It's been anything but a direct route from Wilcox County High School to Auburn University for Nick Marshall.
Marshall initially matriculated to the University of Georgia, where he entertained thoughts of being a two-sport athlete in football and basketball. While on the gridiron, he was a defensive back, talented enough that Mark Richt said he could have been all-conference at the position.
But then, one poor decision changed all that.
Marshall and two other players were caught stealing from a teammate in February of 2012 and subsequently dismissed from the team. For Marshall, that end meant a new beginning.
He spent the 2012 season playing quarterback at Garden City Community College in Kansas, rewriting the record books and putting himself back on every Division I radar in the country.
While Auburn had not been in on Marshall out of high school, Florida State and Georgia had. With former FSU assistant Dameyune Craig and former UGA recruiting coordinator Randy Gardner on staff at Auburn, the Plains suddenly beckoned.
"I got to know Nick, recruiting him when I was at Arkansas State, as a person," said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. "We did our homework on him there, and then the fact that we got here with Coach Gardner, knew him, knew the family well, all of the above had to do with that."
Marshall eventually won the starting quarterback job, and has turned into, statistically, the leading rushing quarterback in the SEC, something that doesn't surprise Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
"[He's] very athletic, great competitor, tough kid," Richt said. "Obviously, Auburn's benefited from Nick being there, but from a production standpoint, at the quarterback position, he's been very dynamic for them."
Not only has he turned into one of the most dangerous players in the conference, Marshall has matured off the field as well.
"We're very proud of Nick on the field and off the field," Malzahn said. "He has a lot of respect from his teammates as well as his coaches, and he's a good person."
So for Nick Marshall, Saturday's game against Georgia is no bigger than any other.