Follow The Leader

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Mike Marry
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Mike Marry
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 29, 2013

By Lauren McMillin
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Being in the spotlight can be intimidating and with all of Rebel Nation watching, some might be afraid of making the wrong move on or off the field. For Mike Marry, though, being in the spotlight is a place where he can lead by example, showing both his teammates and fans how to make the right choices in life.

A senior from Clearwater, Fla., Marry’s interest in football and his journey to leadership began by following the footsteps of his own father.  “(It all began by) seeing my dad coach and just always wanting to be around my dad,” he said. “We just started off playing in the backyard, just me and him. Then I finally tried out and made the team. I’ve been playing since I was eight years old.”

Although he enjoyed playing football throughout high school, the linebacker never seriously considered a college football career, or even knew what possibilities were awaiting him. During his last few years in high school, however, Marry’s ability caught the eyes of countless schools.

“I didn’t really even know about scholarships until my junior year, until I started getting big trash bags full of letters,” Marry said. “That’s when I really started thinking about it. Other than that, I was just playing because I love football.”

Marry was greeted with numerous offers to play college football, but when it came down to making a decision, a close-knit community was everything. Oxford offered him just that.

“Just going through all of my visits, it’s the only place that really felt like home,” he said. “It felt like I had a family here. I had a lot more offers, but this was the only place I felt like being away from my parents wouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

Marry continues to feel the love and support that make Oxford and Ole Miss unique. “It’s a family atmosphere,” he said. “Not just in football, but people around the city in general. Everybody shows you love.”

Since joining the Rebels his freshman year, Marry has seen the program go through a series of changes. While some of them may have been difficult, Marry found the drive and determination to keep moving forward and help his team.

“Going through the coaching changes and losing seasons…wanting to win for the younger players, that’s what helped get me through the losing seasons and helped me keep going,” he said. “I just want to leave something good for the younger players. I want them to experience the same thing I experienced when I first got here.”

In his second season with Coach (Hugh) Freeze, Marry’s dream for younger players to experience success is starting to become a reality.

“People are being held more accountable,” he said. “(Coach Freeze) came in with an accountability program.  It’s not going to be perfect the first year, but now it’s really in full effect.”

Even though it’s his last season as a Rebel, Marry feels confident in the direction of the team.

“It feels great, especially seeing the way Coach Freeze has the program headed,” he said. “Just going from winning two games one year and four games the next year, then to a bowl game, it’s just great. With the major steps they’re taking this year, it’s a great feeling.”

Being a senior allows Marry to step into a true leadership position, influencing his teammates in a positive manner.

“Freshmen coming in, they look up to the seniors, whether you know it or not, whether they admit it or not,” he said. “If you’re doing things the wrong way, they’re going to think that’s the right way, and that’s just going to be a snowball effect.”

Marry takes this responsibility seriously and works hard to be a positive role model by doing things the right way.

His compassion for his teammates and leadership ability led Marry to become the 24th recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award.  He proudly wears No. 38 on the field this season.

“It’s a great honor to be part of that tradition,” he said. “Not many players get a chance to do it. It just makes you want to be more accountable to yourself and to your teammates, and just try to do everything the right way, because you know that a lot of eyes are on you.”

As a representative of the Ole Miss football program, Marry understands the role he has through this award and the ways in which he can use it to benefit the team.

“Just leading by example, trying to always do the right thing,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing you can do. It’s not always about being vocal. You have to be vocal when you need to be, but it’s more about leading by example.”

After earning a degree in exercise science, Marry plans to attend nursing school. Until then, he hopes to finish strong and to guide Rebel Nation through the rest of the season.

“We’re going to give it our all, every play,” he said. “We’re going to play for the fans. We appreciate everything they do and all the love they show us, on the field and off the field. We’re going to keep this program going in the right direction.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Ole Miss, MSU Renew Rivalry on Hardwood

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss meets Mississippi State on the hardwood the for 250th time Wednesday, which makes it the most-played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference.  Like the rivalry in football, where the road team last won in 2010, the home team has... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26, 2015)

      Monday, January 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 25

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more

    • Prewitt Caps Impressive Week at Senior Bowl

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Football

      Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more

    • VIDEO: Home is Ole Miss

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football: Home is Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Omaha Challenge

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Challenge 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rivalry Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more

    • Prewitt, Golson Impress at Senior Bowl Practices

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Football

       Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 13-19, 2015)

      Monday, January 19, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 18

      Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more

    • Key Stretch Starts with Tough Test in LSU

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more

    • Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 6-12, 2015)

      Monday, January 12, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 11

      Sunday, January 11, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more

    • Rebels to Open SEC Play ' in Grand Fashion'

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more