Friday, July 31, 2009

Afternoon Update

Found this on the New York Daily News Website about Ahmad Bradshaw. Ralph Vacciano fielded a few questions about the Giants running back situation and the following questions focused on Bradshaw.

NY Daily News, Emptying the rest of the mailbag

@ebolacolas: How do you think the roles will be for the NYG RBs behind Jacobs?

I don’t think it will be much different from last season as far as how the carries are split up. Ideally, Brandon Jacobs would probably get the majority of the workload - 15-20 carries per game. The No. 2 back will get 10-15, and maybe the No. 3 back gets a couple. The No. 2 back will obviously be Ahmad Bradshaw, whom the coaches love. The only concern is his durability. He had 90 carries in his first two seasons, and the Giants’ No. 2 back last year - Derrick Ward - carried 182 times last year. That’s a huge increase in the workload, and there’s no way to tell if Bradshaw can handle it until he has to. Behind him, I don’t know who to expect yet as the No. 3 back. The coaches seem to like Danny Ware, who has performed well against fourth-stringers in the preseason. But they drafted Andre Brown and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield could give him the edge. Either way, history shows the No. 3 back won’t do much unless one of the first two get hurt. Of course, with Jacobs as the No. 1, that’s likely to happen at some point.

@Mike Costelloe: Can Ahmad Bradshaw pick up Derrick Ward’s mantle and be a 1,000 yd back behind Jacobs? If he’s not, is that a problem?

The Giants think he can. Jacobs thinks he can. And Bradshaw is sure he can. Everybody loves his talent, and there are a few members of the organization who believe he’s better than Derrick Ward. But again, it’s a huge jump in workload. Who knows if his body can take the extra pounding? Lots of guys think they can, but until he actually does it there’s no way to know. Is it a problem if he can’t? Absolutely. As much as everybody seems to be excited about Ware, he has no experience at all. Same with Brown, who seems like a good pick, but doesn’t figure to be immediate starter material. And remember, with Jacobs as the lead back, the No. 2 back on this team will probably have to start 2-3 games or maybe more. If Jacobs gets hurt and Bradshaw isn’t capable of picking up his slack, who knows what will happen to the running game?

@gman31: The Giants need to improve their screen game. Who do the Giants plan on using this year? Ward led all RB in catches.

Well, Brown was drafted in part because he’s a pretty good pass-catcher. But I talked with Bradshaw at length during the offseason about what he can and can’t do, and he said people will be surprised at how good a receiver he is. He believes he can easily step into that role and succeed. Clearly Jacobs won’t be the guy. I don’t have the number in front of me, but I remember the ball bouncing off his hands and pads a ton last season. And I know they liked throwing to fullback Madison Hedgecock at times, but that’s not really a good option either. So for screens, my guess will be Bradshaw will be the guy. One intriguing option, though, is rookie tight end Travis Beckham. Remember, he’s really an H-Back, which means he might line up in the backfield at times, which could put him in position to run a screen, too. And he’s an outstanding receiver with great speed. I don’t know that they’ve got that in the playbook, but it’s an option to consider.

Interview with former Marshall Quarterback Jimmy Skinner

Former Marshall Quarterback Jimmy Skinner was nice enough to field a few questions from the Marshall Thundering Blog. Below is an exact transcript of the questions presented to Skinner and his answers. Enjoy!

1. What have you been doing with your self since graduation?

Since I got my Bachelors and Masters at Marshall, I have been coaching football over in Lawrence County Kentucky for Lawrence County High School for two years now with former Marshall Football Player Luke Salmons. We have former Marsahll Football Player Matt Altobello on staff as well. I am currently working for a local bank here and workin on another Masters in Special Education where I want to get a job as a teacher soon hopefully.

2. Since Your stint with the Hunting Heroes ended have you played competitive football?

The Heroes was my last action I have seen as a player and I am currently focussing on my career as a coach. I miss my playing days very much but coaching has allowed me to stay competitive on the field again!

3. During your career at Marshall what are some of your best memories?

Some of my best memories were the relationships I made with all my teammates and winning a lot of games while there. My favorite memory was being able to win a conference championship and bowl game back in 2002.

4. Do you stay connected with any of your former teammates?

I talk to a lot of my former teammates each day and find myself getting into hour long conversations with them about our days playing. Its hard not to but we all cherrish our time there. I can in contact with not only former players but some of the players who are still on the team today.

5. What is your opinion on the upcoming football season at Marshall? Do you think this is the year MU returns to prominence?

I really feel this will be the year that MU gets back on its feet. it has been a rough ride the past few years but i hear nothing but good things happening around the program to where I feel more confident about this years team than the past few years.

6. Brain Anderson appears to be the front runner at quarterback heading into August practice. You were teammates with Anderson for a few seasons. Do you think Anderson can be an effective starting quarterback?

I have total confidence in Brian and know he can get the job done. He is one of the smartest QB's i've ever been around even as a Freshman when I was a Senior i could tell he was going to be great one day. He was thrown into the mix very young in his career and i really feel that his maturity level is where it needs to be to play at a high level.

