Tuesday, July 31, 2012

C-USA News: NCAA hands down penalties to UCF

Earlier today the NCAA handed down sanctions to Conference USA member UCF in football and men's basketball stemming from impermissible recruiting activities and extra player benefits in both sports.

Many of the penalties UCF received today directly effect their last year of competition in C-USA. Those sanctions are as follows:
  • Postseason ban for the 2012 football season and 2012-13 men’s basketball season.
  • Vacation of all men’s basketball wins in which an ineligible student-athlete competed for the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. The public report includes further details (self-imposed by the university). 
In addition, former Marshall and current UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones was hit with a show cause penalty for three years. The show cause penalty means any NCAA school that attempts to hire Jones must prove he will comply with NCAA rules and accept all probation's linked to them.  Jones will also be restricted from recruiting off-campus during all three July evaluation periods during 2012 and 2013.

In addition, any UCF basketball or football player can transfer without penalty and play immediately at another school.

You can see the NCAA's report on the sanctions handed down to UCF here.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Marshal Football: Kevin Anderson commits to Herd

Per the Twitter account of Marshall assistant football coach JaJuan Seider, Boca Raton quarterback Kevin Anderson has committed to Marshall University. Earlier this evening Seider sent out the following tweet "Herd get ready to add a signal caller to next year class. Go Herd!"

Ranked by ESPN.com as the 39th best pocket passer in the class of 2013, Anderson recently spent four days at Marshall touring the campus and football facilities.

Anderson has put together an impressive summer after being named MVP of the Brandon Flowers 7-on-7 tournament. He also lead Boca Raton to the tournament championship.  

For much more on Anderson follow the links below:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Marshall well represented at Olympics

During tonight’s opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics keep your eyes peeled for two Marshall alumni.

A native of Consett England, Chantelle Handy will be representing Great Britain’s woman’s basketball team. Handy was a member of the Thundering Herd from 2007 to 2010 where she posted career averages of 7.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.  

Mike D'Antoni returns to the Olympics as a member of Mike Kryzewski’s coaching staff hoping to lead USA men’s basketball to consecutive gold medals. Prior to becoming head coach of the NBA's Phoenix Suns D’Antoni had an extensive playing and coaching career in Europe. The Mullens West Virginia native still ranks as the all time leading scorer for Italian club Olimpia Milano.  

Handy and Great Britain face their first test tomorrow as they start group play against Australia.

You can watch USA men’s basketball take on France this Sunday on the NBC Sports Network tipping off at 9:30am. 

We Are….Turning Three!

The Marshall Thundering Blog is celebrating its third anniversary today. I want to thank all my readers for their continued support and I hope you keep coming back!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Marshall in the NFL: Training camp preview edition

NFL training camps open this week with twelve former Marshall football players in tow. Here is quick look at each as they fight for roster spots or expanded roles on their respective teams.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw battled persistent ankle and foot injuries during the 2011 regular season but still managed to rush for 659 yards and nine touchdowns while adding a additional 267 yards through the air on 34 catches with two TD’s. In New York’s 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI Bradshaw scored an awkward game winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining.

This offseason the Giants did not re-sign Bradshaw’s backfield mate Brandon Jacobs but, New York did spend a first round pick on former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.
2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers
This offseason the San Francisco 49ers rewarded C.J Spillman with a three year $6 million dollar contract. As one of San Francisco’s gunners on punt coverage Spillman recorded 18 tackles last year while also playing a reserve role at safety.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2011 NFL season started on a high note for Doug Legursky as he won the Pittsburgh Steelers starting right guard spot out of training camp. Injuries along the offensive front required the Beckley West Virginia native to play all three interior line positions while missing four games himself due to shoulder and toe problems.

Pittsburgh bolsterd its depth at guard by drafting Stanford David DeCastro in the first round of this April's NFL draft. 

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Byron Leftwich’s season never got off the ground as he broke his arm in the preseason, landing him on the Pittsburgh Steelers injured reserve for all of 2011. Leftwich is back with Pittsburgh this season competing with Charlie Batch for the right to backup starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

After spending all of 2010 on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad Albert McClellan made the 53 man roster out of training camp last year. Playing mostly special teams McClellan registered 19 tackles. He started one game, week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers, and was credited with four stops.

McClellan could see more playing time in 2012 as Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs tore his ACL this offseason and will be out for the year.  

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Lee Smith started his NFL career as a fifth round pick of the New England Patriots but was cut during training camp. Buffalo picked him up shortly thereafter and Smith made his debut on October 2nd against the Cincinnati Bengals. Playing mostly special teams until week 13 Smith registered a few tackles and appeared in Buffalo’s goal line packages. Smith recorded his first NFL receptions on December 4th, catching three passes for 11 yards. For the year Smith caught four passes for 11 yards.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

After a one year hiatus Randy Moss is back in the NFL. Moss signed a one year contract with the San Francisco 49ers this March that could be worth up to $4 million if certain performance incentives are met.

