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Player Profile: Marcel Reece


Photo by Tony Gonzales

FB Marcel Reece, also known as the most interesting fullback in the NFL, is a Raider Nation favorite. The veteran out of the University of Washington has made a name for himself in the Silver and Black. A vocal leader, a community-minded player and a friendly, but determined face, Reece epitomizes what it means to be a Raider.

The Hesperia, California-native did not take the conventional path to the National Football League. People often forget the long-winding road it took for him to arrive at the top.

Reece spent two years at El Camino Community College in Los Angeles before playing wide receiver at UW. He went undrafted in 2008 to Miami before being signed to the Raiders practice squad. He was then converted to fullback and eventually found his way onto Oakland's active roster.

"To be honest with you, nothing has ever come easy for me," said Reece. "I appreciate that now that I'm here. At times I was very frustrated, but I had a great support group, still have a great support group, and, like I said, nothing ever came easy."

His journey has motivated him continue to work hard and fight for everything. "It's just that I've been doubted so much my entire life that no matter what anybody says, I know that if I work at what I want to be and what I want to do I'll accomplish it," Reece explained.

Reece comes from a big family and grew up admiring the determination of his mother and grandmother. "My mom and grandma…they're the strongest women I knew growing up," he said. "They showed me how to get through, get past, and be positive with anything and everything. We didn't have it easy growing up, to say the least, but they always made sure us boys were taken care of and had everything we need. That's inspiring to me."

Their continued support has propelled him to his place at the top of the NFL, securing Pro Bowl spots each of the last two seasons. The 6-1, 255-pounder also earned the Raiders Commitment to Excellence Award in 2013, voted by teammates as the player that best exemplified hard work, leadership, and excellence on and off the field.

Now that Reece has cemented himself in the league, it is the people around him on a daily basis that continue to inspire the fullback to be great. "What keeps me motivated on a daily basis is the kids that I see, the people I see, that could look up to me, all of my brothers, my wife, my daughter, my family, my teammates, making Al proud, making the Raider Nation proud of me," he said. "I aspire to inspire. I feel like that's what this game is about and that's what people lose sight of so often."

Reece constantly speaks about his love for the Raiders and what the organization represents. "It's everything about the Raiders," said Reece. "It's what it stands for. It's the pride it stands for. It's the passion it stands for, the toughness, the nondiscriminatory attitude and workplace we work in here in Oakland. It's the city, the pride the city has for itself and this team and the loyalty. That's what it's all about; it's about loyalty and giving people a chance."

His love for the Silver and Black, and for its fans, has not gone unnoticed. Raider Nation has rallied behind the fullback and shown him their support. "That feels great because Raider Nation is what drives this team. Without the Raider Nation we couldn't be the Raiders," Reece said. "They fuel us. They fuel us to do what we do every day - their loyalty, their passion and their love for this game and this team and this city. That's definitely one of the greatest honors because our fan base, they're not easy to please and rightfully so, they deserve the best and we have to go give it to them."

Reece's passion for his team has allowed him to find his role as a leader. "I didn't come here to be a vocal guy or be a vocal leader. I've always prided myself on leading by example," he explained. "But about three years ago, there came a time and a place where it was time to step up and it was time for me to embrace that role and to be vocal and to still lead by example and productive but also be more of a vocal leader. I embraced that…that this is my team and it's going to be my team. I love the fact that I can have the confidence in myself and in my team and the organization. It's dear to my heart and it's definitely an honor."

He has the backing of his teammates, especially in the running backs room. "It's family. When it comes to us, we always pride ourselves on not only being the tightest, closest and most productive position and room on the team, but in the league," said Reece. "That's what we've always prided ourselves on the last seven years. It all starts with our coach, with Coach [Kelly] Skipper. Skip sets the tempo for us and it trickles on down from him. He's been here for eight years and coached the running backs for seven. We are an extension of him and we always want to go out there and make him proud and not make mistakes and go out there and be productive and make plays. It's fun because we have so much competition, family and friendly and love competition between ourselves, it just drives us all to be the best."

Reece has found his home here in Oakland. He gives his all on a daily basis to make Raider Nation proud. When he takes the field at Coliseum, everything makes sense. "All the passion comes out and you hear the crowd, you see your teammates, the fire is going out, the military is out there and you've got your opponents that you're about to go to war looking at you right in the place," said Reece. "If you can't get up for that and have love for that, then you can't have love for anything."

Reece reminds us that it doesn't always have to fit into place from the start. You can become one of the best even if it takes an up and down, winding road to get there. If that doesn't sound like a real Raider, then nothing does.


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