7. If memory serves me correct you made a single post on last season, or the season before that, asking people to stick by your former teammates. What motivated you to do so?

I got to reading right after i got done playing and saw a lot of negative things being said about some of my former teammates so i just felt i would take it upon myself to say a few words to maybe let people see what the life of a MU football player is like on a daily basis. I'm not big on posting things on the internet but I just kind of wanted to open some eyes to a few people and let my former teammates know that I was still a big supporter of them and that at a time of difficutly, there were still a lot of people in the Marshall community supporting them.

8. Do student athletes pay attention to message boards and what people perceive about them?

I know that I tried to stay away from them just to make sure i didnt' get caught up in distractions both positive and negative, but i do know that some student athletes do get on the message boards and read them. I think its hard not too because some athletes want to know what is being said about them but its not only the athletes who get on its their families who sometimes get on and see the things being said about their sons and that can be hurtful as well.

Today's Marshall Sports News 7/31

From the Charleston Daily Mail, MU center not quite ready:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Marshall volleyball assistant to lead UNCG

From the Herald Dispatch, C-USA Media Day goes to videoconference

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can you find Marshall?

Afternoon Update

Kind of a neat blog post by ESPN’S Graham Watson about C-USA striving for a BCS bowl berth. I am not holding my breath on this one but East Carolina coach Skip Holtz is pretty adamant that C-USA deserves a berth. His main argument being that C-USA schools play a demanding schedule and when it comes to ECU that’s a pretty accurate statement. Any way ready and enjoy. Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

Interview with "I Pay Twenty Fiver a Year" advocate Gary Sweeney

In what I hope is a fixture on the Marshall Thundering Blog I got an interview with “I Pay Twenty Five a Year” advocate Gary W. Sweeney. If you are a frequenter of you have seen the post from Gary (under Caroli…dizilla) about a new fundraising campaign for Marshall University baseball. Gary was kind enough to answer a few questions about the campaign for The Marshall Thundering Blog. Below is a exact transcript of Q&A interview with Mr. Sweeney.

Forward from Gary Sweeney:

Let me state CLEARLY I am NOT seeeking recognition for my participation [along with many others that are involved] to FINALLY build a baseball facility on or near campus of Marshall Univ. All the praise should be directed to the past & present baseball student athletes, Coach Jack Cook & current coach, Jeff Waggoner---that have represented The HERD past & present with PRIDE facing terrible playing conditions for far too long. That's my passion & mission! "I see things that others see & say why? I see things & say WHY NOT! Pres. John F. KennedyAnswers:

What is/has been your relationship with Marshall University,
graduate and post graduate?

(1) Graduated from MU with BS in Jrn./Adv. with a Minor: Poly Sci/Pre Law in 1969...Attended Grad School [1970] as a Graduate Assistant--Page Pitt School Of Journalism--Marshall Univ. 1970 Got drafted in June 1970...spent three years in US Army [1970-73] with a tour in Thailand/Viet Nam. Current $$$contributor to the MU Alumni Assoc.; Page Pitt School of Journalsim.; past season ticket holder to MU Football [during our glory years in the 1990's]; "ex-member" of The Big Green Foundation.

What is your relationship with Marshall University head baseball Coach Jeff Waggoner?

(2) Friendship grew out of respect for Coach Jeff Waggoner beginning in April, mission & passion [past & present] for HERD Baseball caused me to get highly involved in raising $$$ to FINALLY help build a baseball [Field of Dreams] field/stadium on or near campus! My first impressions {Jeff Waggoner}...a man of honor with his players best interests as his motivation for coaching...a leader & developer of men; directing & guiding student athletes to perform in the classroom; helping his players become first class citizens; further developing their baseball skills.

What is Coach Wagoner’s involvement with the “I Pay Twenty-Five Dollars Annually” campaign? The I Pay Twenty-Five Dollars Annually campaign contains the word annually. How long do you envision this campaign lasting? What is your revenue goal?

(3) He has approved my initiation to generate funds for the baseball program through a fund raiser I am suggesting to anyone desiring to help---[IPTFAY] I Pledge $25 A Year. All checks should be mailed to Coach Jeff Waggoner, MU Baseball Dug Out Club, 1 John Marshall Drive,Marshall Univ.; Huntington, WV 25755-6200. These funds are an annual pledge to help purchase baseballs, bats, a batting cage, computers for baseball use & player study needs during road games; meal money for players when traveling; & other everyday baseball expenses. IPTFAY will be ongoing yearly!

Can you provide any details about a new baseball stadium at Marshall University such as location or stadium size?

(5) Not at liberty at this time!

In your opinion what type of baseball Stadium should Marshall build? Are there any schools you wish Marshall would emulate?

(6) One that our university would be proud of & compariable to venues around Conf. USA! If ECU & So. Miss can build stadiums to help their baseball programs be competitive in Div. 1 NCAA baseball & attain berths in "Road to Omaha"----Marshall Univ. should do the same! And we Will!

