Did You Realize?

How exciting is this time of year? This weekend the Final 4 is decided in the Big Dance. The Marshall baseball team and softball teams both have conference games this weekend. Tiger Woods is in contention to win his first tournament in over two years. However, what can trump all of that? How about the fact that today is the eve, eve of spring practice for OUR Marshall University Thundering Herd.

How exciting is this time of year? This weekend the Final Four is decided in the Big Dance. The Marshall baseball team and softball teams both have conference games this weekend. Tiger Woods is in contention to win his first tournament in over two years. However, what can trump all of that? How about the fact that today is the eve, eve of spring practice for OUR Marshall University Thundering Herd.

Last week, I briefly touched on the defensive back position, basically the corner back position. I got my self so excited as I typed that out, that I could not even look at the rest of the defensive backfield, i.e., the Safeties.

Which is the primary reason the title of this article is, Did you Realize? I will get to that in a moment kids, (borrowed that line from Ted in ‘How I Met Your Mother".

I would say I have to be in the majority when I say that I hope our starting safety duo this season contains two of the following three players, D.J. Hunter, Donald Brown, and Evan McKelvey. I mean, Hunter was the big time recruit from Tennessee who was poised to not only start, but star as a true freshman last season before he suffered an injury in August camp. McKelvey is the brother of departed senior safety Omar Brown, who is getting ready to possibly be drafted into the NFL. I spoke to numerous former players who know Brown and McKelvey very well, one in particular said, and I quote, "Evan will be better than Omar before he graduates, he is already as big and strong as Omar."

That information has to excite Marshall fans. The talent at the safety position is so good in fact, it is forcing the Herd staff to move last yeas starting safety, senior Devin Arrington, back to outside linebacker.

Ok, now to the Did you Realize.

How excited would you have been this past February if Marshall signed a junior transfer safety who started for two years at his previous school? How excited would you have been if prior to transferring in, he was fourth on his team in tackles as a true sophomore? What if he was fourth behind three players who are either in the NFL, or will be in the NFL?

Well, that is Donald Brown. Two years ago, as a sophomore he was fourth on the team in tackles behind, Mario Harvey (Indianapolis Colts), Omar Brown (projected late round pick), and Vinny Curry (projected top two round pick).

Brown also single handily changed the momentum in a big season changing win at home over UTEP when he returned a two point conversion attempt back for two points for the Herd. He then snagged the game clinching interception in a road win over UAB.

He finished the season with 75 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and a sack. FYI, the interception in the UTEP game is not an official interception.

So there you have it, three studs, for two positions.

Walk on Derek Mitchell played some last year.

Incoming freshman Andre Scott could work his way into the rotation at either safety or corner, as could Cedric Walker.

One thing is for certain, the position should not be a weakness, in fact, it very well could be the strength of the defense. So, in a matter of a couple days, we have already covered the fact that not one, but two segments of the defense is going to be very strong. Next up, linebackers, defensive tackles, and defensive ends. Those are going to be fun and exciting to go over as well.

So, for those of you heading to practice on Tuesday, numbers 18, 22, and 30 are the ones to keep an eye on.


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