- Bimage is the latest Brenham Cub to sign with Texas, following former Horns like Malcom Brown, Limas Sweed and Luke Poehlmann.
- Opinions differ on where the three-star prospect will play at Texas; some thing he's a defensive end, others a linebacker.
- A hip condition has required two surgeries and screws placed in his hips, but Bimage says he "can do pretty much anything."
BRENHAM — Every few years, the town of Brenham seemingly sends one of its Cubs on a 90-mile journey to Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Five years ago, Brenham defensive tackle Malcom Brown and linebacker Timothy Cole traded their Blue Bell for burnt-orange jerseys. Luke Poehlmann and Ryan Roberson followed that path paved on U.S. 290 in 2008, the year after Brandon Collins and Ahmard Howard became Longhorns. In 2003, Texas signed Limas Sweed out of this East-Central Texas locale.
Now it’s time for Brenham linebacker Marqez Bimage to introduce himself.
Texas, meet Marqez. Marqez, meet Texas.
“I feel like I really worked for it,” Bimage said of his place in the Brenham-to-Texas pipeline. “Honestly I think nothing’s really done yet; I haven’t really proven myself or anything. We’ll just have to see.”
In Bimage, Texas has signed a 6-2, 242-pound three-star linebacker who says that previously-used descriptions of him like “physical” and “aggressive” are accurate. A three-year letterman, he totaled 128 tackles in his last two varsity seasons. Thirty-five of those were behind the line of scrimmage. Fifteen were sacks.
A three-time all-district honoree, he split District 20-5A’s defensive MVP award this past season with Huntsville linebacker Drew Mahle, who ended up signing with Sam Houston State. During his time at Brenham, Bimage lined up as a safety, linebacker and lineman. He was sporadically used as a running back, tight end and even wildcat quarterback.
“Almost every big game we had, he had a big play at the end,” Brenham coach Glen West said. “When he decided that he couldn’t be blocked, he couldn’t be (stopped).”
Three years ago, West placed Bimage on his varsity roster even though the sophomore had missed his freshman season following a second hip surgery. Cubs coaches liked his size and weren’t unfamiliar with his abilities. West, who’s been Brenham’s coach since 1998, watched Bimage grow up in the one-high school town, and said Bimage was “someone in our town who we looked forward to coaching one day.”
Bimage suffered from slipped capital femoral epiphysis, a hip condition that’s mainly diagnosed in pre-teens and teenagers. It sidelined Bimage in the seventh and ninth grades. The surgeries have left him with a screw in both hips.
Bimage has regained his flexibility and says he “can do pretty much everything.” He has also put on the weight needed to play his position, going from 180 pounds his sophomore season to over 240 pounds this offseason.
As a teenager with hip problems, Bimage had to tackle plenty of uncertainty. Without surgery, would he be able to walk? Could he continue playing football?
Then, of course, there were the jokes.
Bimage’s teammates were aware of his injury history, and they didn’t hesitate to let him know it if he was caught slipping in the weight room. An adult once joked with him that “I’m not sure ladies like guys with stiff hips.”
Don’t worry ladies. Bimage insists that his hips hold up on the dance floor. Don’t believe him? Just watch him dance — the Boogie is his move of choice — at Brenham’s prom this weekend.
“You’ll never think of me, being the type of guy that I am, just dancing,” Bimage said. “I think that throws people off a lot. I usually get a bunch of smiles out of it.”
While dancing may be a hidden talent, football certainly isn’t. He was the 33rd-ranked weakside defensive end prospect in the country according to 247Sports’ composite ratings. Bimage says he’ll play linebacker in college; Rivals listed him as the nation’s 27th-best outside linebacker and Scout had him at No. 31.
“It’s not often that you see a guy with his frame running the open 100-meter dash and competing with guys that he outweighs by at least 30 pounds,” said Roberson, who has returned to Brenham as the Cubs’ linebackers coach. Players now know him as Coach Robo. “Texas will get a guy that has a lot of potential to be a good player with Marqez.”
It was Houston, when Tom Herman was the coach there, that extended Bimage his first scholarship offer in November 2015. He committed to the Cougars one month later. Other offers came in. Cal wasn’t able to woo him away from his Houston pledge. Neither were LSU, Baylor or Texas Tech.
Herman, however, was.
Just a couple of weeks after he was hired at Texas, Herman once again tendered Bimage a scholarship offer. Bimage didn’t immediately accept, but eventually joined the Longhorns’ 2017 class. His familiarity with Herman helped flip him to Texas.
“It’s the tradition that Texas had and it’s also me knowing who coach Herman was and who his staff was,” Bimage said. “There was no second thought about it. I had to do it.”
Editor’s note: This is the ninth of a series of looks at Texas’ 2017 signing class, as we reach out to the recruits themselves across Texas, Oklahoma and Florida to get a sense of just what the Longhorns are getting. Past stories: