare them. After doing that and also seeing whom they each compare to, not sure about Smith over Fisher, but love this Marpet kid.

    Time to focus on other positions now Bucs, today’s rounds are the ones that championship teams are built on! Go Bucs!

  35. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Damn how sweet it is to finally read mostly positive comments on here. Sounding more and more like Buccnation is unifying. I swear I love that s@$!.. (Damn near misty eyed,hoped and imagine this type of thing for years and now it’s finally here)

  36. lurker Says:

    marpet proday…

  37. FortMyersDave Says:

    Hopefully the kid will become a cornerstone on the OL and help put Hobart on the map as last I heard either Hobart was an industrial dishwasher or an island city in Australia…. But seriously; I think the Bucs latched oonto a kid that could become a fan favorite and has the tools to be a dominant G on the OL. The Bucs obviously liked him enough to trade down quite a bit with Indy in the 4th round to make sure that the Hoody, B’More or Seattle would not nab him at the end of round 2…..