Marquez Stevenson’s development as a prospect is a direct result of the NFL’s constant evolving structure. A prospect like him—under six-foot, under 185 pounds—wouldn’t have received attention just 20 years ago. Harsh reality? You could say that, but it’s more of an underlying compliment to the type of unique game Stevenson brings to the next level.
“I’m a guy that does a little bit of everything,” Stevenson said following Houston’s Pro Day.
He’s not lying.
In four seasons at Houston, Stevenson excelled as both a wideout in the slot and near the boundary, while offering game-breaking speed as a returner. A 2018 Biletnikoff Award finalist, given to college football’s top wideout, Stevenson recently concluded his illustrious career as a Cougar, a run that saw him finish his career tied for sixth all-time in receiving touchdowns (six), and 13th in receiving yards with 2,269.
It’s been a rough road for Stevenson, whose career at Houston, like his Pro Day comrade Payton Turner, didn't kick off as he initially had hoped. A 3-star recruit from Shreveport, Louisiana, Stevenson missed the majority of his freshman campaign with a broken collarbone. Things didn’t get much better as a sophomore in 2017 where he suffered a torn ACL in spring practice, again landing him on the shelf for the entirety of Houston’s season.
For Stevenson, it was a time of despair where at times hope was lost. His underlying career and overall optimism surrounding his future as a Cougar began to dwindle. All things considered, it served as his breakout moment.
In 2018, Stevenson dominated the competition, recording 75 catches with nine touchdowns. A primary slot receiver, Stevenson mentioned it’s his “best fit” at the next level. But don’t let his stature fool you. His ability in space challenges the best in the class in game-breaking ability with the rock in his hands, wherever he lines up.
“Wherever my role is I’m just going to compete at the best of my ability,” Stevenson said. “Whether it’s on special teams, as a slot receiver, outside receiver, I’m comfortable everywhere… my playmaking is second to none.”
A lightning-in-a-bottle type prospect with track speed, Stevenson isn’t just your typical token burner on special teams. With sub-4.4 speed highlighted by quick footwork, ball skills, and fluid movements in his route tree, Stevenson has the skill set to compete for a top receiver role within an NFL franchise from the onset of his career.
Born and raised on the gulf shores of Louisiana, Stevenson’s support system isn’t few and far between. As he endures the trials and tribulations of the exhaustive draft process, he’s leaned on fellow Bayou natives who’ve already made their name on Sundays.
“Greedy Williams, Tre’Davious White, we all come from the same hometown,” Stevenson said “Having them tell me what they could have done better or what they could improve upon through the process has been big. Terrace Marshall Jr., Robert Rochell, we’re all from the same city, so we talk a lot about everything going on.”
With the draft now less than three weeks away, Stevenson isn’t taking a grace period to rest on his laurels following an outstanding pro day. The only thing he’s ever known is work, and with the biggest interview of his life now over, it’s time to “lock in and get back to ball.”
“I’ll be back at the House of Athlete training with guys like Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs… there’s faces and names always in the facility, it’s a great place to be and I’ll be ready when my name is called.”