Gilchrist Could Fill Hole at DE

In a few days, one of Marshall's best defensive ends, all around players, and community leaders will hear his name announced on National TV by NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell. Vinny Curry, one of the greatest names in Marshall History will leave a gaping hole at the defensive end position at Marshall. That doesn't mean there will not be any talent returning, just not nearly the caliber of Curry.

Prior to the spring practice sessions started, expected starter Trevor Black was dismissed from the program for undisclosed reasons. Black played well, early last season before being sidelined most of the year due to nagging injuries. Heading into spring camp the only sure thing was that Junior to be, Jeremiah Taylor would man one of the defensive end spots. The second spot would be up in the air.

Heading into the spring, many thought that true sophomore RaShawde Myers would eventually win the spot. There was also rumors of highly touted freshman linebacker Armonze Daniel moving up to the defensive end location. Myers has played at DE this spring, and done well, Daniel, thus far, has remained at linebacker.

Flash backward a few months to the recruiting period on January 2012. Florida International had a commitment from a defensive lineman from Port Charlotte, Florida. Marcus Gilchrist is a 6'4", 240 pound end with a ton of upside. Although he was committed to FIU, he still had a visit set to Marshall. His lead recruiter from the Huntington, WV school was Offensive coordinator Bill Legg. Oddly enough, Legg was a former coach at FIU.

Shortly after his visit, Gilchrist made it official that he was switching his commitment to Marshall. Recently, I caught up with the defensive end. He stated many reasons why he chose the Herd over the Panthers. He said that he felt like Marshall was a very good program and really thought it would be better for his studies. He also said, "the players I met were really cool, and the town was a die hard Marshall town and I felt right at home."

Gilchrist listed players such as Mike Bellemy and Marcus Shaw as the best players he has ever played against. Some of his most satisfying moments in his high school career included playing in the playoffs, and winning a couple big games that they had to win in order to make it there."

Gilchrist will arrive in Huntington in June to begin his football career with the Herd. He expects to be fully eligible to participate. One would assume, with a good fall camp, and with the Herd being thin in numbers at the Defensive End position, Gilchrist has a good chance to see the field as a true freshman.

Other players that could fill the defensive end spot include greyshirt freshman Joe Massaquoi who has had a very good spring, coming off an excellent off season in the weight room. Marques Aiken, the returning starting defensive tackle, plays the position at a slim 260 pounds. Aiken began his career as a defensive end, and has the athletic ability and long arms to move back out there if necessary. Given that the defensive tackle position is currently loaded with talent and bodies, this would not be a surprise if it transpired.

Stay tuned for further updates on Herdhaven.com

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