Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye to UCF, SMU, Houston, and Memphis

On Monday Conference USA says goodbye to four members, UCF, SMU, Houston, and Memphis as they enter the newly minted American Athletic Conference. While C-USA still has more schools to come and go over the upcoming years lets review Marshall's most memorable moments against tomorrows departures.  


March 29th 2010 - Knights Sign Donnie Jones Away from Herd

Although this confrontation occurred off the court, UCF’s hiring of then Marshall basketball coach Donnie Jones was arguably the biggest dust up between the two institutions while in C-USA. Jones told ESPN’s Andy Katz that his departure to a conference rival was “the toughest decision for me to make

January 13th 2012 – Hotel Gate

In what can only be described as a bizarre incident UCF basketball players A.J. Pompoza, Tristian Spurlock, and Kasey Wilson took to Twitter and posted sarcastic comments about the Knight’s accommodations at Huntington’s Pullman Plaza Hotel. Their tweets quickly went viral and were broadcast by national websites including Deadspin. Obviously, Marshall fans did not take kindly to the messages and an already hostel Cam Henderson Center was at full tilt the following evening as the Herd took down UCF 65-64.

September 24th 2005 – UCF Breaks Losing Streak

UCF had lost 17 straight football games when they hosted Marshall for both schools conference opener in 2005. The Knight’s would snap their losing streak that night, beating the Thundering Herd 23-13. At the final whistle jubilant UCF fans stormed the field and took down the goal post.


January 21st 2009 - Markel’s Miracle

With the clock nearing zero and the score knotted at 50, Marshall’s Markel Humphrey grabbed a SMU rebound, took a few dribbles, and nailed a 75-foot bank shot to secure a 53-50 win over the visiting Mustangs.  


May 25th 2008 – Houston Best Marshall for Baseball Title

Seeded 6th in the 2008 C-USA baseball tournament Marshall went on a impressive run, beating two higher seeds on their way to the championship game against Houston. Unfortunately the Cougars were better that day, beating the Herd 3-2.

February 1st 2011 – Aundra Williams Comes up Big

Scoring his only points of the game, Marshall forward Aundra Williams converted a layup with 11 seconds to play, securing a 63-62 win at Houston.

October 28th 2008 – Tragedy on the Field

In front of a national television audience Marshall hosted Houston for a Thursday night football game. Sporting green helmets for the first time since 1985 The Herd came out strong, scoring the 13 unanswered points on their way to a 37-27 victory although, the game will always be remembered for what happen to Cougars wide receiver Patrick Edwards. Chasing down a pass late in the third quarter Edwards leg collided with a band cart left carelessly behind the end zone, causing a compound fracture. Fortunately,  Edwards made a full recovery and posted three straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons after the injury.


November 17th 2011 – Crunch Time Victory

The outcome appeared bleak for the Herd as Memphis held a 12 point lead with just over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Needing a miracle on the road Marshall received a few including a 65 yard kick return from Andre Snipes-Booker, and powerful runs to the end zone by Travon Van and Tron Martinez. The defense also held strong, holding the Tigers scoreless the remainder of the game as Marshall escaped with a 23-22 victory. The win was crucial as Marshall would defeat ECU at home the following week, securing six wins and postseason eligibility.

January 29th 2011 - Taking Down the Giant

To put it mildly Memphis dominated C-USA basketball after the league re-organized in 2005. During that time period the Tigers won seven conference tournament championships and fell two points short of capturing a national title. The Tigers never had a hard time defeating Marshall either but that all changed on a cold January night in 2011. Lead by 20 points from DeAndre Kane and 17 from both Tirrell Baines and Damir Pitts the Thundering Herd took down Memphis 85-70 in the Cam Henderson Center. 

March 10th 2012 - Coming up Short

Marshall entered the 2012 C-USA basketball tournament as the sixth seed, needing to win four games in four days to capture the league title. The Herd came close, reaching the championship game after easy wins over SMU and Southern Miss along with a three overtime thriller against Tulsa. Marshall faced a better rested Memphis squad on their home court for the league title and it showed. The Tigers easily defeated the Thundering Herd in a 83-57 blowout

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marshall Baseball: Summer News and Notes

1) The Oakland Athletics sent pitcher and Marshall alum Dan Straily back to the minor leagues, assigning him to AAA Sacramento. Straily’s trip to the minors could be short lived, Oakland does not need a fifth starter until July 5th and they called up a position player for added depth. In 12 starts with the A’s this year Straily has a 4-2 record and 5.00 ERA.

2) In a interview with the Beckley Register-Herald,  Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick indicated that a new baseball stadium is “next on the agenda”.

