An ex-Virginia Tech Football Player Shows Off his Talent on 'American Idol'
A former Virginia Tech football player showed off his newfound talent — and impressed the judges on “American Idol.” Dan Marshall, 24, said he was accustomed to singing in his truck before he performed at his grandfather’s memorial service. After only a few months and a handful of performances, he was belting out lyrics on national television on Sunday, March 20.
“You’re only young once, and you only get one shot at this,” Marshall told WVEC. “So if you can do it, give it a shot.”
The singer — also known as Dan Marshall Griffith — told the judges he was a Chesapeake, Virginia, native and a former linebacker for the Hokies football team. He played in 37 games from 2017 to 2019, according to the Virginia Tech athletics website. “Football has already been a huge part of my life ever since I was, you know, 5 years old,” he said during the TV show. “After high school, I was recruited as a walk-on to play for Virginia Tech. It was incredible to go out there and play every Saturday.” These days, Marshall’s TikTok page is filled with videos of him singing country music. He told WVEC an “American Idol” producer reached out to him on the social media platform, but he had trouble believing her at first. It turns out, the invitation to audition was the real deal, and it led the former football player to sing in front of celebrity judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. On stage, video shows Marshall singing Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” “There’s something you can’t teach,” Richie said after the performance. “And that’s called natural talent and your craft of who you are. I like what I just heard.”
Though Marshall was praised for his skills, some of the judges said there was room for improvement. “I think you are worth rolling the dice,” Perry said. “I think you just need a shot and some support.” She saw enough potential to join the other judges in giving Marshall the “yes” votes he needed to advance in the competition. Now, he’s on to the next round in Hollywood.