Marcus Smith II is a professional athlete, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and guest speaker dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in professional sports. In addition to playing in the NFL, he creates opportunities for single mothers and their children through his foundation, MII, and seeks to improve the world through the written and spoken word.


A Georgia native, Marcus battled anxiety and depression from an early age. He struggled with these unwanted yet ever-present companions well into adulthood and even contemplated taking his own life. Nevertheless, he overcame all odds to become one of the best football players in the world.

Marcus played quarterback at Hardaway High School in Columbus, Georgia, before switching to linebacker at the University of Louisville. In 2013, he led the nation in sacks (14.5) and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a third-team All-American. A first-round NFL Draft pick in 2014, he went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins.

Marcus has touched countless lives along his football journey, his faith always at the forefront of his life. He is committed to helping others overcome their mental health struggles and believes his story can inspire them to get the help they need.

Marcus has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, which prepared him for life after football. He lives in Waldorf, Maryland, with his wife, Allison, and their daughter, Sarai. (I took out a few details from the original copy, including the line about owning property all across the country. If Marcus wants to include something about that, I would simply say he’s “a real estate investor.”)

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