Monday, September 30, 2013

Commitment of the Week: Frankie Hernandez

A new feature on the Thundering Blog, we are reviewing the weekly performances of Marshall's verbal commitments and anointing one football recruit our "Commitment of the Week".

When Largo High School (FL) kicked off against Lakewood Friday night, Packers linebacker Frankie Hernandez was still contemplating his college destination. That changed two days later he became Marshall's latest verbal commitment

Hernandez is not our "Commitment of the Week" simply for his verbal pledge, he also had a great game against Lakewood. In a 20-6 win over the Spartans, Hernandez recorded a team high 15 tackles and helped his defense cause five turnovers. 

Commitment of the Week 
Week 1: Hyleck Foster
Week 2: Trayvon Williams
Week 3: Cole Garvin
Week 4: Keion Davis
Week 5: N/A
Week 6: Frankie Hernandez

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marshall Football: Francisco 'Frankie' Hernandez Commits to Thundering Herd

Fist announced via his Twitter account, linebacker Francisco 'Frankie' Hernandez gave a verbal commitment to Marshall University this evening.

247 Sports ranks Hernandez as the 130th best outside linebacker prospect in the class of 2014. As a junior he registered 99 tackles, 17 for loss, two interceptions, and a sack for Largo High School.

This is not Hernandez's first commitment. A relative of first year South Florida coach Willie Taggart, Hernandez committed to the Bulls in March before charging his mind five months later.

Hernandez is listed at six feet, 188 lbs. Besides Marshall, he also reported scholarship offers from Indiana and Kentucky.

For more on Hernandez follow the links below.

1) profile
2) 247 Sports profile
3) Hudl profile (video)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marshall Roundup: 10/26/13


1) It looks like Marshall defensive end Jeremiah Taylor could miss a lot more than last week’s Virginia Tech game. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Doc Holliday said Taylor would be out for a while.

 “Jeremiah Taylor is one guy who is going to be out a while. I won’t go into specifics on the injury, but he won’t play against UTSA. Sad, but he won’t.”

In three games this year Taylor recorded six tackles and a sack. Fellow defensive ends Gary Thompson, Ra’Shawde Myers, and Arnold Blackmon all took turns filling in for Taylor at Virginia Tech.

2) Facing a depleted secondary, the Cincinnati Bengals resigned former Marshall safety Chris Crocker. Crocker has spent parts of six seasons with Cincinnati, most recently last year as he recorded 42 tackles and three interceptions. The ten year NFL veteran was inducted into Marshall’s athletic Hall of Fame earlier this month.  

Men’s Basketball

1) Marshall received a pair of basketball commitments this week, forwards Shane Hall and Henry Uwadiae. Adding a pair of big men was important as 6-foot-9 Elijah Pittman and 7-foot-2 Yous Mbao are graduating after the season ends. With 12 scholarships committed to the 2014-2015 season, head coach Tom Herrion has room to bring in one more signee.

2) Former Marshall basketball player Johnny Thomas has signed with the Harlem Globetrotters. Since graduating 2011, Thomas played in the NBA Developmental League and Germany.


1) Marshall’s lone alumni in MLB, Oakland A’s pitcher Dan Straily made his last start of the regular season yesterday. Facing the Los Angeles Angels, Straily tossed 6.2 innings, giving up three runs, only one earned, while striking out five and walking two. Straily picked up the loss in a 3-1 Angels win.

For the season, Straily has started 27 games while accumulating a 10-8 record, 3.96 ERA, 124 strikeouts, and 57 walks over 152.1 innings pitched.

Although he is being mentioned as a possible American League rookie of the year candidate, Straily might be left off the A’s postseason roster as they cut their starting rotation from five to four members. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marshall Basketball: Shane Hall Commits to the Herd

First reported by Fox Sports recruiting analysis Evan Daniels, Marshall's basketball program has received a verbal commitment from Shane Hall. Hall made his commitment during an unofficial visit to campus this evening.

A 6-foot-9, 210 lbs. forward, Hall is a standout player at Johnson Central High School (KY). Despite battling injuries to both ankles, he averaged 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game as a junior.,, and ESPN all rank him as a three star prospect. According to reports, Hall received scholarship offers from high major programs Butler and Tennessee.

For more on Hall follow the links below.

