When Markus Golden puts his mind to something, it’s going to happen.
“What really got me here is working hard, determination and knowing no matter what I wasn’t going to give up and I was going to make it to the NFL,” Golden said Thursday to Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
At Missouri, Golden played backup to 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam. Then he was alongside, and to some, overshadowed by eventual Denver Broncos first-round pick Shane Ray. Being second fiddle to some never messed with Golden because he always knew he was working hard and would be taken in the first two rounds.
Golden was the 58th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, sought out by the Cardinals for his pass rushing. He tallied 10 sacks and 78 total tackles as a senior at Missouri. Confidence exuding in everything he does, he’s ready to bring his determination to Arizona.
“This isn’t anything new,” Golden said. “I’m going to have fun, I’m going to go out there and bring a lot of energy and at the end of the day I’m going to compete at a high level and make plays.”
What else isn’t new for Golden is overcoming obstacles. Growing up in St. Louis, he felt like there was something he needed to escape.
“Just getting out of the city and quit being around so many people who didn’t make it and are comfortable with staying in St. Louis and not trying to get out,” he said. “Having to get through that and being by myself and being like ‘I don’t care what other people do I’m going to make sure I get out of St. Louis.'”
Though it was his dream to play Division I, he ended up playing two years in junior college at Hutchison Community College.
“Knowing that I wanted to go to Mizzou and play and the University of Missouri, having to go to JUCO [was hard] but then I didn’t let it stop me,” Golden said. “I put my mind to it to get out of junior college and make it to Missouri and that’s exactly what I did.”
Through all of the struggles, his love for the game has got him through.
“I love to play. I love to get out there and rush the passer. I just love playing, I love to suit up and get out there and play football.”