3) Former Marshall outfield Isaac Ballou is off to a fast start with the Auburn Doubledays. In nine games and 25 at-bats Ballou has registered a .438 on base percentage. Ballou was a 15th round selection in this year’s MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals

4) Finishing up our baseball related items, former Marshall starting pitcher Aaron Blair will begin his professional career with the Hillsboro Hops. Blair was selected 36th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks during this month’s MLB Draft.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Marshall Football: Ja'ree Tolbert Commits to Herd

Ja'ree Tolbert became the second football prospect to give Marshall a verbal commitment today, joining athlete Keion Davis

A defensive tackle, Tolbert joins the Thundering Herd from Florida's Miami Springs High School. He already boast college level size, standing 6-foot-2, 270 pounds. During his junior season Tolbert registered 40 tackles and nine sacks. After putting up those numbers the Miami Herald named him a All-Dade County honorable mention.

Although he lacked other scholarship offers Tolbert was receiving interest from Appalachian State, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh. 

For more on Tolbert follow the links below.

Marshall Football: Keion Davis Commits to Herd

Marshall’s football staff continued its hard work on the recruiting trail today, picking up a commitment from Georgia athlete Keion Davis.

The primary ball carrier at Langston Hughes High School, Davis rushed for 1,068 yards on 197 attempts and 12 touchdowns during his junior season. He also caught an five passes for 50 yards and two additional scores.

Rivals ranks the six foot, 185 pound Davis as a two star recruit and 247Sports calls him the 89th best prospect in the state of Georgia. Besides Marshall he also had scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Georgia State, and South Alabama. With today’s announcement Davis becomes the Thundering Herds fourth verbal commitment from Georgia.

For more on Davis follow the links below.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Marshall Football: Grades Prevent Jeremiah Benjamin from Qualifying

Marshall lost a big member of its 2013 recruiting class as multiple outlets are reporting that linebacker Jeremiah Benjamin has failed to qualify academically and will not enroll in school.

ESPN ranked Benjamin as the 20th best linebacker prospect in the class of 2013. He chose the Thundering Herd over numerous other scholarship offers including West Virginia, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Kentucky. Current WVU and former Marshall running backs coach Jajuan Seider was Benjamin's lead recruiter.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Marshall Football: Ohio Game Time Set

The "Battle for the Bell" between Marshall and Ohio University has been set for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Saturday September 14th. ESPN3 will provide broadcast coverage from Peden Stadium.

2013 Marshall University Football Schedule
August 31st - Miami (OH), 7 p.m., CBS Sports
September 7th - Gardner-Webb, 6:30 p.m.
September 14th at Ohio, 8 p.m., ESPN3
September 21st at Virginia Tech, TBA
October 5th - Texas San Antonio, 2 p.m., Time Warner Texas
October 12th at Florida Atlantic, 5 p.m., Fox College Sports
October 24th at Middle Tennessee, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1
November 2nd - Southern Miss, 12:30 p.m., CBS Sports
November 9th - UAB, 12 noon, Comcast Sports
November 14th at Tulsa, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1
November 23rd at Florida International, TBA, Fox Sports
November 29th - East Carolina, 12 p.m., CBS Sports

Marshall Football: Ryan Yurachek Commits to Herd

Tight end Ryan Yurachek announced his verbal commitment to Marshall University via Twitter earlier today.

As a junior Yurachek caught 58 passes for 743 yards and eight touchdowns at Carolina Forest High School. A big target he stands 6-foot-3, 225 pounds.

Yurachek is the son of Costal Carolina athletic director Hunter Yurachek. Besides Marshall he was also garnering recruiting interest from Clemson, South Carolina, and ECU.

For more on Yurachek follow the links below.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Marshall Football: Alex Cason Commits to Herd

Marshall added another Georgia prospect to its 2014 recruiting class when Alex Cason committed to the Thundering Herd this weekend.

A wide receiver Cason stands 6-foot-2, 182 pounds. According to Rivals the Valdosta High School product has been timed at 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Besides Marshall, Cason had many other scholarship offers including UNC Charlotte, Cincinnati, South Alabama, and Western Kentucky.

For more on Cason follow the links below.

1) Rivals profile
2) 247Sports profile
3) Highlight videos

Friday, June 14, 2013

Marshall Football: Cole Garvin Commits to Herd

A quarterback joined Marshall's 2014 recruiting class Friday night as Cole Garvin gave a verbal commitment to the Thundering Herd.

A three star prospect according to Rivals, Garvin lead Sandy Creek High School to a undefeated season and Georgia's AAAA state championship last year. In 15 games he passed for 2,491 yards, 20 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

247Sports ranks Garvin as the nations 40th best pro-style quarterback. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds he is not a running threat. Garvin only rushed for 13 yards and one touchdown as a junior.

Before committing to Marshall Garvin received scholarship offers from many other schools including South Alabama, Western Kentucky, UAB, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, FIU, Arkansas State, UNC Charlotte, Memphis, and Buffalo.

