Signing and waiving players during training camp is commonplace as teams try to find the right people to put on their roster. But rarely do they lose players to retirement during training camp. San Diego Fleet fullback Daniel Marx did just that. On Monday, the San Diego Fleet announced the retirement of Daniel Marx and the signing of defensive linemen Donte Wilkins.
Daniel Marx played at Stanford from 2014 to 2018 and blocked for running backs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. Both running backs ran for over 2,000 yards behind Marx, who also led Stanford to three games of 350 rushing yards or more over his last two seasons.
McCaffrey and Love are both great running backs, and Marx’s work helped them get downfield, where their elusiveness could be put to the best use. He didn’t touched the ball much during his time with Stanford, compiling five carries for seven yards and six receptions for 59 yards.
He was praised by the Stanford coaching staff as a key cog in their power run game.
David Shaw said, “This is a guy who is going to play on Sundays. He’s that good — a very versatile football player.” He did end up getting some chances in the NFL, but never stuck on a team. After going undrafted in 2018, he was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons. He was released in late July and signed on with the Seattle Seahawks through the preseason before he was waived on the day of final cuts.
Marx then signed with the San Diego Fleet on September 14, one of the earliest signees to the league.
The San Diego Fleet also announced the signing of defensive lineman Donte Wilkins from the University of Virginia on Monday.
Wilkins played for Virginia from 2012 to 2016, becoming a starter and captain in 2016. He started 17 out of the 45 games he played, totaling 89 total tackles, seven and a half tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and one sack. His best season was his senior year, when he had 47 tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble. After playing primarily defensive tackle in college, he looks to do the same for the Fleet.
At 6-foot-1 and 300 pounds, Donte Wilkins should insert himself right into the competition for a roster spot. He played nose tackle for a good amount of his time in college, but his quickness and ability to get off of blocks gives him the ability to move to a two or three technique. He shows tremendous hustle on the field, and off the field, Wilkins is a proven leader after being named one of Virginia’s three captains his senior year and working as a coach for UCLA Football.
The San Diego Fleet seems to be adding depth on the defensive line as they look to strengthen their front seven, with two new linemen having joined the team within the past week. They also lose a possible piece to their running game as Daniel Marx surprisingly retires at the age of 23.