Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Verbum Dei’s Tyrin Marks has a lot to juggle around.  He maintains good grades while playing on his high school’s football and basketball team, and he also models and acts in commercials. Photo by Jason Lewis

A Model Athlete  

By Robert Gillard III
Sentinel Intern


Tyrin Marks doesn’t look like an athlete. Standing at a half-inch under five feet, he’s considered short, even for a 14-year old. His dapper demeanor and baby face seem more poised in a magazine than in a football game. Yet Marks has made several appearances in both.

To say that Marks is busy would be an understatement. Schoolwork alone can be enough to exhaust any high school student. But when combined with athletics and a modeling career, you’re left with a student who admittedly loves to sleep in on the weekends.

Marks is a freshman at Verbum Dei High School. He played defensive back and wide receiver on the junior varsity football team that finished 5-4 this past fall. He is currently on the freshman basketball team. He’s also a model represented by Ford Models.   

Despite Marks’ experience in front of the camera, Troy Durk would like to see the diminutive baller become more comfortable under the bright lights of the basketball court. “Sometimes he might get a little shy on the court when the lights are on and everybody’s watching him,” said Durk, Head Coach for Verbum Dei’s freshman basketball team. “Contrary to him acting… in the game sometimes he gets a little nervous.” Regardless, Durk praises Marks’ positive attitude and willingness to learn.

Marks points to his quickness as an asset in both arenas of play. He also feels that he can become a better player if he improves his footwork in football, and his zone-defense capability in basketball.

As for Marks’ father, he takes pride in his son’s benevolence. “My biggest accomplishment with him is he seems to be going in the right direction as far as having compassion for other people,” said Roderick Marks.

The younger Marks demonstrates this quality by assisting classmates in one of his favorite subjects. “I just like to work with numbers and I like to help other people because most people think math is hard.”

The idealistic teenager would like to accomplish many things in his life, even a shot at professional wrestling. He doesn’t know how much longer he’d like to continue modeling. His career started when he was seven, and has included work for Target, Nike, Rocawear, and Carnation Instant Breakfast.

Marks receives considerably more playing time in basketball than in football, and feels that his best skills are on the hardcourt. Despite his small stature, he hopes to one day play sports at Stanford University. “I would hope to get a scholarship through sports because I don’t want my parents to have to pay for me to go to school,” Marks said.

Hopefully Marks’ football playing time – as well as his height -- will increase next season. “I expect him to come in with an attitude of an achiever,” said Verbum Dei football coach James Durk Jr., who hopes to see a growth spurt in Marks. “He knows he’s achieved in the modeling area. And in school obviously if he’s playing sports that means academically he’s eligible, so he’s achieving there. I expect him to come out to football practice in the spring and have a level of expectation to achieve and to do well.”

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