Inside the Hall

Courier Journal

Future 150

Marshall Football: 2014 Recruiting Class Almost Complete

More than a week away from their next game, Marshall’s assistant football coaches hit the recruiting trail on Monday and Tuesday. Although it might come as a surprise, the Thundering Herd’s 2014 recruiting class is almost complete. Counting verbal commitments, transfers, and 2013’s academic non-qualifies, Marshall already has 23 players lined up for national signing day next February.

Addressing the media yesterday, head coach Doc Holliday said his staff would focus its remaining scholarships on offensive tackles and players that will become available later in the recruiting process.

“We have to be very selective from here on out in terms of who we do take. We need a couple of offensive tackles. That’s one area that we are working extremely hard on. Other than that, there are just a couple of areas. From what we have committed, we don’t need to be in a hurry. There will be a lot of good players that will fall in January and we have to be sure that we’re there with a couple scholarships that we can take advantage of the kids that fall our way or that we end up getting on a little later.”

We put together a comprehensive list of the Herds current commitments with a couple of offensive tackle prospects that bear watching.


Class of 2014 Commitments

* Sharp’s situation is murky, doesn't list him as a verbal commitment while 247 Sports does.

“Props” from Class of 2013

* Pitts has enrolled at Georgia Military College and must spend two years there before joining a four year school. He should not be considered part of this years recruiting class.
+ Wright has delayed enrollment and is spending this semester at the Milford Academy, a prep school in New York.

Offensive Tackle Targets

*Will visit Marshall during the Southern Miss game on November 2nd.
+Took an unofficial visit to Marshall in April.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Marshall in the NFL, Week 3

Weekly review of Marshall alumni in the National Football League.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Despite trading for fellow running back Trent Richardson earlier in the week, Ahmad Bradshaw lead the Indianapolis Colts rushing attack during Sunday’s 27-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Bradshaw carried the ball 19 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 16 yards.

2. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Activated for the first time this season, Vinny Curry rewarded the Philadelphia Eagles with a sack during Thursday’s 26-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

3. Aaron Dobson, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots

Targeted 10 times by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Aaron Dobson hauled in a team leading seven receptions for 52 yards in the New England's 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

4. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Mario Harvey recorded a special teams tackle and downed a punt during Sunday’s win over the 49ers.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Although he did not see the field on defense, Albert McClellan registered a special teams tackle in the Baltimore Ravens 30-9 win against the Houston Texans.

6. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Buffalo Bills

Doug Legursky missed his third straight game while recovering from a preseason knee injury. The Buffalo Bills fell to the New York Jets 27-20.

7. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Playing on offense and special teams, Lee Smith did not record any stats during Buffalo’s loss to the Jets.

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

C.J. Spillman played one snap on defense and produced a special teams tackle in Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Marshall Basketball: Herd Lands Commitment from JUCO Center Henry Uwadiae

According to multiple outlets, Marshall’s basketball program has received a verbal commitment from Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) center Henry Uwadiae.

A native of Nigeria, Uwadiae came to America at age 16 for his first taste of organized basketball. He spent a year at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas with additional stops at United Faith Christian Academy and Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte North Carolina.

Uwadiae gave a verbal commitment to Wichita State in July of 2011 but, he was ruled academically ineligible and never enrolled at the Missouri Valley Conference school.

Standing 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, Uwadiae attended Kirkwood Community College last year but, academics prevented him from suiting up for the basketball team. All signs point towards Uwadiae playing for Kirkwood this season and once enrolled at Marshall, he will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Uwadiae is regarded as a project on the hardwood. He grew up playing volleyball and did not concentrate on basketball until age 14.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Marshall Football: Virginia Tech Beats Herd in 3OT, 29-21

After stopping Virginia Tech on their first overtime possession, Marshall kicker Justin Haig aligned himself for a 39 yard field goal attempt and Thundering Herd victory. But it was not to be, the Hokies blocked Haig's kick and two overtime periods later, Marshall trudged away from Lane Stadium's 29-21 losers.

For more on Saturday's three overtime defeat follow the links below.

