31 Days to Miami football: Fred Marion safety standard bearer

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 6: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 6: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Fred Marion was an outstanding safety for the Miami football program in the early days of the Howard Schnellenberger era. Marion set the standard that many Hurricanes safeties after him followed.

Fred Marion was a first-team All-American safety for the Miami football team in 1981. Marion recorded six interceptions that season to lead the Hurricanes for a second straight year after picking off seven passes in 1980. Marion came to Miami in 1978, regarded as the last year before the modern era of Miami football.

Marion was recruited by Lou Saban to Coral Gables out of Gainesville, Florida. After one season playing for Saban, Marion became a key part of the resurgence of the Miami football program at the outset of the beginning of the modern era for the Hurricanes led by Howard Schnellenberger.

Marion finished his Miami career with 16 interceptions. At the time Marion left Miami he was second in career picks, one behind Jim Dooley. The 152 career assisted tackles Marion has are the record for a Hurricanes safety. The seven interceptions Marion had in 1980 is seventh in Miami history and the six in 1981, 10th.

Marion is ninth in Miami history with 174 interception return yards. With interceptions in four straight games in 1980 and 1981, Marion set the record that has since been broken by Bennie Blades and Dexter Seigler. Marion also had 392 punt return yards in his career with one touchdown.

Following his Miami career, Marion played in the NFL from 1982-1991 all with the New England Patriots. Marion was on the Patriots first Superbowl team following the 1985 season. New England lost 46-10 to the Chicago Bears. Marion recorded 29 interceptions in 10 NFL seasons.

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During the Patriots 1985 AFC Championship season, Marion led the NFL with 189 interception return yards. Marion is one of the greatest players in the history of the Miami football program and often forgotten. A University of Miami Sports Hall of Famer, Marion is the greatest player to wear 31 in Hurricanes history.