Yesterday, HerdZone.com columnist Jack Bogaczky penned an article about Marshall’s football recruiting efforts. As HerdZone.com is the official website of Marshall University’s athletic department, Bogaczky could not specifically mention prospects the football staff is pursuing. Fortunately, we don’t have that restriction at the Marshall Thundering Blog.
Below, I have taken passages from Bogaczky’s column and provided additional information about specific players.
Before you read on, make sure you check out the original story here.
HZ: Marshall’s football program expects to start its next growth spurt today.
The midyear signing period for junior college players opens, and the Thundering Herd will be watching the football office fax machine for the first signees for 2013.
“Hopefully, we’ll get at least two,” JaJuan Seider, Marshall’s recruiting coordinator and running backs coach, said. “If we get more than that (during the early period), it will surprise us, too.
“We should fill one of our needs at safety, and hopefully we’ll get a defensive end out there to help us.” Seider called that player “a pass rusher, somebody who can come in a little more mature who can get to the quarterback.
“We might expect more (signees) than that, but things happen; kids go other places.”
MTB: The two players running backs coach JaJuan Seider expects to receive letters of intent from today are JUCO prospects Taj Letman and Arnold Blackmon. Letman, a three star safety according to Rivals.com, hails from Holmes Community College and has three years of eligibility remaining. From his spot at defensive end, Blackmon lead the Southwest Junior College Conference with 21 tackles for loss this season.
The Thundering Herd also has verbal commitments from two prep school players, four star wide receiver Angelo Jean-Louis and safety Stefan Houston. The duo from Fork Union Military Academy could sign letters of intent during the early JUCO period or wait for national signing day in February.
HZ: Coach Doc Holliday’s program has 11 verbal commitments to date, according to recruiting service websites. Holliday will have an offseason press conference at Edwards Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, and if the NLIs are in by then, he will discuss the signees.
MTB: Marshall’s current verbal commitments.
1) Kevin Anderson, Quarterback
2) Mark Barr, Wide Receiver
3) Arnold Blackmon, Defensive End
4) Cody Collins, Offensive Lineman
5) Stefan Houston, Safety
6) Justin Hunt, Wide Receiver
7) Angelo Jean-Louis, Wide Receiver
8) Josh Knight, Wide Receiver
9) Taj Letman, Safety
10) Michael Selby, Offensive Lineman
11) Gerald Wright, Offensive Lineman
12) Aaron Plantt, Linebacker
HZ: Seider said Marshall expects to have a 2013 signing class total of “a range 21 or 22, maybe one more, depending on how things fall.”
That number includes “at least five” players, Seider, said, who were already enrolled this semester as academic non-qualifiers, and will count toward the 2013 class.
MTB: Here are the academic non-qualifiers Seider is referring to.
1) Kent Turene, Linebacker
2) Corey Tindal, Defensive Back
3) Gary Thompson, Linebacker
4) Josh Brown, Defensive Tackle
5) Larry Jefferson, Defensive End/Linebacker
HZ: Getting one of the available scholarships, too, is rising sophomore Tyler Williams, who was the nation’s top freshman punter (45.2 yards per kick) this season and set the Marshall school record for single-season punting average.
MTB: No further explanation needed but, congratulations to Tyler Williams for earning a scholarship, he certainly deserves it.
HZ: Seider said that when the signing class is finished, he expects the Herd will be able to fill its needs.
“We’ve got to get some guys who can play in the back end, safeties,” Seider said, as the Herd loses both safety starters in Boston College graduate transfers Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha. “That’s the No. 1 priority.
“Maybe another linebacker or two, depending on how stuff falls ... We haven’t got much left (beyond commitments and those who sat out and count this year), because the class is about full.
MTB: Like Seider said, Marshall is set at safety with Letman and Houston. The Herd is still pursuing a number of linebackers, chief among them three star prospect Jeremiah Benjamin who took an official visit to Marshall in October.
HZ: “We need to try and get older at offensive tackle, because we’re going to lose three guys there next year (Garrett Scott, Jordan Jeffries, Gage Niemeyer), so if we can get one in, then we can continue to let the young kids grow up.
MTB: Marshall has zeroed in on Arizona Western Community College offensive tackle Jaylen Hunter. A two star prospect, he had an official visit on December 7th.
HZ: “I think we did a good job filling inside (interior offensive lineman) with young kids early; we’ve got some commitment kids we are really high on, think we did a really good job of addressing needs on the offensive line – real blue-collar guys who want to work, tough kids.
MTB: As it currently stands, the Herd has three verbal commitments from high school interior lineman, Selby, Wright, and Collins.
HZ: “We’ve got some receivers who we really like. Everyone we have committed right now, we really, really like. We had a need there. We knew we had to sign at least three wide receivers because we lost three seniors. We like to stay at 12 scholarship guys there, especially the way we play up-tempo, you end up playing 100 plays a game, you’ve got to rotate those guys.
MTB: Two high school wide receivers, Knight and Hunt are verbally committed along with prep school prospect Jean-Louis.