Box Score


Marshall Falls in Tight Game, 29-21

Herd Pushes Hokies to the Last (Rain) Drop

Charleston Daily Mail

Marshall football: Herd falls in triple overtime to Virginia Tech, 29-21

Charleston Gazette

Herd loses in gut wrenching fashion

Marshal football: Slick conditions no help for kickers

Grades for Virginia Tech

WV Metro News

Tech slips by Herd in 3OT

Defense gave Marshall a chance

OT chance to win blocked

Huntington Herald Dispatch

Upset chance slips away

Ben Fields: "Beamer Ball" rears it ugly head

Chuck Landon: MU played it too tight with first OT chance

Va. Tech coach says Hokies 'lucky' to win

Rouse was ready for celebration

Grant Traylor awards game balls

Chuck Landon grades the Herd

Friday, September 20, 2013

Marshall Football: ECU Series in the Works, Grace Leaves Team

Two items I want to bring to your attention before they slip through the cracks.....

1) On Tuesday, Charleston Daily Mail sports editor Chuck McGill indicated that Marshall and ECU have agreed to a yet to be announced football series. As members of Conference USA, the Pirates and Thundering Herd have played each other every year since 2005. ECU is leaving for the American Athletic Conference after this season, opening up the possibility of playing Marshall as an out of conference opponent.

2) Marshall's football program suffered another departure this week when tight end Stefone Grace left the team. The redshirt sophomore was buried on the depth chart behind fellow tight ends Gator Hoskins, Eric Frohnapfel, Devon Johnson, and Joe Woodrum. Grace did not appear in any games during his three years with the Thundering Herd.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, Virginia Tech

Everything you need to know about the Virginia Tech Hokies before they host Marshall on Saturday at Lane Stadium.

1) In their last two meetings against Marshall, Virginia Tech has outscored the Thundering Herd 82-20.

2) Last year Logan Thomas was the first quarterback to lead Virginia Tech in rushing since 1965. Thomas ran for 524 yards and nine touchdowns.

3) Tech hired Scott Loeffler in the offseason to take over the Hokies struggling offense. Loeffler previously served as the OC at Auburn.

4) Loeffler has Thomas running less this season. So far the 6-foot-6, 257 pound quarterback is averaging four carries per game. Virginia Tech’s leading rusher is redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds. He leads the Hokies with 56 carries for 242 yards and three touchdowns.

5) Thomas’s top pass targets are wide receivers Demitri Knowles and Willie Byrn. Combined, Knowles and Byrn have hauled in 23 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown.

6) All other Virginia Tech pass catchers have combined for 299 yards on 27 receptions and two touchdowns.

7) Against ODU, a team that played FCS football last season, ECU’s defense surrendered 460 yards. Playing Virginia Tech, the same ECU defense gave up 311 yards of total offense.

8) Don’t let the Alabama game fool you, Virginia Tech has one of the best defenses in college football. Despite giving up 35 points, Tech held the Crimson Tide to 110 passing and 92 rushing yards. They also added a turnover.

9) Speaking of turnovers, the Hokies are among the best in the nation, grabbing seven interceptions in three games. They forced ECU quarterback Shane Carden into three INT’s last Saturday.

10) Virginia Tech creates turnovers by disrupting opposing quarterbacks. In only three games the Hokies have registered 12 sacks.

11) Senior defensive end J.R. Collins is chief among the Tech’s pass rushers with 3 sacks this season.

12) A onetime Marshall verbal commitment, defensive tackle Luther Maddy has recorded seven tackles and a sack in 2013. Maddy’s a three year starter for the Hokies.

13) Virginia Tech's defensive backs benefit from the pressure their front four produces. True freshman Brandon Facyson leads the Hokies with three interceptions in three games. Junior safety Detrick Bonner and his four career picks patrol the back end. 

14) The Hokies are so deep at corner that former four start recruit Donaldven Manning transferred to Marshall earlier this month.

15) Bud Foster has served as Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator since 1995.

16) Marshall defensive tackles coach J.C. Price spent his college years as a Virginia Tech defensive end.

17) Hokies kicker Cody Journell is battling a back injury and missed two field goals against ECU.

18) Tech's A.J. Hughes is one of the nations top punters. This year he is averaging 44.6 yards per kick. Seven of his punts have gone over 50 yards.

19) Running back J.C. Coleman, corner Antone Exum, and offensive tackle Mark Shurman have been ruled out of Saturday's game for Virginia Tech.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Marshall Football: Ken Smith Exits Team, Ends Career

Speaking during his weekly press conference, Marshall University football coach Doc Holliday announced that defensive tackle Ken Smith has left the football program. No reason was given for Smith's exit but, Holliday said the Texas native had decided to no longer play football.

