Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Marshall Football: Practice Report 8/5/13

The big story surrounding Marshall’s first day of preseason practice was who attended and who was missing. The first surprise appeared during the morning session when former Miami defensive end Ricardo Williams walked on the turf at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Per NCAA transfer rules Williams must sit out the 2013 season but, the former three star recruit is a welcome addition to the Herd’s defense. Defensive lineman Jalen Stevenson was another surprise in the morning workout. Hailing from Florida’s Lakeland High School, Stevenson signed a letter of intent with Garden City Community College in February but, ended up enrolling at Marshall instead. Like Williams, Stevenson will be able to practice for two weeks before sitting out the upcoming season.

Eight players from February’s recruiting class were not at practice yesterday, they include running back Tony Pittman, running back Brandon Byrd, receiver Shykeem Pitts, receiver Angelo Jean Louis, receiver Deontay McManus, offensive lineman Gerald Wright, linebacker Jeremiah Benjamin, and defensive back DeAndre “Chocolate” Wilson.  The majority of the group are academic non-qualifiers that will enroll at Marshall this semester and officially join the football team next spring although, that is not true for everyone. Wright will spend this fall at the Milford Academy (NY) before arriving at Marshall and we learned in June that Benjamin no longer planned on playing for the Thundering Herd.

With yesterday’s additions and subtractions you can find a updated roster by clicking here.

At practice Shawney Kersey’s one handed touchdown reception from quarterback Rakeem Cato was the play of the day according to the Charleston Gazette’s Doug Smock. It was not all good news for the Herd’s pass catchers, receiver Jack Gammon suffered a left arm injury and could be out a couple of weeks.

Speaking of the offense, Derek Redd of the Charleston Daily Mail caught up with Blake “Big Cheese” Brooks who spent his offseason transitioning from defensive tackle to offensive lineman.

Special teams will be big focus during August practice as the Herd attempts to remedy a unit that surrendered three kick returns for touchdowns last season. On HerdZone.com, Jack Bogaczky writes that Marshall only recorded six touchbacks on 83 kickoffs attempts in 2013. The Herd hopes to register more touchbacks this season and have added two strong legged kickers, Amoreto Curraj and Nick Smith to push incumbents Justin Haig and Trent Martin. 

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