For more on Garvin follow the links below.

1) 247Sports profile
2) Rivals profile
3) Scout profile
4) Highlight videos

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Marshall Football: Updated 2013 Schedule

Marshall’s football television broadcast schedule became clearer this afternoon as Conference USA set coverage for four additional games.

The Thundering Herd plays two Thursday night contest on the road this season, at Middle Tennessee on October 24th and at Tulsa three weeks later November 14. Both games were picked up by Fox Sports 1, a channel that debuts August 17th in over 90 million homes.

Marshall’s homecoming game also added T.V. coverage as Time Warner Texas will broadcast the Herds first meeting against Texas San Antonio October 5th. The following week Marshall travels to FAU for a 5 p.m. kickoff which will be shown by Fox College Sports.

2013 Marshall University Football Schedule
August 31st - Miami (OH), 7 p.m., CBS Sports
September 7th - Gardner-Webb, 6:30 p.m.
September 14th at Ohio, TBA
September 21st at Virginia Tech, TBA
October 5th - Texas San Antonio, 2 p.m., Time Warner Texas
October 12th at Florida Atlantic, 5 p.m., Fox College Sports
October 24th at Middle Tennessee, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1
November 2nd - Southern Miss, 12:30 p.m., CBS Sports
November 9th - UAB, 12 noon, Comcast Sports
November 14th at Tulsa, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1
November 23rd at Florida International, TBA, Fox Sports
November 29th - East Carolina, 12 p.m., CBS Sports

Marshall Roundup: Golden Panther’s APR, League Stands Pat, New Pitching Coach, Football Watch List, Legusrky & Bradshaw, Track & Field

1) Conference USA’s 2014 men’s basketball tournament will only have 15 participants as FIU received a postseason ban from the NCAA yesterday. The Golden Panthers received the ban after accumulating a academic progress rating of 750 for the 2011-2012 academic year, well below the 900 point threshold.

2) Marshall’s athletic programs had no such trouble with the APR as every program is in good academic standing.

3) C-USA’s board of directors have decided to keep the league at 14 members for the foreseeable future.

4) The Thundering Herd’s baseball program added a new pitching coach yesterday as Josh Newman will replace Joe Renner on Jeff Waggoner’s staff.

5) Three football players, quarterback Rakeem Cato, wide reciver Tommy Shuler, and tight end Harold “Gator” Hoskins were named to the 2013 College Football Performance Offensive Awards Watch List.

6) Speaking of football, two former Marshall athletes have found new homes in the NFL. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw signed a one year deal with the Indianapolis Colts yesterday. Bradshaw spent the first six years of his career with the New York Giants, rushing for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns.

After four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Doug Legursky agreed to a four year contract with the Buffalo Bills last week. Legursky will compete for a starting spot at left guard.

7) Marshall’s 2012-2013 athletic year ended 2,500 miles away from Huntington last week as track and field athletes Crystal Walker and Vanessa Jules competed in the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Oregon’s historic Hayward Field. Both walked away first team All-American’s as Walker recorded a school-record long jump of 6.41 meters, good enough for fifth place. Competing in the heptathlon Jules won the long jump portion and finished 6th in the overall standings.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marshall Football: Hyleck Foster Commits to Herd

Dynamic athlete Hyleck Foster gave a verbal commitment to Marshall’s football staff this weekend. A highly sought after recruit Foster had recently received scholarship offers from Georgia Tech and Old Dominion.

Foster was the offensive engine that powered Gaffney High School to the AAAA South Carolina State Championship last year. The teams primary ball carrier, Foster rushed for 1,575 yards on 240 carries with 22 touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.

Standing 5-foot-9, 178 pounds, Foster projects as a slot receiver at the colligate level.

Foster and his former high school teammate Raheim Huskey both committed this weekend while attending Marshall’s senior elite camp.

For more on Foster follow the links below.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marshall Football: Raheim Huskey Commits to Herd

Marshall added a late piece to its 2013 recruiting class yesterday as linebacker Raheim Huskey committed to the Thundering Herd. Huskey made his commitment while visiting Marshall's campus.

Huskey recorded 109 tackles (67 solo), 2.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble during his senior season, helping Gaffney High School win the South Carolina AAAA State Championship. He also boast impressive size, standing 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.

Technically a transfer student, Huskey won’t be able to take the field this fall as he signed a letter of intent with Arizona Western Junior College in February.

Huskey announced his commitment via

For more on Huskey follow the links below.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Marshall Baseball: Washington Nationals Select Ballou in 15th Round

The Washington Nationals selected Marshall center fielder Isaac Ballou in the 15th round (pick 466) of today's MLB Draft. 

