Saturday’s season finale against East Carolina also serves as senior day for fifteen members of Marshall’s football team. I decided to go back and compare the production of those fifteen seniors against their Rivals ranking coming out of high school.
You can find Rivals ranking system here, my rankings are as follows:
1 Star – Non-contributor, did not register negligible stats on special teams or position.
2 Star – Backup, special teams contributor.
3 Star – Starter for at least one season.
4 Star – Multiple season starter, at least one mention on a all conference team.
5 Star – Multiple season starter, at least one all conference first team award.
1. Troy Evans, WR, Laney College (CA) ***
Coming out of junior college Troy Evans was rated a three star prospect by Rivals. At Marshall Evans switched positions from running back to slot receiver, catching 46 passes for 534 yards and four touchdowns. As a solid two year starter it looks like Rivals got Evans ranking right, I also give him three stars.
2. Omar Brown, S, Berkeley High School (SC) ****
Omar Brown was an under the radar recruit in 2007, Rivals did not assign him a star ranking. During his Marshall career Brown started at safety for three season, leading the Herd in tackles this year. Brown was selected as a all C-USA honorable mention in 2010 after registering 88 tackles and three interceptions. Starting for multiple seasons and earning an all C-USA selection gets Brown a four star ranking from my board.
3. Tyler Warner, K, Parkersburg High School (WV) ***
Originally a walk on Tyler Warner did not have a Rivals page prior to joining Marshall’s football team in 2008. Despite his walkon status Warner contributed immediately, connecting on three of five field goal attempts as a true freshman. Warner spent his sophomore season behind Craig Ratanamom but has been Marshall’s primary kicker the last two years, converting 13 of 19 field goal attempts. Even though Warner was named to C-USA’s all freshman team in 2008 I still give him three stars, has to be a little bit of punishment for missing that over time kick against WVU.
4. Kase Whitehead, P, William Blount High School (WV) ***
One of the shortest punters in college football Kase Whitehead came to Marshall as a two start prospect from William Blount High School. Since arriving on campus Whitehead has been Marshall’s starting punter, averaging just below 40 yards per punt for his career. Whitehead never made a Conference USA post or preseason list but, he has been a solid contributor for four seasons, earning a three star grade from my board.
5. Tyson Gale, LB, Alva High School (OK) ***
Oklahoma is not a recruiting hotbed for Marshall University so Tyson Gale’s commitment was a surprise to Herd fans. A two star prospect according to Rivals, Gale contributed right away seeing significant time on special teams during his freshman year. As a junior and senior Gale started at linebacker registering 122 tackles over the last two seasons. As a multi season starter Gale earns a three star rating from my board.
6. George Carpenter, LB, Lancaster High School (OH) ***
George Carpenter comes from a football family, his father and three brothers all played/play college football at the FBS level. Despite his impressive bloodlines Rivals pegged Carpenter as two star prospect coming out of high school. After spending the majority of his career as a backup Carpenter started all eleven games this season, registering 80 tackles and four sacks. Finally cracking the starting lineup as a senior qualifies Carpenter for a three star ranking.
7. C.J Wood, OL, Gainesville High School (FL) ****
Freshman don’t often get a chance to start at offensive tackle but that is exactly what C.J Wood did at Marshall. After taking his redshirt season in 2007 Wood entered Marshall’s starting lineup and never left during a four year career. A three star prospect according to Rivals, Wood made C-USA’s all freshman team in 2008 and was a pre-season second team selection in 2009. With multiple all conference awards and four years in the starting lineup Wood earns a four star rating from my board.
8. Rashad Jackson, DB, Jolliet Junior Community College (IL) ***
Rashad Jackson committed to Marshall out of Jolliet Community College hoping to make an immediate impact in the Herd’s secondary. After redshirting his first year on campus Jackson started at cornerback for the majority of his junior and senior seasons. Rivals gave him and three star rating as a prospect and that rating holds true as Jackson prepares for his last home game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
9. Wayne Bonner, WR, East Mississippi Community College (MS) **
When Wayne Bonner committed to Marshall many thought he was the second coming of Darius Passmore, a productive Herd receiver from junior college. What MU fans actually got was very different. Over three years at Marshall, including a redshirt season spent focusing on academics, Bonner caught 12 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown. As a three star prospect people were expecting more, and that’s why Bonner leaves Marshall with a two star ranking.
