PULLMAN, Wash. — Armani Marsh, a defensive back for Washington State University football, has become one of the team's most impactful players.
"Just a kid who believed in himself from the start and just loved football and was looking for an opportunity," said Marsh while reflecting on his journey
Marsh has taken the road less traveled. The Spokane native and former Gonzaga Prep star wasn't the typical highly recruited player you see on power five teams come Saturday. His options were slim.
"I got offered a preferred walk-on to Idaho that I was going to take and then after I visited I was driving back to Spokane and I got a [direct message] from WSU and they had offered me a preferred walk-on," Marsh said.
That was a message he had hoped for that would quickly set his future in stone.
"I couldn't believe it at first! I was just telling my mom, 'They want me to come here! They want me to come here!' and that was it," Marsh said. "I knew I was coming here."
Marsh gambled on himself with no scholarship and no guarantee of seeing the field. It's easy to wonder if he made the right decision.
"That first fall camp I might have questioned it a little bit. I got to camp and I wasn't getting any reps, at individual drills or anything, and I was like 'okay'," Marsh said.
But he never gave up on himself. Marsh worked his way up the depth chart and began to see playing time his redshirt freshman season. He made good enough of an impression on the coaching staff that he earned a scholarship the following year.
"Yeah, I had confidence before, but that kind of made it stronger.. It was like 'okay', I really can play at this level," Marsh said.
With the determination to chase his dream and now the confidence of belonging, Marsh has continued to get better and became the Cougs leader in interceptions this season with three and finished second in tackles with 42.
Two of his interceptions came in the biggest win WSU has had in quite some time in this year's 40-13 Apple Cup victory over Washington.
"Just blessed.. Amazing.. You know, it just felt like all the hard work you put in, you know, sort of pays off in moments like those," said Marsh, reflecting on his big performance in the Apple Cup. "Yeah, it was something I'll never forget."
He's put together a season not only recognized by his team, but by the PAC-12 Conference as he earned an All-PAC-12 honorable mention.
Marsh has another season left in a Washington State uniform, which means another year to keep getting better.
"Next year, I want to be second team or first team. That's my goal," said Marsh. "But, really be the best teammate I can be and just work hard to be the best football player I can be and the rest will take care of itself."