One of three outfielders placed on C-USA’s All-First team Ballou showed a keen eye at the plate, hitting for a .328 average and .438 on-base percentage this season. The senior leadoff batter also recorded more walks (37) than strikeouts (31).

This is not the first time Ballou has been drafter. After his sophomore season he was the Pittsburgh Pirates 36th round selection.

Ballou leaves Marshall as the Herds all time leader in triples and walks. He also ranks second on the all time career stolen bases list with 64.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Marshall Baseball: Blair Selected 36th Overall by Arizona Diamondbacks

Aaron Blair fulfilled a life long dream Thursday night as he was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Major League Baseball draft. The 36th overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round A, Blair becomes the highest ever selection for Marshall's baseball program.

Blair gained national attention in the Cape Cod League between his sophomore and junior seasons. Widely regard as the premier collegiate wooden bat league, Blair punched up a 6-0 record with an ERA of 1.17 and 44 strikeouts over 38.1 innings.

Blair's summer success carried over to his junior year at Marshall as the 6-foot-5, 220 pound right hander was named a All Conference USA First Team selection. Leading the Thundering Herd's pitching staff, Blair accumulated a 2.85 ERA over 82 innings pitched with 84 strikeouts and 36 walks. In thirteen starts opposing batters only hit .198 against him.

Arizona selected Blair with their second pick despite his positive test for Adderal during pre-draft testing, a banned substance in MLB. According to a Baseball America report Blair's Adderal use was a one time indiscretion.

Blair's fastball reaches the mid nineties and is accompanied by a strong change up with two other plus breaking pitches. As a junior Blair has the option of returning to Marshall for his senior year although, he is likely to sign with Arizona before the July 12th deadline.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marshall Baseball: A look at Blair & Ballou’s Draft Stock

An annual right of summer commences on Thursday as Major League Baseball begins its 2013 draft. Two of Marshall’s standout performers figure to hear their names called over the three day event spanning 40 rounds.

Thundering Herd starting pitcher Aaron Blair could be Marshall’s highest ever draft selection*. In 13 starts this season the hard throwing right hander accumulated a 2.85 ERA over 82 innings pitched with 84 strikeouts and 36 walks. A Conference USA first team selection, opposing batters hit .198 against Blair in 2013.

Baseball America projects Blair as a late first or early second round selection. This comes despite reports that Blair tested positive for Adderal during per-draft testing, a banned stimulant. Two MLB scouts told Baseball America that Blair’s test results won’t affect his draft status.

One of C-USA’s toughest pitchers, Blair throws a fastball that reaches the mid-nineties and a quality changeup along with two other plus breaking pitches. As a first year draft eligible junior the Las Vegas native can return to Marshall for his senior season but, that is highly unlikely.
After his sophomore season Isaac Ballou was selected in the 36th round of the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ballou decided to forgo professional baseball and return to Marshall for his junior season. After not being selected in last year’s draft Ballou attacked his senior season with a vengeance. One of three outfielders selected to C-USA’s all-first team Ballou showed a keen eye at the plate, hitting for a .328 average and .438 on-base percentage. Marshall’s leadoff and most patient batter he also recorded more walks (37) than strikeouts (31).

Ballou leaves Marshall as the Herds all time leader in triples and walks. He also ranks second on the all time career stolen bases list with 64.

The draft starts on Thursday (7pm ET) with first round coverage provided by the MLB Network. Rounds three through 10 take place on Friday and the draft ends on Saturday with rounds 11-40.
* Gregory Allen Hill stands as Marshall’s highest ever MLB draft selection. Hill was picked by the Minnesota Twins 59th overall in round three of the 1984 draft. Hill spent two years with the Twins single A Midwest league affiliate before leaving baseball.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Marshall Football: Josh Rimes Commits to Herd

First reported via his Facebook page, defensive tackle Josh Rimes has given a verbal commitment to Marshall University's football program.

During his junior season the 6-foot-1, 308 pound Rimes registered 36 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery for LaBelle High School (FL). A two way player Rimes also recorded 15 pancake blocks along the offensive line. rates rates Rimes as a two star prospect. Besides Marshall he also had scholarship offers from FIU and UCF.

Rimes is also a avid weight lifter. This year he won the FHSAA 1A power-lifting championship in the heavy weight division.

For more on Rimes follow the links below.

1) Profile
2) Profile
3) Profile
4) Highlight Video

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Marshall Football: Herd Picks up First Commitment of 2014, Reese Wooten

First reported by, Marshall University has received a verbal commitment from Georgia wide receiver Reese Wooten. Wooten's commitment is the Thundering Herds first for the class of 2014.

A tall outside receiver Wooten stands 6-foot-2, 170 pounds. Besides receiver Wooten also plays defensive back at Cairo High School.

For more on Wooten follow the links below.

1) profile
2) Highlight Video