Smith didn't record any stats during the Thundering Herds first three games and was among the players that did not travel to Ohio on Saturday.

A transfer from Blinn Community College (TX), Smith seemingly battled injury problems since arriving on campus. In a August 2012 article, Huntington Herald Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon reported that Smith suffered a career threatening back injury. The interior defensive lineman recovered to play three games at the end of last season and registered four assisted tackles.

On his Twitter account, Smith indicated that he was not ready to abandon football but was forced to leave the game.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Marshall in the NFL, Week Two

Weekly review of Marshall alumni in the National Football League.
1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Ahmad Bradshaw had a big day for Indianapolis, leading the team with 65 rushing yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. He also added three receptions for 19 yards as the Miami Dolphins beat the Colts 24-20.

2. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Two weeks into the season and Vinny Curry has been inactive for both of the Eagles games. Philadelphia fell to the San Diego Chargers 33-30.

3. Aaron Dobson, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots

Aaron Dobson made his NFL debut by catching a short pass from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and turning up field for a 40 yard touchdown. The rest of Dobson's outing was shaky as he only caught two other passes on ten targets. New England defeated the New York Jets 13-10.

4. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Active for the Colts week two loss to Miami, Mario Harvey did not register any stats during the game.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens special teams captain, Albert McClellan lead Baltimore with 22 special teams snaps on Sunday. McClellan's Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns 14-6.

6. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Buffalo Bills

Still recovering from a perseason knee injury, Doug Legursky was held out of the Buffalo Bills 24-23 win over the Carolina Panthers.

7. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Besides getting called for holding during a nullified 28 yard run by C.J. Spiller, Bills tight end Lee Smith had a quiet afternoon against the Panthers.

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

49ers safety Craig Dahl started in place of injured starter Eric Reid Sunday night. This despite San Francisco listing C.J. Spillman as Reid's backup on their official depth chart. Spillman still finished the night with two special teams tackles during the 49ers 29-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Commitment of the Week: Keion Davis

A new feature on the Thundering Blog, we are reviewing the weekly performances of Marshall's verbal commitments and anointing one football recruit our "Commitment of the Week".

Keion Davis is expected to play wide receiver at Marshall but for the time being he is the primary ball carrier at Langston Hughes High School (GA).

Against Wheeler Friday night, Davis rushed for 226 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Behind his impressive outing, Langston Hughes defeated Wheeler 37-28. After rushing for over ten yards per carry on Friday, Davis is our "Commitment of the Week".

Commitment of the Week 
Week 1: Hyleck Foster
Week 2: Trayvon Williams
Week 3: Cole Garvin
Week 4: Keion Davis

Marshall Football: Herd Can't Overcome Turnovers, Ohio 34 - MU 31

Marshall could not overcome four turnovers as they fell to Ohio 34-31 at Peden Stadium Saturday night. 

Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton took full advantage of the Thundering Herds generosity, completing 25 of 38 attempts for 266 yards and a touchdown. 

Rakeem Cato lead Marshall's offense with 366 passing yards and a touchdown but, a late forth quarter interception thwarted the Herds comeback attempt.

For more on yesterday's game follow the links below.


Huntington Herald Dispatch


WV Metro News

Charleston Daily Mail

Charleston Gazette

Grades for Ohio game

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, Ohio Bobcats

Everything you need to know about the Ohio Bobcats before Saturdays showdown at Peden Stadium against Marshall.

1) Ohio has beaten Marshall in two consecutive games, the last time that happen, 1979 and 1980.

2) The Bobcats have not taken three straight games from the Thundering Herd since 1973, 1974, and 1975.

3) In two starts against Marshall, Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton has completed 40 of 64 passing attempts for 485 yards and six touchdowns. A dual threat, he has also rushed for 88 yards and another touchdown. 

4) Tyler is the son of former Major League Baseball player Mickey Tettleton. 

5) Tettleton has completed the large majority of his passes to wide receivers Chase Cochran and Donte Foster. Cochran leads the team with 9 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown. Foster is not far behind, catching 8 passes for 115 yards.

6) Besides Cochran and Foster, all other Bobcat pass catchers have only recorded 17 receptions for 165 yards and one touchdown. 

7) Ohio employs a two headed rushing attack lead by Ryan Boykin and Beau Blankenship. Boykin leads the Bobcats with 26 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown.

