Marrow showed them why.
Using his speed, upper body strength and a surprising swim move that shocked several of the offensive linemen he went up against in the North team's practice, Marrow impressed many of the coaches and scouts who were here to bone up for April's NFL draft.
``He showed me something,'' said Trgovac, who accompanied the rest of the Eagles' staff to these week-long scouting sessions. The Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, and Marrow is slated to start at right defensive tackle.
``He knocked that guy from Penn State [Phil Ostrowski] on his butt,'' Trgovac said Tuesday morning. ``Nobody could block him.''
Trgovac wasn't alone in praising Marrow. Scouts from the New York Jets, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers raced over to Marrow after practice and wrote down his phone number and made small talk.
John Bunting, an assistant coach with the St. Louis Rams, said that he planned to study the films on Marrow very closely.
``Size and strength are what counts at his position,'' Bunting said. ``To be inside like he is, you have to be 300 pounds. If he isn't, then you look at his growth potential.''
Marrow returned to Penn this fall with hopes of dominating the Ivy League and improving his position in the draft. Before the season, he was projected to go in the fourth to the sixth rounds. But he was slowed by mononucleosis, and then came the disgrace of his academic blunder - he became an athletically ineligible part-time student when he withdrew from a class and failed to enroll in another.
Still, both Marrow and the scouts who eyed him up this week said the extra season at Penn was beneficial.
``I have to say I didn't know about him last year,'' Bryan Broaddus, the Eagles' college scouting administrator, said yesterday. Broaddus worked for the Green Bay Packers last season.
``The extra year really helped him,'' Broaddus said. ``He got stronger. He matured and earned the right to play in this game. That means a lot. Now he's going up against some of the country's best players, holding his own and drawing the attention that he didn't get last year.''
Broaddus and several other NFL scouts said that Marrow, thanks to the exposure he is getting this week, could go higher than the fourth round in this year's draft. Broaddus compared Marrow's style of play to that of Jim Flanigan of the Chicago Bears. Flanigan is a 6-2, 286-pounder who was drafted in the third round out of Notre Dame in 1994.
As for his academic troubles, Marrow said he has put that incident behind him.
``I'm not even thinking about it,'' he said. ``I'm more concerned with doing what I have to do down here.''
After an internal investigation, Penn found that the athletic department had erred in trying to correct Marrow's eligibility problem instead of making it public. Coach Al Bagnoli, however, put some of the blame on Marrow. Bagnoli said Marrow, as well as the athletic department, should have known that he was ineligible and taken proper steps to correct it.
``They kind of cleared my name,'' Marrow said of the university's investigation. ``So I put it out of my mind. It didn't have that much to do with me.''
It's unlikely, Bunting said, that Marrow's academic problem at Penn will scare away the pro teams. Bunting's boss, Rams head coach Dick Vermeil, had to deal with pro players committing criminal acts, Bunting said. So Marrow's mistake pales in comparison.
``Dick had to be a babysitter for some of our guys,'' Bunting said. ``This isn't even on the same level.''
The only thing that concerns Marrow, the only Ivy Leaguer chosen to play in the Senior Bowl, is the NFL. The coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens is working with the North team, and Marrow impressed the coaches by rushing past Nebraska's 310-pound lineman Aaron Taylor and Penn State's Ostrowski.
``It gives me a lot of confidence,'' Marrow said of his success against Taylor. ``Now I know what to expect. I never played against such big-name guys before, but I feel real comfortable.
``The pro coaches give you a little more freedom to do what you feel natural doing. They let you play off your athleticism a little more.''
It's not very often that a defensive lineman from the Ivy League gets drafted by an NFL team. Columbia's Marcellus Wiley, a 6-5, 271-pound defensive end, was drafted in the second round last year by the Buffalo Bills. But most Ivy League linemen wind up on Wall Street.
Marrow said he'll take an office job if his football career doesn't work out. But he's not ready to trade his cleats for wing tips.
``Everybody is a different person,'' Marrow said. ``I'm glad for Wiley. He's doing great. He's a good guy. I met him a bunch of times. But I'm just trying to take care of myself and do what I have to do.''