became the first Xavier Falcon to join the UCONN Husky program. As a junior at Xavier, Marinan was an All-Conference selection as an offensive guard. As a senior, Marinan was both an All-Conference and All-State selection at defensive end. As a Falcon, Marinan was a two way starter for both the 2011 and 2012 state championship teams. During his senior season, Marinan was also a team captain. In addition to playing football, Marinan also wrestled on the Xavier Falcon team that won the State Open tournament in 2012. During his senior season, Marinan was a All-Conference Champ, a Class LL State Champ, a State Open Champ, and a New England Champ in the 215 lb. weight class.
In 2010 Graham Stewart (on right) became the first Xavier player to be offered a full scholarship prior to his senior season (he verbally committed as a linebacker to Boston College in August prior to his senior year). As a Falcon, Stewart lead his team in tackles in his sophomore, junior and senior years. As a junior, Stewart was an All-State selection as well as a member of Xavier's state semi-finalist team. As a senior, he helped lead the Falcons to their second Class LL State Title and second consesus #1 state ranking (their first came in 2005). He also, once again, earned All-State accolades in the process.
Following the conclusion of his senior season, Stewart finally committed in writing to the Florida University Gators where he played inside linebacker in 2011. In his only year as a Gator, Stewart played on various special teams units. Stewart's most notable play during the 2011 season was his touchdown return of a blocked punt versus Ohio State University during a post-season bowl game.
In the spring of 2012 Stewart transferred from Florida to UCONN, citing "family reasons" as the cause for moving to a program closer to home. He joins Marinan as the two first Falcons to play for UCONN.
Photo courtesy: MelinasPhotography.com
After his years as a Falcon, Spievey went on to play for Iowa University (via a scholarship) where as a red-shirt sophomore he started every game as a cornerback. In his first year as a starter, Spievey compiled 68 total tackles--good for 3rd on the team. In that same year, he also recorded 4 interceptions and 6 pass breakups. For his efforts in the defensive backfield, the Big Ten Coaches named him as a 2nd Team All Big Ten selection.
After being drafted by the Lions, Spievey made the final cut and earned a spot of the Lion's regular season roster where he spent the early part of the season in a secondary role as one of the Lions #2 safeties. After an injury to the staring Strong Safety about midway through the 2010-2011 season, Spievey moved into the starting role which he eventually owned for the remainder of the season. During his first year as a professional player, Spievey was eighth on his team in tackles with a total of 51. In addition, Spievey also was second on the team in interceptions with two which he returned for a total of 35 yards.
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Bottom photo courtesy: espn.com
Photo courtesy: middletowncthalloffame.com