Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Marshall Football: Herd Adds Formerly JUCO Bound Receiver Rodney Allen

For the second time this summer Marshall’s football staff secured a commitment from an under the radar recruit originally scheduled to attend junior college. First reported by, Texas wide receiver Rodney Allen will enroll at Marshall this August.

During his senior season at Dallas Lincoln High School, Allen caught 36 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns. He also saw time running the ball, accumulating 203 rushing yards on 30 attempts and two additional scores.

Allen signed a letter of intent with Navarro Junior College in February but, decided to enroll at Marshall this fall instead. He will sit out the 2013 season and could officially join the team as early as spring practice next year.

Standing 5-foot-10, 154 pounds, Allen projects as a slot receiver or defensive back, where he also saw time in high school, at the collegiate level.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Marshall Football: Holliday Holds Preseason Press Conference

Marshall football coach Doc Holliday held his preseason press conference yesterday. We have a few highlights and links with additional coverage below.  

1) Marshall’s offense averaged just over 90 snaps per game last season. While that is a great number, Holliday expects the offense to slow down in certain situations this season, such as holding a late lead or when the defense needs a extended break.

2) Holliday reaffirmed what he has said numerous times this offseason, back-up Blake Fohnapfel has earned the opportunity for an expanded role at quarterback this fall.

3) Ranked 101st in total defense last year, Holliday does not expect a repeat performance in 2013. With the addition of new personnel (Stefan Houston, Kent Turene, Gary Thompson) and players coming off of injury (Darryl Roberts and James Rouse) the Thundering Herd will have depth not previously seen during the Holliday era. The Herd also changed defensive coordinators, hiring Chuck Heater who started installing his defense this April during spring practice.

Huntington Herald Dispatch

WV Metro News

Charleston Daily Mail

Charleston Gazette

Monday, July 29, 2013

Marshall Basketball: C-USA Announces League Schedule

C-USA debuted its 2013-2014 men’s basketball schedule today. Marshall will play Charlotte twice (home and away) and every other league member once.

The non-conference schedule, start times, and television coverage will be announced at a later date.

Marshall University 2013-2014 C-USA Schedule
Thursday, Jan. 9 at UTSA 
Saturday, Jan. 11 at UTEP
Thursday, Jan. 16 vs. North Texas
Saturday, Jan. 18 vs. Tulsa
Thursday, Jan. 23 at Rice
Saturday, Jan. 25 at Louisiana Tech
Thursday, Jan. 30 vs. FIU
Saturday, Feb. 1 vs. Florida Atlantic
Thursday, Feb. 6 at Southern Miss
Saturday, Feb. 8 at Tulane
Saturday, Feb. 15 at Charlotte
Thursday, Feb. 20 vs. UAB
Saturday, Feb. 22 vs. Middle Tennessee
Thursday, Feb. 27 at Old Dominion
Sunday, March 2 vs. East Carolina
Thursday March 6 vs. Charlotte 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Marshall in the NFL: 2013 Training Camp Preview

Training Camp opens this week with 11 former Marshall players dotting NFL rosters. Here is a look at the Thundering Herd’s NFL alumni as they head into camp.

1. Daniel Baldridge, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee Titans

Looking to improve an offensive line that surrendered 39 sacks last season, the Tennessee Titans signed a number of veterans in the offseason and used their first round pick on Alabama guard Chance Warmack. With the new additions Daniel Baldridge faces long odds of making the 53-man roster. Baldridge joined the Titans after being signed off the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad late last season.

2. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

A career New York Giant, Ahmad Bradshaw was cut this offseason after rushing for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. Bradshaw signed a one year, $1.1 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts in June. He will compete with incumbent running backs Donald Brown and Vic Ballard for the starting job in Indy.

Bradshaw will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from foot surgery.

3. Omar Brown, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

Arriving as a rookie free agent last year, Omar Brown earned a spot on the Ravens practice squad and was activated to the 53-man roster for Baltimore’s final three regular season games, recording three tackles and a sack. With the departure of Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, Brown figures to backup starting free safety Michael Huff and play a big role on special teams during the upcoming season.

4. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry re-worked his body this offseason, bulking up to 280 pounds in order to play defensive end in the Philadelphia Eagles new 3-4 defense. Change might be good for Curry as he only appeared in 89 plays during his rookie season, registering nine tackles. During organized team activates this summer Curry was running with Philadelphia’s second team defense.

5. Aaron Dobson, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots

Marshall’s newest addition to the NFL, Aaron Dobson was selected in the second round of this April’s draft. Dobson could play a big role for the New England as the Patriots don’t return a wide receiver that recorded over 300 receiving yards in 2012. According to reports Dobson will be given every opportunity to earn a starting job during training camp.

6. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Signed as a free agent last offseason Mario Harvey appeared in 13 games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, recording  12 tackles primarily on special teams. Heading into training camp Colts prognosticators see Harvey fighting for the fifth and final roster spot at inside linebacker with C.O. Prime and Scott Lutrus.

