Saskatchewan Roughriders cornerback Nick Marshall believes he’s the best cover man in the CFL but Toronto Argonauts star Brandon Banks doesn’t see it the same way.
Banks was asked if Marshall ranks at the top of the list among defensive backs in the three-down league and laughed before answering.
“He’s a good corner, a savvy player, keeps his eyes on the quarterback and obviously got good ball skills, but I don’t know about being the best corner,” Banks chuckled.
“I’ve seen Nick Marshall a couple times and I’m sure he’s seen me a couple times, so I think I got the better end of that stick so far.”
The 34-year-old Banks had eight receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown on 16 targets in two games against the Riders in 2021. In one matchup in 2019, the diminutive playmaker caught six passes for 77 yards and one major on eight targets. During Marshall’s rookie year, he grabbed 10 balls for 138 yards on 15 targets in two games versus Saskatchewan.
A former quarterback at Auburn University, Marshall has emerged as one of the CFL’s best ball-hawks since arriving in Riderville in 2018. Banks’ attempt at a democratic answer was overshadowed by his initial guffaw and neither sat right will Marshal who responded.
“All I can say is he’s worried about the past and it’s more about the present right now. I’m already in his head because he’s worried about stuff in the past. We’re going to see come Saturday,” Marshall said.
“I know I’m definitely the best defensive back in this league and I’m going to prove it every game. If you’re the No. 1 receiver, I just take them out the game and after that, it’s just history.”
The 30-year-old Marshall can lock pass catchers down and has also posted 14 interceptions and five defensive touchdowns in 49 career games. All of his majors on defence have come courtesy pick-sixes while setting a franchise mark in that category. That includes three picks and a score through five games this season.
His clash with Banks will be one of the marquee battles in the CFL’s Touchdown Atlantic game, with the former Most Outstanding Player showing flashes of his old explosiveness early this season.
“With him, I try to get my hands on him,” Marshall said. “He’s small and shifty, but if I win at the line, nine times out of 10, I like my chances.”