Marcus Robertson ranks among the greatest defensive backs in Iowa State football history, earning all-Big Eight Conference honors twice. He also enjoyed a successful 12-year NFL career, compiling first-team All-Pro honors twice.
A native of Altadena, Calif., Robertson arrived in Ames in 1987 after earning third-team all-state honors his senior season. He quickly found his way into the Cyclone lineup as a rookie, tallying 54 tackles in head coach Jim Walden’s first season at ISU.
In his sophomore season (1988), Robertson earned a reputation as a lock-down corner, taking on the assignment of guarding the opposition’s top receiver. He was named honorable mention all-Big Eight, leading the team with three interceptions, recovering two fumbles and recording 70 stops.
Robertson and the Cyclones had a breakout year in 1989, as the junior earned first-team all-Big Eight honors and ISU recorded a 6-5 mark, and its first winning conference record (4-3) since 1978. He recorded 89 tackles and led the Big Eight with 11 passes broken up. Robertson also handled punt return duties, fielding 13 punts for 77 yards.
Despite missing the last three games of his senior season (1990) with a broken leg, Robertson was named first-team all-Big Eight for the second consecutive season. The senior recorded 47 tackles and broke up a team-high six passes. His only interception that year was a big one. Robertson picked off a pass in ISU’s 33-31 win over No. 16 Oklahoma in Norman to help the Cyclones defeat OU for the first time since 1961.
Robertson’s outstanding collegiate career earned him a fourth-round pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1991 NFL draft. He made the roster and worked his way into a starting spot by the 1992 season, switching to free safety. In 1993, Robertson had his best season in the NFL, earning first-team All-Pro honors by tying for fourth in the league in interceptions (7) in just 13 games. The Oilers made the playoffs in Robertson’s first three seasons on the team.
Robertson continued to anchor the Oilers’ defensive secondary for 10 seasons. The Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997 where Robertson earned All-Pro honors for the second time. He picked off five passes and tied an NFL season record with two fumbles returned for touchdowns.
The organization officially changed its name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Robertson was a key part of that magical season, as the Titans made it to Super Bowl XXXIV to take on the St. Louis Rams. However, Robertson was sidelined for the game after suffering a foot injury in the Titan playoff run.
Robertson played one more season with the Titans before getting traded to Seattle, where he closed out his outstanding 12-year NFL career in 2002. He played in 163 NFL games, intercepted 24 passes and was a part of five playoff teams in his career.
After putting away his shoulder pads, Robertson was hired by the Titans organization as their director of player development in 2003. Robertson and his staff won the Winston and Shell Award in 2006 for its innovation and commitment to player development in the NFL. He moved out of the front office in 2007, and enters his second season as assistant secondary coach for the Titans.