Interview with Marques Ogden: His Story

Brianna Martinez

Editor, News

I got the pleasure of interviewing Marques Ogden who is a retired NFL player, who now lives in North Carolina and now is an inspirational keynote speaker, three-times best selling author, and a business coach/consultant.  Mr.Ogden shares his life-changing and inspiring story to people all over the world. Ogden is originally from Washington D.C. where he attended both St. John’s High School and Howard University. From there, he made his way into the NFL and has now been inducted into the Howard University Athletic Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was named in CORE Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Blacks Today list. I asked Mr.Ogden a few questions throughout our interview. 

PC: Binh Nguyen

Question 1: “How do you feel about coming this far in your journey and being at this place in your life in your present moment?”

Marques Ogden: “You know Brianna, I feel grateful and blessed to be here at this moment. I struggled with a lot of things such as addictions and financial issues, and I wasn’t ready to transition to real life outside of the NFL. So at this moment I feel blessed to be where I am in my life.” 

Question 2: “Do you believe that student athletes in college as well as normal college students should always have a backup plan?” 

Marques Ogden: “YES. When I was in college I was going for business and economics, because I always knew in my mind that I had an interest in business. I never thought or had a plan for going into the NFL; when that happened, my life did a whole 180 turn around. Being able to take accountability for the paths I was choosing was most important, because it helped me realize a lot about myself and what path I was headed down.” 

Question 3: “How was it playing football at Howard University?”

Marques Ogden: “It was great, I mean it was some of the best times of my life,  I learned so much through my time at Howard University. I got to carry on the legacy of my father, who also attended Howard University. My father is also in the hall of fame at the university. I was the only offensive player at Howard University who got drafted into the NFL during my time.” 

Question 4: “What motivated you the most during your time in college up until the NFL?”

Marques Ogden: “You know what motivated me was my father, making him proud since he raised me, my best friend. His legacy is very important to me, and just carrying that on was something that motivated me to strive for more. I’ll tell you that money was not motivational for me, I just knew that it was necessary.” 

Question 5: “What inspired you to write your book, ‘Sleepless Nights’ ?”

Marques Ogden: “When I wrote my first book, ‘Sleepless Nights,’ I was really going through a lot in my life. I was working as a custodian during the night shift from 10PM to 5AM, I didn’t even have enough money for my bills. Then one morning during my custodian shift, I was faced with the most disgusting gunk to clean and in that moment I decided that I was going to quit my job as a custodian and change my life. So, then I opened up my own construction business, but as my construction business progressed I then became a horrible boss. I was always late to work, or sometimes never arrived. Being irresponsible led to my company going bankrupt, and it made me open my eyes to life, and what I really wanted my life to look like and be like for me, for my family. So writing this book allowed me to express the things in my life that I went through and was going through.” 

Lastly I asked Mr.Ogden if he had any advice for anyone reading this article that may need some help with getting started creating the life they are working to achieve. He let me know to make sure I included this piece of advice in my article. Marques Ogden said, “Start networking now, it’s not who you know, it’s who would vouch for you in a room full of people.”



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