Marion Grice’s toughness pays off in first NFL touchdown

Nov 2, 2014, 11:14 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2014, 12:06 am

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Marion Grice’s life is a series of superlatives.

In high school, his father and football hero died of a heart aneurysm.

Then in 2012, his closest friend (Grice calls him his brother) was shot and killed after a robbery attempt for a pair of Jordan sneakers — the absolute lowest of lows.

In 2013, he became the nation’s leading scorer as a running back at Arizona State University, scoring at least one touchdown per game through 10 games and scoring 26 touchdowns in 14 games (20 touchdowns in 11 games in 2013) as a Sun Devil.

With three games remaining in his senior season, after gaining recognition as college football’s top scorer, he suffered a foot injury and had to watch from the sidelines as his team went on to play in the Pac-12 Championship game. He spent his Senior Night in a boot, watching as his graduating class jogged through the Tillman Tunnel, jumping and bouncing to hype fans.

In 2014, after months of recovery and rehab, he was signed to the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad, and then, about a month later, was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals.

Sunday, he scored his first NFL touchdown – the absolute highest of highs.

The 1-yard touchdown came in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ 28-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys — Grice was welcomed to the NFL under a scrum of massive, sweating, grunting Cowboys players but he was able to punch through the pile; a play designed for the tough.

Of course it was.

Grice knows tough. He’s lived it, both mentally and physically. He couldn’t have gotten through his football career — his life in general — without a measurable amount of toughness.

Through it all, he’s put his head down and pushed forward.

So it was kind of a perfect first pro touchdown for him, wasn’t it?

Local reaction to Grice’s touchdown:

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Marion Grice’s toughness pays off in first NFL touchdown