How can you reassure people the I Pay Twenty-Five Dollars Annually campaign is legitimate?

Contact Coach Jeff Waggoner at his office at Marshall Univ. I won't give out his phone may contact the Baseball Office through the MU switchboard!

How can some one sigh up for the I Pay Twenty-Five Dollars Annually” campaign?

Forward all checks in "any amount" to Coach Jeff Waggoner @ MU Baseball Dug Out Club. See answer: No. 3

Today's Marshall Sports News 7/30

From the Charleston Gazette, Slate named to Mackey Watch List:\

From the Charleston Gazette, Marshall opponents: Central Florida:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Herd's Slate named to Mackey Award watch list:

From the Herald Dispatch, Slate nominated for Mackey Award:

From the Herald Dispatch, Conference USA joins movement toward frugality:

From the Herald Dispatch, Myrtle Beach tight end commits:

From the Herald Dispatch, A-familiar-for-BGSU-Falcons:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Afternoon Update

Today’s update will focus on former Marshall baseball player Nate Lape. Lape was the 2009 pre-season C-USA player of the year after being drafted in the 20th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2008. Unfortunately Lape had a tough 2009 season a went undrafted in the 2009 MLB draft. Recently Nate has ink a contract with the Gateway Grizzles, an independent baseball team in the Frontier League. I have added a link to Lape’s player bio page and statistics on the Grizzles web-site.

Is it just me or does the UNLV media hate Mike Hamrick?

From the Las Vegas Review Journal, ED GRANEY: UNLV chief faces big decision on new AD:

"Take the decision on who should be your school's next athletic director now that Marshall University has called one of its sons home.
The latter is good news for Hamrick, who in a few days probably will be recognized by more people in Huntington, W.Va., than he was in six-plus years here. This is also good news for UNLV, which needs someone running athletics with a feel for the city, all its major players and who could raise more money than what it costs for a morning Starbucks run."

"I'm not sure what brand of moonshine Marshall president Stephen Kopp might be sampling, but when someone describes Hamrick as a person who "knows how to build friends and relationships," it must be some of the crisp, clear, tasty stuff.
It was on the day he was introduced at Marshall when one UNLV athletic department official offered me this: "I am sure if he drove a bus over six of the more influential athletic boosters, he couldn't name five of them."
His words, Neal. Not mine.
Another who has followed and supported UNLV athletics since 1974 wrote that Hamrick was the only athletic director he never met or saw in the community. That he was invisible.
This just in, Neal: Casper the Friendly Ghost is a simple but effective Halloween costume. He doesn't make a good AD.
Hamrick was more out of place here than snowshoes, and that weakened his department. Do some research. Ask about the revolving door of capable employees who left under his watch. Inquire how many times he promoted from within (if you get to two, you're our grand prize winner)."

Geez do these guys have a vendetta or what? Makes you wonder if Hamrick kicked one of there dogs or something. I guess 22 Mountain West Conference Championships, a run to the sweet sixteen, and making UNLV athletes remember that they are STUDENT-athletes does not count for any thing.

Today's Marshall Sports News 7/29

From the Herald Dispatch, Herd trio tabbed by C-USA coaches:

From the Herald Dispatch, WR to pursue degree before sentencing:

From the Herald Dispatch, Marshall's Lynch trails by two after opening round:

From the Sun News, Myrtle Beach's Power commits to Marshall:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Football Commitment

New Football Commitment

Marshall got it’s third verbal commitment for the 2010 Football recruiting class, read about it here:

Afternoon Update

Another feature that will be a staple of this blog. I will scour the internet most afternoons and find a Marshall related story or video clip that has not been seen by many people.

For are first afternoon update I found a story on Ahmad Bradshaw’s football camp which took place mid-July in Bradshaw’s home town of Bluefield WV.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, More than 110 Come Out for Bradshaw’s Camp:

Today's Marshall Sports News 7/28

From the Charleston Gazette, Names in the games (Marshall at Memphis on T.V / Update on Marshall at VT tickets):

From the Charleston Gazette, Marshall Game 8 – UAB:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Marshall AD says school needs clear plan for facilities:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Herd Hokie tickets on sale through Sunday:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Marshall Memphis game to be aired:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Today's Marshall Sports News 7/27

From the Charleston Gazette, Marshall Lands Five on Pre-Sesason C-USA Team:

From the Charleston Daily Mail, Herd gets 5 on All-Conference USA preseason team:

From the Herald Dispatch, Slate, McClellan, Harvey 1st team C-USA:

Something New

Earlier today I got to thinking, why are there no Marshall University sports blogs? With all the blogs littering the Internet why not one for Marshall? Instead of waiting around for some one else to take up the flag I decided to start my own so welcome to the Marshall Thundering Blog!

So what will this blog entail? I plan to take the Marshall sports news posted on various websites and bring it all to this blog! Also, I will provide my own commentary when ever I see fit on issues in Herd Nation. I welcome any one and every one to post their own comments on what they find here.