Spring Practice is Here!!!

Well it finally arrived. Seems like forever ago that Rakeem Cato completed a fourth down pass to Aaron Dobson for a game clinching, bowl winning, season ending touchdown pass. Since that time a few players have departed, most notably AJ Graham and Trevor Black, a new recruiting class has been signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered, and three new coaches have come on board.

Well it finally arrived. Seems like forever ago that Rakeem Cato completed a fourth down pass to Aaron Dobson for a game clinching, bowl winning, season ending touchdown pass. Since that time a few players have departed, most notably A.J. Graham and Trevor Black, a new recruiting class has been signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered, and three new coaches have come on board.

This afternoon at 3:30pm, the Marshall Thundering Herd took the field for the first of 15 spring practices leading up to the 2012 football season. Practice number one took place in incredible weather. Beautiful weather, and excellent temperatures saw Cato take nearly all the snaps at quarterback. Blake Frohnapfel took a lot of snaps, but did not throw the football.

New players, Joe Massaquoi, Deontae West, Ken Smith, Gage Neimeyer, Rakim Reed and Chris Alston took the field, with an old "new" player, or is a new "old" player, Safety Donald Brown. It was weird seeing Brown run with the three's at safety, but very refreshing to see how antsy and hungry he was to get on the field to get those late reps.

The starting offensive line came out as, from left to right, Neimeyer, Josh Lovell, Chris Jasperse, Clinton Van Horn, and Garrett Scoot. Jordan Jeffries got some late reps at LT with Neimeyer.

The rest of the first team offense was Cato at qb, Taliaferro at RB, Hoskins and Crawford splitting at tight end, the Wr's were the seniors, Aaron Dobson, Antavious Wilson and Andre Booker.

The first team defense was Alex Bazzie and Jeremiah Taylor at DE, James Rouse and Brandon Sparrow at DT, Billy Mitchell at MLB, flanked by Devin Arrington and T.J. Ross. Monterius Lovett and Darryl Roberts at DB, and D.J. Hunter and Derek Mitchell at Safety.

Now a few notes about the players some of our readers wanted to read about:
DJ Hunter – Hasn't missed a beat . Ran with the ones, and showed no signs of last years injury. Becoming a vocal on the field leader as well.

Ken Smith – Big, very athletic. I expected a Juan Underwood type of a player, and that is not what I saw. He carries his 300 pounds very well. Very strong also.

Joe Massaquoi – Massaquoi looks much bigger than his listed 230 pounds. Seems to be a listener and wanting to learn.

Demetrius Evans – Now sporting the number 4 worn last season by Troy Evans, Demetrius Evans really looks the part of a dynamite wide receiver. Listed as a junior, most Herd fans hope he gets a medical redshirt for a season cut short last year to injury. Evans made multiple nice grabs, and showed no signs of previous injuries. Had a few drops, but I think you can expect to see him making a lot of big plays this season.

Armonze Daniel – Lined up at middle linebacker along side Jermaine Holmes with the second linebacker unit. He is going to start. I am going to call it right here, right now, he is too good, too big, too tall, and too fast to not start on this defense. I don't think he will be at DE though. Still a little slight in the pants to move up front yet.

Other Notes:
- Evan McKelvey is wearing his brother Omar's old number 31.
- Tron and Travon stood with each other the entire practice watching.
- Remi Watson is a big running back, at least he looks big.
- The punters looked very good, more on them later this week.
- James Power is the long snapper, and the punters are rotating at holder.
- Corie Wilson got the first team semi live reps due to Pac Man being in a blue jersey.
- Keith Baxter was also in blue, as was Marques Aiken.

I will post more in the thread on herdhaven.com throughout the evening.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=108&f=2801&t=8854741&sto=MS_119239030

The Herd returns to practice again on Thursday at 3:30pm. Some players that I will focus on then are James Rouse, John Bruhin, and the punters.

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