Todd Marinovich Will Serve as Cautionary Tale to Young Athletes in ESPN Feature

Known as "Robo QB," Todd Marinovich was viewed as the perfect quarterback.

He was trained to become a quarterback by his father Marv from the day he was born. While Marinovich did make it to the NFL, his career was over in the blink on an eye.

Marinovich's father, a lineman and captain at USC, became one of the NFL's first strength and conditioning coaches. He used training techniques to prep Todd for football stardom, starting when he was merely an infant.

The training clearly worked as Marinovich was a star quarterback in high school and was recruited by every major college program. He ultimately chose his father's alma mater, USC, and showed more flashes of greatness.

Personal demons such as drug use eventually caused him to wear out his welcome at USC, however.

This led Marinovich to declare early for the NFL Draft, in which he was drafted 24th overall by the Los Angeles Raiders. As was the case in college, Marinovich showed plenty of promise. His drug use was out of control, though, and after failing three drug tests, his two-year NFL career came to an end.

Marinovich's story will be chronicled in a new ESPN Films production entitled "The Marinovich Project." The documentary will describe the training regimens Marv put together for his son, Todd's ascent as an elite quarterback prospect and his eventual downfall.

While the story is certainly a sad one, it should serve as a cautionary tale for promising young athletes and their fathers of pushing them too hard. Having aspirations of being a professional athlete is great, but as Marinovich and his father proved, it simply cannot consume your entire life.

Todd Marinovich had no real choice with regards to whether he would become an NFL quarterback. His father put him on that path while he was still in diapers, so it was all that Todd ever knew. Even if he wanted to rebel, training to become an elite athlete was simply sec...

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