The Reinvention of Robert Marve


Sometimes a situation just gets the best of you. What happens after that is a test of character, strength and just what kind of a man you are.

By all accounts, Purdue starting quarterback Robert Marve has passed those tests.

After what can only be described as a tumultuous tenure in Coral Gables at the University of Miami, Marve seems to have found a home in West Lafayette, as well as the ability to focus on the things that matter.

By Paul Schmidt

As a quick recap, Marve was certainly a trouble maker while in South Florida, something that he probably wouldn’t deny. He started every game of the regular season as a freshman in 2008 except the first one — for which he was suspended after being charged with resisting arrest without violence and criminal mischief (both misdemeanors), after he punched and broke the side mirror on a car and tried to run away. He was also suspended for their bowl game against California, because of academic issues.

Then there was the pissing contest between he and Miami where, for reasons that still were never really sufficiently explained (other than the obvious perceived bitterness), the school attempted to block Marve’s transfer to all of the schools that were interested in him.  Though they ultimately succeeded in many of those schools, the bad press The U suffered was something that still haunts them in recruiting to this day.

Marve landed at Purdue, and after a shaky start (he tore his ACL last summer during his mandatory sit-out year), it appears everything is basically behind him. He also seems ready to get on ahead with football after what was, admittedly, a tough time for him

“I don’t want to say it has been an easy transition, it certainly has been different and it’s been a little of a culture shock,” Marve said. “It’s been the right one, the right move. These are the best grades I’ve had. They have a lot of help at Purdue, and the people around me have really done a great job of redirecting my focus and keeping me headed in the direction that I want to be.”

“Miami was just a different situation, you know, I was a freshman in college,” Marve added, perhaps putting a fine point on it — he was a young kid who made some mistakes, and maybe everyone should forget that.

As for his recruitment to Purdue — and lest anyone think that it would be odd that such a highly-touted recruit would transfer there, let’s not forget that Purdue has been referred to as Quarterback U as of late — Marve had several reasons why he landed in West Lafayette.

“I wanted to go someplace where I could compete for a conference championship, and maybe someplace that was a little bit under the radar,” Marve said. “I ran the spread offense in high school so it is something that I’m pretty comfortable with. I wanted to get back to that and get to a place where I could trust the coaches, and where they were going to shoot straight, I mean, be straight shooters with me.”

The larger problem, from a football standpoint, was just that the Marve we saw at Miami just wasn’t very good — and the return to the spread offense looks to be the biggest reason why he’ll be better than you think.

“Honestly, I understand this offense much more than the offense I played in my whole time when I was at Miami,” Marve said. “Everything slows down for you. It’s like the first time that you’re doing something, and you’re just not sure what you’re doing. When you see 5 or 6 different coverages in a game, you know, it’s crazy.  And now, when you get a little older, you start laughing at the things you used to miss. You see the safeties depth, or one of the corners leaning in, and all of the sudden, what was once so complicated isn’t so complicated any more.”

As for a school that might fly under the radar, Purdue is definitely that. Though they won four conference games last year, potentially upgraded the QB position and returned most of their offense, virtually no one is picking an upper-division finish for the Boilers this season. Does that mean there’s any less pressure on him and the team, or is there even more to prove they belong?

“Pressure is something that you guys (the reporters) put on us,” Marve said. “Everyone’s got to go out every Saturday and play, then you guys will see what you see on the field…our offense is going to be very explosive, and our with how good our defensive line is, I feel like they are going to be very solid. I’m looking forward to it, and then you guys can have your opinions after you see us play.”

Lest anyone think Marve is lacking in confidence, he also has a final request for all of his critics.

“First of all, I want to say to everyone, let’s let everyone see me play when I’m older. Everyone has been judging off of that freshman year, and it was my freshman year. So, everything was new to me,” Marve said. “Everyone hears what everyone else says, and everyone has their own opinion. That whole Miami thing got blown way out of proportion. It wasn’t so much on the field as it was off of it, and my relationship with the coach. That was a different situation, though, and that is the past.  I don’t ever talk about it. I don’t feel bad about it. It was a live-and-learn experience, and I’m happy where I’m at right now. I’ve got great grades, I’m the starting quarterback at Purdue, and I’m flying underneath the radar, and I get to play Notre Dame on September 4th.”

Does Marve have any hopes for that Notre Dame game? He does, and the thought brought forth a big, big smile.

“Hopefully, after that game, you’ll have some more to write about,” Marve said.


  1. He was one of Miami worst QB

  2. he really did have a crappy season at the U. had some opportunities for big passing plays agasint ND, but his WRs and him couldnt connect

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