8) In last year’s 27-24 win over the Thundering Herd, Blankenship rumbled for 102 rushing yards on 30 attempts. His longest gain was 21 yards.

9) Blankenship has been largely held in check this season, only rushing for 22 yards during a 49-7 loss to Louisville and 83 yards in last week’s win over North Texas.

10) Along Ohio's offensive line, tackle John Prior (2nd team) and guard Jon Lechner (3rd team) were named to Phil Steele's All-MAC preseason team. Lechner suffered a shoulder injury against Louisville and will not be available this week.

11) Ohio defeated one of Marshall's Conference USA mates last week, taking down North Texas 27-21 at home. The Bobcats held the Mean Green under 300 yards of total offense. Ohio had a better day on offense, recording 442 yards but three turnovers hampered their efforts. 

12) The Bobcats return no players from last year’s All-MAC first team defense although, Phil Steele placed corner Travis Carrie (2nd team) and linebacker Keith Moore (3rd team) on his preseason all league list. 

13) Coming into this week’s game, safety Josh Kristoff leads the Bobcats in tackles with 18. Fellow safety Xavier Hughes intercepted a pass against Louisville and North Texas.

14) In total, Ohio has recorded 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. For comparison’s sake, Marshall defenders have totaled 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks. 

15) Voted on by the leagues media members, Ohio was picked to win the MAC East Division but Northern Illinois was selected to capture the league title.

Marshall Football: Angelo Jean-Louis Sentenced to Community Service

First reported by Huntington Herald Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon, Marshall wide receiver Angelo Jean-Louis was sentenced yesterday on three felony charges stemming from an April arrest.

Appearing in Cabell County magistrate court, Jean-Louis was sentenced to 500 hours of community service and enrolled into a six-month pretrial diversion program. The diversion program requires that Jean-Louis stay out of legal trouble for the duration of his sentence. If he fails to comply, Jean-Louis could be tried on all three felony charges.

One of the top prospects in Marshall’s 2013 recruiting class, Jean-Louis was arrested on April 9th after using a stolen credit card at a 7-Eleven near campus. He was also found with a stolen cell phone.

According to Landon, Jean-Louis is on track to be eligible for the 2014 season. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marshall in the NFL, Week One

Weekly review of Marshall alumni in the National Football League.
1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Appearing in his first game for Indianapolis, Ahmad Bradshaw accumulated 26 rushing yards on seven carries and caught a pass for seven yards in the Colts 21-17 win over the Oakland Raiders.

2. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

After adding on weight to fit the Eagles new 3-4 defense and performing well in the preseason, Vinny Curry was inactivated for Philadelphia’s 33-27 win over the Washington Redskins. The 2012 second round pick was also placed on the inactive list for 10 games last season.

3. Aaron Dobson, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots

Aaron Dobson was held out of the New England Patriots 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills while recovering from a hamstring injury. The Patriots list Dobson’s injury status at day-to-day.

4. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Playing on special teams, Colts linebacker Mario Harvey registered two tackles in Sunday’s win over Oakland.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Albert McClellan let his emotions get the better of him during the Baltimore Ravens 49-27 blowout loss to Denver, getting flagged for a 15-yard personal foul after tackling Broncos return man Trindon Holliday out of bounds.

6. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Buffalo Bills

Doug Legursky left the Bills final preseason game on a stretcher, raising fears that the veteran offensive lineman could be lost for the season. Fortunately, Legursky avoided serious injury but, he was held out of Buffalo’s week one game against New England while he recovers from a left knee injury.

7. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Playing on special teams and as the Bills second team tight end, Lee Smith did not register any stats during Buffalo’s week one loss to New England.

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

Serving as San Francisco’s special teams captain, C.J. Spillman made a big fourth quarter tackle, stopping Green Bay Packers kick returner Jeremy Ross on his own nine yard line with just six minutes left in the game. Spillman’s 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Commitment of the Week: Cole Garvin

A new feature on the Thundering Blog, we are reviewing the weekly performances of Marshall's verbal commitments and anointing one football recruit our "Commitment of the Week".

Quarterback Cole Garvin and his Sandy Creek High School teammates defeated the Newman Cougars 55-28 Friday night. One of Marshall's earliest verbal commitments in this years recruiting class, Garvin completed 17 of 20 first half pass attempts for 223 yards and two touchdowns.

