Stanford's Star On and Off the Field

Stanford football player Owen Marecic drinks water prior to practice at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Stanford is scheduled to play Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game on Jan. 3, 2010.
AP Photo/Hans Deryk
PALO ALTO, Calif -- If you saw Stanford beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl last night, you couldn't help but notice the kid wearing number 48 for the Cardinal. He was in just about every play.

As CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports, what that young man has accomplished on and off the field comes right out of the playbook for the American Spirit.



Ask those who know Owen Marecic best and they're not shy telling you - he's the ultimate team player.

"Owen is a phenom," Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh said.

The one shy, is the phenom himself.

"I just play a small role in this whole process," Marecic said.

You be the judge. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 244-lb. senior plays not one, but two positions with the Stanford Cardinal: fullback on offense; middle linebacker on defense. He's the only Division I player to start on both sides of the ball.

To submit an idea for The American Spirit send us an email.

Coach Harbaugh said Owens "plays the two most physical, most difficult positions on the football field."

Marecic helped run a winning season all the way to last night's blowout victory over Virginia Tech at The Orange Bowl.

He was 10th in the Heisman Trophy vote and cleared the way, literally, for two Stanford Heisman runners-up.

In this season's game against Notre Dame, Marecic scored one touchdown on offense, then scored again 13 seconds later after intercepting a ball on defense.

Coach Harbaugh calls him the perfect player.

"I've been associated with football teams, professional and college now, for 35 years. I've never seen a guy like this."

As if his accomplishments on the gridiron weren't enough, Owen Marecic has some other impressive statistics. He has a 3.8 grade point average this year -- that's an "A" -- at one of the most rigorous universities in the country. He plans to be a doctor.

"I try to do my best to keep up with the brains around here," Marecic said.

His mane of blond hair isn't for vanity - it's for a good cause. He plans to donate it for wigs for cancer patients. His grandmother died of cancer. Marecic said it was the least he could do to help out.

He's got fans in high places, including Stanford professor, football fanatic and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice said, "he's a real inspiration for a lot of people because it takes a lot to be that good in the classroom and that good on the football field."

Marecic hopes to learn something from this, and "Really do something later on that's really worthwhile with my life."

"He's too humble to say it," Harbaugh said, "so I'll say it for him - he's a wonderful, wonderful youngster."

No matter how you toss it, Owen Marecic is a winner.