Moss’s last NFL season (2010) saw Marshall’s first ever Heisman Trophy candidate on three teams, the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, and Tennessee Titans. Playing for a trio of clubs did not help as Moss recorded career lows in receptions, 28 and yards, 393, while only catching five touchdown passes.

8. Daniel Baldridge, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

Daniel Baldridge has spent the last two years on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad after being signed as a undrafted free agent in 2010. Per NFL rules a player can spend a maximum of two seasons on the practice squad meaning Baldridge must make Jacksonville’s 53 man roster if he is to remain with the team.  

9. Johnny Jones, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers

A native Floridian Johnny Jones began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins. After appearing in two preseason games Miami released Jones who was signed shortly thereafter by the Green Bay Packers. The defensive tackle spent all of 2011 on Green Bay’s taxi squad and will fight to make the active roster during training camp.  

10. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

After a stellar career at Marshall which included a 2011 Conference USA defensive player of the year award Vinny Curry was selected in the second round, 59th overall, by the Philadelphia Eagles this April's NFL Draft. Curry joins an impressive group of Eagles defensive ends including Jason Babin and Trent Cole who both recorded double digit sacks last season.

11. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Mario Harvey’s time in the NFL got off to a tenuous start. After being signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a undrafted free agent Harvey suffered a leg injury that limited him to one preseason game. Harvey was cut at the end of training camp and spent 2011 out of football. This offseason Harvey signed with the Indianapolis Colts and will attempt to earn a roster spot during training camp.

12. Omar Brown, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

As an undrafted free agent Omar Brown faces an uphill climb to make the Baltimore Ravens roster. Baltimore is currently carrying seven safeties including future Hall of Famer Ed Reed and veteran Bernard Pollard.

13. Delvin Johnson, Nose Tackle, Washington Redskins

Delvin Johnson has already earned his way onto one NFL roster. Undrafted and unsigned as a free agent Johnson accepted an invitation to the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp in May. Over the three day camp Johnson impressed the Redskins coaching staff enough to be placed on the 90 man training camp roster.

Johnson will be learning a new position in Washington’s 3-4 defensive scheme, nose tackle, after playing defensive tackle at Marshall.    

14. Chris Massey, Long Snapper, Free Agent

After signing a long term contract last offseason Chris Massey was set to be the St. Louis Rams long snapper for years to come. Instead, Massey was cut by the Rams right before the regular season in favor of rookie Jake McQuaide . Massey was picked up by the Chicago Bears on November 24th and spent the rest of the year as their long snapper.  

Currently a free agent Massey will not be in an NFL training camp for the first time in 10 years if he is not signed this offseason.

15. Chris Crocker, Safety, Free Agent

Chris Crocker’s four year tenure with the Cincinnati ended shortly after the Bengals playoff loss to the Houston Texans. The nine year NFL veteran was released after registering 61 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and forced a fumble in 2011.  Crocker has visited multiple teams this offseason including the Detroit Lions but, it looks like training camp will start without the former Marshall standout in uniform.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Marshall Football: Dobson voted all C-USA & Herd picked third

1) Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson was named a first team all Conference USA pre-season selection yesterday by the leagues head coaches. As a junior Dobson caught 49 passes for 668 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2011.  

2) C-USA’s football preseason media poll was released earlier today. Marshall was predicted to finish third in the Eastern Division behind UCF and Southern Miss. Rounding out the east, East Carolina was slated fourth followed by UAB and Memphis.

Last season’s C-USA Western Division champion Houston was picked to re-peat in 2012 followed by Tulsa, SMU, UTEP, Rice, and Tulane.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Marshall basketball: Wilkerson joins Spurs for NBA Summer League

After a one year hiatus the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League and former Marshall basketball player Tyler Wilkerson are back. Wilkerson has re-joined the San Antonio Spurs Summer League squad this month with the hopes of earning a training camp invitation.

The Las Vegas Summer League started last Friday and runs through July 22nd. Against the Las Angeles Lakers last night Wilkerson lead San Antonio’s bench players with 12 points and eight rebounds while playing just under 28 minutes.

Wilkerson last played with the Spurs Summer League team in 2010 where he averaged 11 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Despite the strong effort he was not invited to training camp and has been playing in Israel’s Primer League with Maccabi Haifa the past two years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd adds Anthony Livingston & Austin Loop

According the Twitter account of Charleston Daily Mail reporter Derek Redd, Marshall basketball coach Tom Herrion has added two new players to his program.

Appearing at practice for the first time today were academic non-qualifier Anthony Livingston and walk-on Austin Loop.