For leading Georgia's top ranked Class AAAAA high school to a 27 point win, Garvin is our Commitment of the Week.

Commitment of the Week 
Week 1: Hyleck Foster
Week 2: Trayvon Williams
Week 3: Cole Garvin

Marshall Football: Herd Shutouts Gardner-Webb 55-0

Holding an opponent scoreless for the first time since 2003, Marshall (2-0) defeated Gardner-Webb (1-1) 55-0 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday Night.

Marshall's defense caused six Gardner Webb turnovers and the Runnin' Bulldogs only managed 184 yards of total offense. 

Running back Stewart Butler powered Marshall's offense with 151 rushing yards on nine carries and three touchdowns. 

Marshall returns to action next Saturday at Ohio, kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

For more on the Thundering Herds win over Gardner-Webb follow the links below.

Huntington Herald Dispatch

WV Metro News


Charleston Daily Mail

Charleston Gazette

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Marshall Basketball: Pittman Fails Court Ordered Drug Test

Marshall basketball player Elijah Pittman was back in court today for a pre-trial hearing stemming from a misdemeanor battery charge leveled against him this July.

Presiding over the hearing, Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson revealed that Pittman had failed a routine, court ordered drug test, testing positive for marijuana.

This is not Pittman's first failed drug test. While attending Chipola College (FL) Pittman was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was placed in a State Attorney's Office program called Pre Trial Intervention (PTI). If a defendant completes Florida's PTI program, the charges are dropped. Pittman violated the terms of his PTI after failing a drug test (marijuana) and was ordered to spend 30 days in jail. He was also kicked off of Chiploa's basketball team.

In a Herald Dispatch article, Marshall basketball coach Tom Herrion said he was unaware of what transpired during Pittman's hearing and could not comment.

Pittman will return to court on October 3rd for a status conference. During today's proceedings Judge Ferguson warned Pittman that additional positive test could result in jail time.

Marshall Football: PSU Transfer Shawney Kersey Quits Team

First reported by Huntington Herald Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon and later confirmed by various outlets, Marshall wide receiver Shawney Kersey has left the football program.

Kersey started his college career at Penn State, catching 12 passes for 154 yards between his redshirt freshman and junior year. After entering the 2012 season as the Nittnay Lions most experienced receiver Kersey quit the team after two games, citing personal reasons.  

Kersey resurfaced at Marshall in January, joining fellow Penn State transfers Derrick Thomas and Devon Smith with the Thundering Herd. When spring practice started in April, Kersey was described as talented but raw by wide receivers coach Mike Furrey.

It became clear during preseason camp that Kersey had fallen behind Davonte Allen and Smith at the X receiver position. Kersey’s name was not listed when Marshall released its depth chart before last Saturday’s game against Miami (OH). 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, Gardner-Webb

Everything you need to know about Gardner-Webb before Saturdays showdown at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against Marshall.

1) Gardner-Webb is coming off a week one victory over Furman. Playing Marshall’s old Southern Conference rival at home, the Bulldogs took down the Paladins 28-21. Gardner-Webb played from behind the majority of the game but, a early fourth quarter touchdown catch by Kenny Cook put the Bulldogs up for good.

2) Employing a balanced offensive attack, Gardner-Webb racked up 434 yards against Furman. The Bulldogs managed 276 yards through the air and 158 rushing yards.

3) In his College Football Preview Magazine, Phil Steele named Bulldogs quarterback Lucas Beatty a All-Big South Conference second team selection. Beatty returns to Gardner-Webb after leading the Big South Conference in passing yards per game last year.

4) Wide receiver Kenny Cook is Beatty’s favorite target, last season he lead the team in receptions (48), receiving yards (666) and touchdowns (7). Cook opened 2013 by catching 9 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns against Furman.

5) When Gardner-Webb ran out of the wildcat formation last year it used running back Juanne Blount behind center. Now entrenched as the Bulldogs number one option out of the backfield, Blount rushed for 158 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns in last week’s win.

6) Voted on by the leagues head coaches and media members, Gardner-Webb was predicted to finish third in the six team Big South Conference.

7) Three Bulldog defenders were selected to the preseason All-Big South First Team, defensive lineman Preston Pemasa, Matt Goods, and linebacker Tanner Burch. Out of the bunch, Burch had the most impressive 2012, ranking second nationally (FCS) with 12.6 tackles per game. In total he registered 113 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and two sacks last year.