7. Johnny Jones, Defensive Tackle, Oakland Raiders

After spending 2011 on the Green Bay Packers  practice squad and the subsequent season on injured reserve, Johnny Jones was signed by the Oakland Raiders in January. Oakland is carrying six interior defensive lineman into training camp including returning starters Pat Sims and Vance Walker.

8. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery Albert McClellan looks to be one hundred percent heading into Ravens training camp. After appearing in 14 games and registering 49 tackles in 2012, McClellan will be fighting for an expanded role at inside linebacker this season with the retirement of future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.

9. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills signed Doug Legursky to a four year contract this offseason. In Buffalo he will have an opportunity to earn the starting job at left guard. The former undrafted free agent is also expected to compete for snaps at second team center.

10. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Coming off a season where he caught his first two NFL touchdown passes, Bills tight end Lee Smith will be fighting to maintain his roster spot during training camp. Behind starter Scott Chandler, Buffalo is bringing four other tight ends into camp competing for just two spots. They include Smith, 7th round draft pick Chris Gragg and fellow veterans Dorin Dickerson and Mike Caussin.

11. C.J. Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

One of the NFL’s standout special team players, C.J. Spillman has an opportunity to earn first team reps at safety during 49ers training camp. He will compete with 1st round draft choice Eric Reid to replace departed All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson in San Francisco’s secondary. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Marshall Football: Ryan Bee Commits to Herd

Marshall secured another verbal commitment this afternoon when defensive end Ryan Bee announced his intent to play for the Thundering Herd on Twitter.

At Ohio’s Hillsdale High School, Bee registered 66 tackles, 11 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles as a junior. Standing 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, he also saw time on offense at tight end and along the offensive line.

One of the top small school defensive line prospect in Ohio, Bee was also receiving recruiting interest from Mid-American Conference members Bowling Green and Toledo.

Marshall Basketball: Herd to Add Five Star Recruit Chris Thomas

CBS Sports College basketball writer Jon Ronthstein is reporting that Chris Thomas will sign a letter of intent and attend Marshall University in the fall.

Thomas has taken a long and winding road to Marshall. He attended at least three different high schools including Montebello (CO), Princeton Day Academy (MD), and South Kent Prep (CT) before enrolling at Chipola Junior College (FL) and earning his GED. Thomas did not play basketball during his freshman year at Chipola but did join the team last year, averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assist per game.

Thomas committed to Xavier in April of 2012 but re-opened his recruitment when his lead recruiter, assistant coach Rasheen Davis left for a similar position at Manhattan College. Davis continued to pursue Thomas at Manhattan and last November the 6-foot-5 shooting guard signed a letter of intent with the Jaspers. 

Thomas was arrested in Florida late last year for operating a unregistered vehicle without a valid driver’s license. After being granted a conditional release Thomas tested positive for marijuana in March, violating the terms of his pre-trial program. The positive test and subsequent arrest kept Thomas out of Chipola's final two games of the season and cost him his spot at Manhattan. 

There have also been questions about Thomas's character on the basketball court. According to a NBC Sports article he "led last summer’s circuit in technical fouls and verbal outbursts during games, if such statistics were ever kept."

Before enrolling at Chipola, ESPN ranked Thomas as one of the top 10 prospects in the class of 2013. That same year he was also named a five star recruit by

Entering his lone season at Chiploa, called Thomas the 9th best junior college prospect in this year’s recruiting class. Besides Marshall, Manhattan, and Xavier, many other schools including Memphis, Iowa State, and Colorado have recruited the talented shooting guard.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Marshall Football: C-USA Announces Preseason Awards

Voted on by the leagues football coaches, Conference USA announced its preseason all conference teams, players of the year, and predicted order of finish in both divisions earlier today.

Marshall’s Rakeem Cato, C-USA’s reigning MVP, was named the league’s preseason offensive player of the year and first team quarterback. Last season Cato lead the nation in passing, throwing for 4,201 yards and 37 touchdowns. Tight end Gator Hoskins and wide receiver Tommy Shuler joined Cato as first team selections on offense.

Marshall did not garner any selections on defense but, Tyler Williams was selected as the first team punter.

The Thundering Herd was picked to finish second in the East division behind ECU. Last year’s Western division champion Tulsa was selected to finish first again in 2013.


Offensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall

Defensive Player of the Year
Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice

Special Teams Player of the Year
Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane

First Team Offense
QB          Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall
RB           Vintavious Cooper, Sr., East Carolina
RB           Darrin Reaves, Jr., UAB
OL           Jake Alexander, Jr., Tulsa
OL           Stetson Burnett, Sr., Tulsa
OL           Scott Inskeep, Jr., UTSA
OL           Nate Richards, Sr., Rice
OL           Matt Shepperd, Jr., Louisiana Tech
OL           Will Simmons, Sr., East Carolina
WR          Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina
WR          Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane
WR          Tommy Shuler, Jr., Marshall
TE           Gator Hoskins, Sr., Marshall

First Team Defense
DL           Christian Covington, So., Rice
DL           Justin Ellis, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL           Greg Hickman, Sr., FIU
DL           Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL, Southern Miss
LB           Shawn Jackson, Sr., Tulsa
LB           Derrell Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
LB           Andre Kirk, Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB           Kevin Byard, So., Middle Tennessee
DB           Lorenzo Doss, So., Tulane
DB           Phillip Gaines, Sr., Rice
DB           Marco Nelson, Sr., Tulsa

First Team Special Teams
K             Cairo Santos, Sr., Tulane
P             Tyler Williams, So., Marshall
KR           Reggie Whatley, Jr., Middle Tennessee
PR           Trey Watts, Sr., Tulsa


EAST DIVISION            
1. East Carolina
2. Marshall
3. Middle Tennessee
4. UAB                   
5. Southern Miss   
6. Florida Atlantic 
7. FIU                     

1. Tulsa
2. Rice                   
3. Louisiana Tech  
4. UTEP                  
5. North Texas              
6. Tulane                       

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Marshall Roundup: Capital Classic Changes Date, Two Louisville Scheduling Notes, & Herrion Still Recruiting for 2014

Couple of interesting notes from Chuck McGill’s column in today’s Charleston Daily Mail. Make sure you give the whole article a read but, here are the highlights.

1) The annual Capital Classic between Marshall and WVU has found a new date, Saturday December 14th. It will be the first Capital Classic held on a Saturday. Organizers are considering starting the women’s game at 2 p.m. with the men tipping off at 7:30 p.m.

2) Speaking about basketball scheduling, Marshall will play in another NCAA exempt event this upcoming season that includes a road date against defending national champion Louisville.  

3) This item did not come from McGill’s article but,  Marshall’s basketball roster will grow in the coming weeks. Head coach Tom Herrion told Chuck Landon of the Huntington Herald Dispatch that the Herd is still planning to add “a guy or two” for the upcoming season.

4) Expect Marshall’s home football date against Louisville to change. With their move to the Atlantic Coast Conference the Cardinals currently have five home and seven road games scheduled for 2014, including a trip to Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Louisville would like to have an even number of home and away dates and expect Marshall to accommodate their request by pushing the Cardinals visit back to 2015 or 2016.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Marshall Football: Herd not Interested in Dyer, Cato & Hoskins Named to Watch List

1) In a interview with Huntington Herald Dispatch, Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick told columnist Chuck Landon that no one from the school has spoken with Michael Dyer.

Hamrick’s statement contradicts earlier reports that the Thundering Herd had shown interest in the former Auburn running back. Dyer is looking for his third school after being dismissed from the Tigers football program in 2011 and Arkansas State shortly thereafter.

2) Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named to the 2013 Maxwell Award Watch List. Last year’s Conference USA Most Valuable Player, Cato passed for 4,201 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The Maxell Award has been presented to America’s College Player of the year since 1937.

3) Honoring the nation’s top colligate tight end, The John Mackey Award has added Marshall’s Gator Hoskins to its 2013 watch list. Hoskins lead all tight ends with 10 touchdown receptions last year while also catching 35 passes for 374 yards.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Marshall Football: Angelo Jean-Louis to Receive Community Service

According to a weekend report by Huntington Herald Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon, Marshall University wide receiver Angelo Jean-Louis will be sentenced to community service following an April arrest.

Jean-Louis was arrested on April 9th and charged with theft of a cell phone, credit card, and fraudulent use of a credit card. He spent seven hours in the Western Regional Jail that morning before being released on bond.

Jean-Louis signed a letter of intent with Miami out of Florida’s Palm Beach Central High School in 2012 but did not have the grades to qualify for admittance. One of ESPN’s top 150 recruits, he attended Fork Union Military Academy last fall and enrolled at Marshall in January.

Landon is also reporting that Jean-Louis will sit out the upcoming football season as a academic non-qualifier. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marshall Football: Former Auburn Tiger Dyer Drawing Interest from Herd

ESPN college football analysis Joe Schad is reporting that Marshall has shown interest in former Auburn running back Michael Dyer.

During his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Tigers Dyer rushed for 2,335 yards  and 15 touchdowns. One of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the SEC, he was also named MVP of the 2011 BCS National Championship game.

Dyer left Auburn after the 2011 regular season following his suspension for a failed marijuana test. He transferred to Arkansas State but never saw the field as Dyer was dismissed after being pulled over for speeding with a gun and marijuana in his car.

Taking a break from football, Dyer attended Arkansas Baptist last year to concentrate on his academics. According to various reports UAB, Troy, and Western Kentucky are also interested in his services.