Nico Marley, the grandson of reggae royalty, Bob Marley, just joined the NFL, signing on as a linebacker for the Washington Redskins through a college free agent deal. While music certainly runs in the Marley family, so does football—Nico’s father, Rohan Marley, played with the Miami Hurricanes back in the early 90’s with Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp and later with the Canadian Football League as a member of the Ottawa Rough Riders. However, despite these famous family connections, Nico has previously expressed his desire to make a name for himself on his own, telling Sports Illustrated‘s Michael McKnight in 2014, “I always wanted to make something for myself. . . . I’ve never said, ‘I’m gonna do it like my dad did it,’ or ‘I want to be like my grandfather.’ Every individual is supposed to have something he wants to go get, something he wants so bad he don’t need anybody’s help. That’s what I get from my father and grandfather.”
Nico Marley played as a Tulane Green Wave in college, and for his senior year, he recorded an interception and 86 tackles, becoming an all-time leader in tackles for loss across his career at Tulane. Despite Marley’s relatively small stature in comparison to other linebackers (he’s 5-foot-8 and weighs in at two-hundred pounds), the Washington Post‘s Mike Jones reported last week that Marley was working as an inside linebacker with the Redskins’ second-string team, making him about 30 to 40 pounds lighter than many other players of the same position. Clearly, he impressed the team during the rookie minicamp, where he recorded an interception and a forced fumble ahead of his signing yesterday. An Instagram post yesterday showed Nico grinning as he signed his contract with the Washington Redskins, which can be seen below. You can also check out a video of his college career highlights below, courtesy of Tulane Green Wave. Congrats to Nico, and we look forward to seeing you out there!