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Anxious is one word Curtis Marsh uses when talking about the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday night.

Others words from Marsh? Hopeful. Excited. Ready.

Ready to find out where his professional football career will start, and ready for the uncertainty to end. Marsh, a long-armed, athletic cornerback from Utah State, is projected to go in the fourth round, which would put him in the second day of the draft.

He and Utah defensive back Brandon Burton are the two local players expected to be drafted within the first five rounds. BYU's Andrew Rich, Utah's Zane Taylor and USU's Diondre Borel are the other local draft possibilities, though all are projected as late-round selections or undrafted free agents.

For the first time in recent memory, however, an Aggie could be the first player from Utah selected.

"It would certainly be an honor," Marsh said. "As a program, we haven't had a lot of respect, and we haven't had a lot of success against BYU and Utah, although it was nice to beat BYU this season."

For Marsh, son of former Ute receiver Curtis Marsh, it's been a long road. He has interest from teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, all franchises that have had him in for personal workouts and visits.

He started his career under Brent Guy as a running back, and while he was good there, Gary Andersen came in, took a look at his height and athleticism and pegged him as a cornerback all the way.

"We thought it would be the best thing for our team, and the best way for him to have a chance at the NFL," Andersen said. "The biggest thing is that Curtis is the entire package. Teams love that he was a good student, that he did the right thing off the field and that he was very good for us on the field as well."

Marsh had an impressive 2010 senior season, earning All-WAC honors, while intercepting two passes and being sixth in the country in passes defended per game. Along the way, Marsh was at his best in big games. His defense on Oklahoma All-American Ryan Broyles put him on the map. He had three pass break-ups against BYU and Boise State as well.

Marsh then played well in the Senior Bowl and impressed in workouts.

He could be the first USU player drafted since Kevin Robinson went in the sixth round to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.

"He has a lot of upside," Andersen said. "He's only been playing the position for two years. His best football is ahead of him, and as he gets more comfortable with the position, he's only going to get better."

tjones@sltrib.comTwitter: @tonyaggieville —

Curtis Marsh file

Cornerback began his USU career as a running back.

Finished season ranked sixth nationally in passes defended per game.

Had two interceptions in 2010, helping him earn All-WAC honors.