Information on Livingston is scarce, reports indicate the Washington D.C. native spent last year at Beacon Prep in Atlanta Georgia. Various websites list him between 6’7 and 6’8, weighing in around 230 pounds.  You can see a video of Livingston playing with Redemption Christian Academy, possibly during the 2010-2011 school year, here (#24 in white).

Loop is a 6’4 guard from Ohio’s South Webster High School. As a senior he averaged 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.8 assists per game. For more on Loop’s impressive senior season read this Portsmouth Daily Times article.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Hassan Whiteside waived by Kings

Former Marshall basketball player Hassan Whiteside was waived by the Sacramento Kings earlier today. The Kings drafted Whiteside 33rd overall in the 2010 draft after his freshman season with the Thundering Herd. According to reports Sacramento had to waive the 7-foot center today before his contract became fully guaranteed for the 2012-13 season.

In two NBA season Whiteside only averaged 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 points in 19 games played.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marshall Football: 2012 scheduling notes

Two items on the 2012 football schedule:

1) Per the website WVIllustrated.com, Marshall's opening game against West Virginia will be broadcast by FX at noon. As of now the game is scheduled for Saturday September 1st in Morgantown although, don't be surprised if the date changes.

2) Kickoff of the Thundering Herd's home opener against Western Carolina on September 8th has been moved from 6:30pm to 7pm. The change was made to accommodate a new broadcast partner, Fox College Sports.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marshall Football: Josh Brown transfers to Marshall

Per the website Shakin the Southland, 2012 Clemson commitment Josh Brown has transferred to Marshall. A defensive tackle Brown was rated a three star prospect by Rivals coming out of South Carolina’s South Aiken High School.

According to this report Brown was unable to gain eligibility with the Tigers and decided to enroll at Marshall as a academic non-qualifier instead of attending prep school.

For more on Brown follow the links below:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remembering JT Rembert

The unexpected death of former Marshall University football player JT Rembert has produced an avalanche of remembrances from around Herd nation. Below, I have done my best to link as many of those stories as possible.

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herd Insider

The Herald Dispatch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd at Kentucky set for December 22nd

Per the Twitter account of WSAZ sportscaster Keith Morehouse, Marshall has officially scheduled a men’s basketball game at Kentucky on Saturday December 22nd. Rumors of a possible Thundering Herd, Wildcat matchup surfaced last month.

The two schools last met on the hardwood in 2003, a 89-76 UK win at Cincinnati’s US Bank Arena. Kentucky has never lost to Marshall, holding a 11-0 record dating back to 1914.

Marshall Football: Rakim Reed leaves program

Freshman tight end Rakim Reed is no longer a member of Marshall’s football program. Reed has transferred to Walsh University, a division two school in Ohio.

Reed originally committed to Marshall in January of 2011 but did not enroll until the second semester of 2012 after spending a year at Fork Union Military Academy, a prep school in central Virginia. The Ohio native participated in spring practice but faced little playing time this fall behind established tight ends Gator Hoskins, C.J Crawford, and Eric Frohnapfel.

Reed is the second tight end to leave Marshall’s football program this summer. Yesterday we reported that Reed’s former teammate at Fork Union, Chris Hall, had enrolled at Virginia Union University and will not be joining the Thundering Herd. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herrion promotes King to assistant coach

Per his official Twitter account Marshall basketball coach Tom Herrion announced the promotion of graduate assistant Josh King to full time assistant coach.

King has spent two years with the Herd as a GA, prior to that he was an assistant coach at UMASS-Lowell and Vassar College.

Marshall Football: Chris Hall will not join Herd

Marshall’s 2012 football recruiting class has suffered its first departure. Fork Union tight end Chris Hall enrolled at Virginia Union and will not be joining the Thundering Herd this fall.

A former quarterback Hall threw for 1,056 yards and 21 touchdowns during his senior season at Richmond Virginia’s Dinwiddie High School. Coming out of Dinwiddie, Hall accepted a scholarship to Virginia Tech but he didn’t qualify academically and went to Fork Union.

Reports from January indicated that Hall would be given the chance to compete at quarterback for Marshall.

Hall announced he enrolled at Virginia Union via Twitter (click on picture to enlarge) a few days ago.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Tinnon eligible for 2012-2013 season

Per an official release by Marshall University, basketball player Dennis Tinnon has been ruled eligible for the 2012-2013 season.

You can read the official release on HerdZone.com.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Marshall Football: Summer rumblings

Don't miss this article on Marshall's football team by Herald Dispatch reporter Andrew Ramspacher. Ramspacher breaks down Evan McKelvey's move from safety to linebacker and has updates on numerous other players including Rakeem Cato, A.J Leggett, Jermaine Holmes, Gunnar Holcombe, and Blake Frohnapfel.