10. Tyrone Carper, DB, Graham High School **
Tyrone Carper is the rare walk on that last all four years with a program. Getting his first shot at playing time this season Carper registered seven tackles on special teams. As you can imagine Carper did not have a Rivals profile coming out of high school, I give him two stars for his special teams work this season.
11. Kellen Harris, LB , Sharon High School (PA) ***
Kellen Harris has shuffled in and out of the starting lineup during his five years at Marshall. As a redshirt sophomore Harris started all 13 games at middle linebacker, registering 71 tackles. Since Doc Holliday took over Marshall’s program Harris has been a super sub at linebacker, recording the most tackles of any non-starter. Harris came to Marshall as two star recruit but, spending one season as a starter earns him three stars from my board.
12. Ryan Tillman, OL, Hargrave Military Academy (VA) ****
After spending a post graduate year at Hargrave Military Academy and a redshirt season on Marshall’s campus, Ryan Tillman entered the Herd’s starting lineup and never left. Since his redshirt freshman year in 2008 Tillman has either started at left guard or left tackle for Marshall. Along with starting for four years Tillman earned all C-USA freshman team honors in 2008. Only a two star prospect coming out of Hargrave, Tillman has blossomed into a four star player for the Herd.
13. Brandon Bullock, DL, Absegami High School (NJ) **
If you had to pick one word to describe Brandon Bullock it would be big, A 6’3, 350 lbs defensive tackle Bullock has literally been the big man on campus since 2008. A four year contributor, Bullock was never able to crack the starting lineup while battling weight issues. Over the past two seasons Bullock has appeared in 17 games registering 13 tackles. Rivals got this one right, pegging Bullock as a two star prospect coming out of high school.
14. Delvin Johnson, DL, Woodruff High School (SC) ***
Although his numbers over the past two seasons might not seem spectacular, 55 tackles and three sacks, Delvin Johnson has been a big part of Marshall’s defensive front the last two seasons. A two year starter Johnson never made an all conference list but has been a solid contributor, beating his Rivals ranking of two stars to earn three from my board.
15. Vinny Curry, DL, Neptune High School (NJ) *****
A force on Marshall’s defensive line since 2008 Vinny Curry will be sorely missed after his last game at Joan C. Edwards stadium this Saturday. As a junior Curry earned all C-USA first team honors while recording 94 tackles and 12 sacks. Those number propelled Curry to this years C-USA preseason defensive player of the year award and he has not disappointed, racking up 62 tackles and 11 sacks. Curry greatly outplayed his Rivals ranking of two stars, becoming a five star player at Marshall.
.Marshall’s 2012 senior class consist of prospects from the 2007 and 2008 recruiting class.
.A few notable names from Marshall’s 2007 recruiting class that never made it to senior day:
1. Mark Cann, QB, three star prospect
2. Chris Smith, QB, three star prospect
3. JoJo Cox, RB, three star prospect
4. Terrell Edwards, RB, three star prospect
5. Justin Footman, DB, two star prospect
6. Shane Moore, DL, two star prospect
*See all of Marshall’s 2007 recruiting class here.
.A few notable names from Marshall’s 2008 recruiting class that will not make it to senior day this or next year:
1. Maurice Graham, TE, three star prospect
2. O.J Murdock, WR, three star prospect
3. Ahmed Shakoor, DB, three star prospect
4. John Youboty, DL, three star prospect
5. Jordan Taylor, RB, two star prospect
6. Zach Tenuta, TE, two star prospect
*See all of Marshall’s 2008 recruiting class here.
.Next season Marshall should only have a senior class of nine players.