Practice Number 2 in the Books!!

It was another incredible day at the Joan today for the second of fifteen practices for the Marshall Thundering Herd. Pads weren't poppin', but there was still football to be watched. The weather was hot on the field, and chilly in the stands as the shadows quickly encompassed the west side chairbacks. A crowd of about 100 or so Herd fans kicked back and enjoyed the action.

It was another incredible day at the Joan today for the second of fifteen practices for the Marshall Thundering Herd. Pads weren't poppin', but there was still football to be watched. The weather was hot on the field, and chilly in the stands as the shadows quickly encompassed the west side chairbacks. A crowd of about 100 or so Herd fans kicked back and enjoyed the action.

It was business as usual between the white lines for the Herd. In my opinion, it was a continuation of day 1. Today was a good, crisp, clean practice with players who are growing up and maturing, and a coaching staff which is now 100% in charge of their crews.

Leaders are starting to emerge. On defense, Devin Arrington, D.J. Hunter, and Donald Brown seem to be in total control. Brown is not with the first unit, yet, but that hasn't kept him from helping the younger safeties. Arrington is simply all over the place, making plays on defense, consoling young defensive backs like Corie Wilson on the sidelines after he did not make a play. Rashad Jackson also showed up and helped some of the young DB's on the sideline as practice unfolded.

Most of the starting units remained the same. The only exception was Zach Dunston who took over for Derek Mitchell as one of the first team safeties along side of Hunter. This bumped Donald Brown up to be able to run with the twos, which got him a lot more reps. My assumption is that Mitchell was in class.

Donald Brown really is showing that he has not skipped a beat. He is still quick, and all over the field. I believe two years ago I alluded to him as a playmaker. He is everywhere, he is like Daninelle Derricott, only taller, faster, and a lot more athletic.

I mentioned the other day that I was going to focus a little bit on James Rouse and the punters.

Rouse is healthy. That is one important thing. There is no limp, nothing, and he appears like he has grown into his body. If he is able to hold off Ken Smith throughout spring, that should say a lot. Like I mentioned Tuesday, Steve Dillon and Jarquez Samuel will be back in the fall also. Rouse is a lot bigger than when he showed up as a gangly defensive end that weighed around 200 pounds and wore the number 88 jersey.

Now the punters, they have been impressive. Are they consistent yet? No, not yet. Last year we had Kase Whitehead who pretty much kicked it up in the air 43 to 47 yards downfield with no return. He had pin point accuracy and basically was a major part in our winning the St. Petersburg Bowl. This year we have two kids vying for the position, and they are really kicking the ball. The contestants are walkon redshirt freshman Austin Dumas, and freshman Tyler Williams. Williams, who is wearing the green number 38 jersey, is simply booming the ball. He is a lot more consistent than Dumas right now. Dumas, although not as consistent, has about 5 to 7 yards on Williams. If I had to guess, and to say it is early is an understatement, I would say Williams wins the job. As a side note, James Power is the long snapper and has been on point thus far.

The next player I will talk about, I really don't like talking about because it is a boring read for fans. Aaron Dobson, though, is a freak. I didn't think there was any way he was as fast as his times were last off season, but I am quickly changing my mind. He can move, he floats, and his hands are incredible. He is making all of the catches. Short passes, deep balls, slants, everything. My one thing I would say to Marshall fans. You have 14 more chances to watch him play football games in Green and White. That is 12 regular season games, 1 CUSA championship game and a bowl game. Don't waste those times, you will regret it. Take your kids to see him too, because he is one of the good guys, someone that is going to make Marshall fans proud some day.

Ok, back to the depth charts again, as I got sidetracked, and excited there for a minute.

Defense was the same, Taylor, Rouse, Sparrow and Bazzie along the front, Ross, Mitchell, and Arrington at the backer positions, Roberts and Lovett at DB, and Hunter and the Dunston at Safety.

Offense was the same as well, Essray at RB, Cato at QB, Gator/Crawford at TE, Booker, Dobson and Wilson at WR, Neimeyer, Lovell, Jasperse, Van Horn and Scott across the line.

Justin Haig is the kicker at this point.

Blake Frohnapfel did throw a few passes today, although all were screens. I know that word "screen" makes some Marshall fans cringe, but don't fret. These weren't TE screens to slow blocking TE's, or WR screens to guys like Shawn Lauzon who was tall and not very fast. These were screens to guys who can take the ball to the house everytime they touch it, like Jermaine Kelson, Tommy Shuler, Demetrius Evans and Aaron Dobson.

The Herd will be back out on the field for Practice Number 3 on Saturday morning at 9:30am. This should be the first practice in pads.

Please note, I will be out of town this weekend, and will not have report up, but I know a couple of our regular posters will be there and throwing up their thoughts on the main forum throughout the weekend.

I will be back out next Tuesday to give you my opinions of what I witnessed.

I will add more to the forum, and if you have any questions, just let me know. I try to watch a little bit of everything and write about the hotter topics.

Thanks for reading!

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