How we end up at once place has many determining factors. Some decisions we personally make will influence our next step in life. Alejandro Marenco has been in that position several times. Presently, he finds himself as the newest scholarship player for the WVU football team.
Alejandro Marenco was not coming into the WVU football program as a can’t miss recruit and he wasn’t a highly touted junior college transfer. He was just a guy who loved to play the game of football.
He took a chance and a leap of faith when he came to Morgantown two years ago. Marenco previously attended college and played football at Fullerton College and Riverside City College. He was but a blip on the radar at those schools.
His numbers weren’t totally eye-popping and he couldn’t get the right looks by Division I coaches. In 2013 at Fullerton, he had 18 receptions for 281 yards and a touchdown, with 12 kickoff returns for 341 yards.
In 2014 at Riverside, he had 18 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown. He showed off his skills on special teams with eight kickoff returns for 201 yards and seven punt returns for 76 yards and a touchdown.
The Houston, Texas native wound up in California for those years to continue his academic and athletic careers. That’s a big move for anyone to make, but his biggest move was yet to come.
In 2015, Marenco travelled across the country to West Virginia, where he enrolled at WVU. He didn’t play football that first year, but it’s safe to say he still had that itch to get back on the field. As his college days were ticking down and he was getting years older, Marenco took another chance by walking onto the WVU football team.
It’s an option available to almost all men on campus. He fit the bill with his background and determination, so why not have some fun while staying in shape? What could have started out as a hobby turned into a true profession as Marenco stood out on the scout team in 2016.
Continuing to play at wide receiver and on special teams, Marenco was the special teams champion the first two weeks of the 2016 season for the games against Missouri and Youngstown State. He obviously stood out right away. This new guy caught the attention of the right people.
A year later, it was Dana Holgorsen’s turn to take a leap of faith by offering Marenco a chance. Along with Shane Commodore, a native of Morgantown, Marenco earned a scholarship to play for the WVU football team. This is his final chance to take part in the Division I football program as it is his fifth year of eligibility. If his past is any indication of his future, Marenco will certainly take advantage of it.
Marenco turned heads at the WVU football practices a year ago and he is still on the coaches’ radar now.
Receivers coach Tyron Carrier is in his first season with the Mountaineers, so everyone in his unit must show out to earn a chance in the new guy’s eyes. Marenco has done that already.
At a media availability session, Carrier mentioned Druw Bowen, Dominique Maiden, Ricky Rogers, Reggie Roberson and Marenco as wideouts who have stepped up. “We have some really good backups,” Carrier said.
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Marenco is 5-foot-9, 183 pounds, so he isn’t all that physically imposing. He speed is his strong suit, so he complements the other bigger receivers well. He is a nice weapon to have on short routes and screen passes.
Going beyond his play on the field, Marenco has caught Holgorsen’s eye in the classroom too. He has worked so hard on the field and at his studies.
“He’s a junior college guy who hasn’t really played a whole lot, but his GPA is out of sight and his work ethic is out of sight,” Holgorsen said at a press conference.
Marenco probably won’t start for the Mountaineers this season. He may not even see the field. But he might have a chance to go beyond the expectations and play past his potential. He is already a success story and he will forever be a Mountaineer.