8) One other Bulldog to watch on Saturday, kick returner J.J. Hubbard. Last year Hubbard averaged 15.2 yards per punt return and 22.1 yards per kickoff return.

9) Gardner Webb is breaking in a new head coach, GW alumnus Carroll McCray. McCray has previous head coaching experience at North Greenville University and Austin Peay.

10) The Bulldogs finished the 2012 season 3-8 season which included a 55-10 loss at Pittsburgh, the only FBS opponent Gardner-Webb played last year. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Marshall Football: Herd adds Transfer Donaldven Manning

Head football coach Doc Holliday announced that former Virginia Tech corner back Donaldven Manning has enrolled at Marshall. After sitting out the 2013 season Manning will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Manning appeared in eight games as a true freshman for the Hokies, registering four tackles and a interception during the 2012 season. After entering preseason camp atop Virginia Tech's depth chart, Manning fell behind freshman Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson. Facing the prospect of reduced playing time Manning decided to transfer.

Manning's tenure at Virginia Tech had not been without controversy. Last May he was charged with possession of marijuana and falsely identifying himself to a police officer. The marijuana charge was dropped but, Manning was convicted of the other offense and received a 60-day suspended jail sentence, one year probation, and $250 fine. He also picked up three minor traffic charges in Montgomery County (VA) during his time at Tech.

As a high school senior, ranked Manning a four star prospect. He chose Virignia Tech over scholarship offers from Alabama, WVU, Florida, and Florida State among many others. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Commitment of the Week: Trayvon Williams

A new feature on the Thundering Blog, we are reviewing the weekly performances of Marshall's verbal commitments and anointing one football recruit our "Commitment of the Week". 

Offensive lineman don't get the recognition they deserve. The big guys in the trenches are often overlooked by their skill position counterparts.

Marshall verbal commitment Trayvon Williams is one of the forgotten few. A high school senior, the big left tackle already stands 6-foot-3, 316 pounds. Behind their offensive line, Williams's Camden County (GA) Wildcats defeated Baker County (GA) 38-8 Friday night. Despite only attempting eight passes, Camden County managed to rush for 329 yards on 39 attempts, good for 8.44 yards per carry. Helping produce those impressive rushing numbers, Williams is our Commitment of the Week.

Commitment of the Week 
Week 1) Hyleck Foster
Week 2) Trayvon Williams

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Marshall Football: Week One Observations, Herd 52 - Miami (OH) 14

Marshall opened its season with an impressive 52-14 win over Miami (OH). In this space we look at the game within the game, what keyed a 38 point Thundering Herd victory? 

1) Freshman walk-on kicker Amoreto Curraj took all but one of Marshall's kickoffs yesterday, booting six of his eight attempts for touchbacks. In 83 kickoff attempts last season, the Thundering Herd only recorded six touchbacks. That is right Herd fans, Marshall had as many touchbacks last night as it did all of last year.

2) 19, the amount of sacks Marshall's defense registered last year, good for 87th in the nation. Linebacker Jermaine Holmes had the Herds lone sack yesterday but, green jerseys spent the majority of the night in Miami's backfield.

Under new coordinator Chuck Heater, Marshall's defense showed a willingness to rush the passer from multiple positions. Holmes, linebacker Neville Hewitt, corner back Corey Tindal, safety D.J. Hunter, linebacker Evan McKelvey, and defensive tackle James Rouse all had at least a half tackle for loss.

3) Prior to yesterday, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato had rushed for no more than 32 yards in a single game. Last night Cato showed his growth in that area, running for 59 yards including a long of 15. Cato's new found ability to run the ball could spell disaster for opposing defenses.

Chew on this, Marshall's offense averaged over 500 yards and 90 plays from scrimmage last year with a stationary quarterback. What are the possibilities with a mobile Cato?

4) Miami's offense is based on a quadruple option attack. Pre-snap, the RedHawks often line a running back behind the quarterback and send a flanker or inside wide receiver in motion behind the formation. Once the ball is snapped, the quarterback has four options, keep the ball and run, hand off to the tailback, pitch to the motion man, or throw.

In the second half Marshall's defense did an incredible job sniffing out Miami's option based offense. Just looking at the third and fourth quarters, the RedHawks were held to 55 yards (27 plays) and no points. Miami was also unable to convert a second half third down attempt.