“Believe Me, He’s A Scholarship Player”

August 11th, 2015

Lovie Smith weighs in on Ali Marpet

The legend of Division III rookie Ali Marpet continues to grow.

Marpet, who is converting to starting right guard after playing left tackle at mighty Hobart College, is drawing major love from all the important Buccaneers.

On Saturday, it was Bucs general manager Jason Licht explaining how Marpet’s sheer physicality is making a Gerald McCoy a better player.

Today, speaking to Mike Florio on NBC Sports Radio, Lovie Smith said all the nervous chatter about Marpet coming out of Division III isn’t reality.

“Believe me, he’s a scholarship player and he’s held his own in camp,” Lovie said of Marpet.

Asked by Florio how the Buccaneers have most improved, Lovie pointed to the offensive line. He said Marpet, a late second-round pick, and rookie left tackle Donovan Smith (No. 34 overall) have performed very well and been what the Bucs expected on draft day.

“We knew coming into it we needed play better on our offensive line, and we will,” Lovie said.

With a rookie quarterback, Lovie added, “Our offensive line knows that they have to protect like never before.” Lovie referred to that as a “built in” understanding.

12 Responses to ““Believe Me, He’s A Scholarship Player””

  1. Señor Mofo Says:

    The Upstart from Hobart. His father won an Emmy, and his mother was in a band called “Housewives on Prozac.”

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

    This message was approved by America’s Head coach Lovie Smith👍. Eat ya freakin hearts out Amigos.

  3. LakelandBuc Says:

    Ali Marpet should make a good RG in this league, he’s ready to go. We will have 3 rookie starters this season, Jameis, Ali, Donavon and Kaelin Clay as a rookie return man. This O-Line will be awesome this season, I can’t wait until the season start.

  4. pick6 Says:


  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Fellas, isnt it great to feel good about the direction the Team is headed?
    Ussually spring is my most stressful time- because im bitching about glaring problems.
    This year- we are just doing things right.
    I dont expect this team to be a monster this year. Rookie QBs need a year
    But you can see its a baby monster, and its growing fast

  6. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    The OL has got to show me before I’ll get my hopes up.

  7. NashvilleBuc Says:

    LOFL That is some funny and true sh1t. I’m wearing down too and even drinking the Jaboo-lade. Can’t wait to see game one at a bar here in Nashville. Go Bucs!!!!!

  8. Crazylocha Says:

    Mongo Madness!!
    Resistance is futile

  9. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    I am with you pick 6.. It happens every year. I get much too excited and then the Bucs crush my heart. I have looked at the schedule this year and bet the over on wins for Tampa Bay. I say seven and nine. I must be insane.

  10. Tut Says:

    I wanted us to draft o-line help and was skeptical when we selected Marpet simply because of the D3 background. After we picked him I did my own scouting of his tape and the senior bowl. The more I watched the more I liked the pick. Seeing him hold his own against GMC cemented my thought that he may be the steal of the draft.

  11. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Hope is nice, but we’ve heard it all before. Let’s talk in October.

  12. Owlykat Says:

    I have been excited about Marpet from the start and he has not disappointed. He will be a starter on this team for his career and should be an All Pro in the future. His only drawback is short arms but that is OK for an interior OL. All his other specs are off the charts including intelligence so you can be assured he will be ready and know all of his assignments to start from this Saturday to the end of his career. He can do it all!!!