Instead, the receiver spent the summer alongside his teammates at Texas Tech. In doing so, he sent a clear message to those teammates, the Red Raiders coaching staff and the rest of the program about his commitment to excelling during his final season catching passes in Lubbock, Texas.
“He hasn’t hung up the baseball cleats for good, but he hung them up this summer to really work on his game with us,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “And that brought a lot of leadership to our program.”
Heading into the 2014 season, the Red Raiders will be counting on Marquez to be one of the guys to help replace departed tight end Jace Amaro, who was arguably the Big 12’s biggest mismatch en route to 106 receptions for 1,352 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2013.
“I think he’ll be a big part of it,” Kingsbury said of Marquez's role in replacing Amaro and Eric Ward. “He brings some speed, brings some toughness at that position. His toughness and desire has really helped us as a program.”
It started with his commitment to remain in Lubbock, Texas, this summer, a decision that showed the sacrifice the senior was willing to make to maximize his impact on the Red Raiders’ destiny this fall. It wasn’t about individual accolades or an increase in his total catches -- it was about becoming a guy Kingsbury and his teammates could count on.
“I just want to be a consistent player and want to do everything possible to help this team win,” Marquez said. “That’s why I stayed this summer, to better myself in the weight room, [help] the timing [with quarterback Davis Webb and be around my teammates.”
If he had decided to return to minor league baseball, it wouldn’t have been a decision that caused eyebrows to raise. Marquez finished the 2013 season with 49 receptions for 633 yards and six touchdowns, ranking fourth on the team in each category. And he did it after playing 27 games for the Kingsport Mets in 2013 before joining Tech for Kingbury’s first season.
Nonetheless, he decided to make football his top priority in 2014 immediately securing a leadership role among Tech's receivers becoming a guy whose commitment to the upcoming season could not be questioned.
“The guys believe in him,” Kingsbury said. “They know how hard he worked, they know his story and they know he sacrificed for his teammates to be here this summer, and that’s gone a long way for us.”
Now he wants to go even further and secure a lasting legacy at Texas Tech before returning to baseball in the future.
“I just want to have a great senior season and leave my lasting mark on Texas Tech,” he said.