As we inch closer to Marshall’s first game at WVU on September 3rd the Marshall Thundering Blog is breaking down the Herds roster position by position. Today will focus on the defensive line.
*Editors note – I have decided to abandon the best / worst case scenario format. The previews did not read well in current and future tense. Instead, I will just preview each position.
Vinny Curry – 94 TKLS, 12 Sacks
Michael Janac – 36 TKLS, 3 Sacks
Trevor Black – 23 TKLS, 1 Sack
Delvin Johnson – 20 TKLS, 1 Sack
James Rouse – 19 TKLS, 0.5 Sacks
Demetrius Thompson – 16 TKLS
Marques Aiken – 15 TKLS, 0.5 Sacks
Brandon Sparrow – 12 TKLS
Jeremiah Taylor – 9 TKLS, 1 Sack
Alex Bazzie – 6 TKLS
Brandon Bullock – 5 TKLS
Vinny Curry, redshirt senior
Trevor Black, sophomore
Delvin Johnson, redshirt senior
James Rouse, redshirt sophomore
Marques Aiken, redshirt sophomore
Brandon Sparrow, sophomore
Jeremiah Taylor, sophomore
Alex Bazzie, redshirt sophomore
Brandon Bullock, redshirt senior
Ra’Shawde Myers, freshman
Matt Pickett, redshirt sophomore
Malcolm Strong, redshirt freshman
Darien Moody, freshman
Jarquez Samuel, freshman
Any conversation about Marshall's defensive line must start with Vinny Curry. Curry a 6'5 242 pound defensive end is the Herds most dynamic player and was named Conference USA's 2011 pre-season defensive player of the year. Coming off a season where he accumulated 94 tackles and 12 sacks Curry anchors a talented defensive front.
A fierce position battle has broken out for the end spot opposite Curry. Coming out of spring practice sophomore Jeremiah Taylor was listed as the other first team defensive end. He has impressed coaches this August but, with his size, 6'4 250 pounds, Taylor could find him self playing defensive tackle. If Taylor moves into the interior line a talented group of underclassman are egger for his spot.
A late addition in 2010, freshman Ra’Shawde Myers has stood out during the first week of pre-season camp. As a high school senior in Florida Myers picked up all state honors and at 6'4 215 pounds he could be a speed rusher off the end. Marshall also has bigger options opposite Curry including converted linebacker Trevor Black (6'2, 227), former walk-on Alex Bazzie (6'1, 228), redshirt sophomore James Rouse (6'5, 231), and true freshman Jarquez Samuel (6'5, 240).
In the middle Marshall losses Michael Janac but returns plenty more beef. Chief among the Herd's beefy interior lineman is Brandon Bullock. Bullock has suffered through weight issues his whole Marshall career and this season is no different, according to reports he arrived at August practice around 390 pounds. Head Coach Doc Holliday has Bullock running the stadium stairs until he reaches an acceptable playing weight. If Bullock can get into shape he could play a valuable role at nose tackle during 3-4 defensive sets. Playing a 4-3 front redshirt senior Delvin Johnson and sophomore Bradon Sparrow topped the post spring depth chart at defensive tackle. Johnson, a big contributor the past three seasons is sure to start while Sparrow will have to fend off Taylor and sophomore Marques Aiken to keep his starting job.
Next Preview: Linebackers