Day One Goes Off Without a Hitch

Huntington, WV-- Marshall's new crop of freshmen and junior college transfer football players finished their first day of practice today in 90-degree heat. That didn't keep a few from having pretty good days, even though these first practices are spent doing little more than conditioning and learning basic schemes.

"These guys are a lot of excitement, a lot of emotion, a lot of adrenaline running. It's going to take a day for them to settle down, see what they can do," Marshall coach Bob Pruett said in the 90-degree heat of the second of the day's two practices. "Probably Monday will be before we'll be able to settle in and know exactly what's going on."

In light of recent deaths on the practice field in Minnesota and just yesterday at Northwestern, the Marshall staff is keeping close tabs on the new players during practice. "Depending upon how acclimatized your players are to the heat when they come in here determines how hard you can work them," Pruett added.

Still the first of two-a-days went on without a hitch.

"It's a big step from high school to college," said freshman receiver Nate Manns. "When you first come here, everybody is just as good as you, or better. So, you've got to go out there and show what you've got."

Marshall freshman receiver Nate Manns

And the 6-4, 210 pound Manns did just that, hauling in a pretty 35-yard touchdown reception at the back of the end zone during play-action drills.

"It felt good. I'm getting back in the groove of things," Manns said after practice.

The first-year Herd players will resume practice on Monday at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., after a day off on Sunday. Tuesday will include more orientation sessions. Media Day is scheduled for Wednesday at Marshall Stadium. The full squad will hold it's first practice session on Thursday, August 9, at 8:30 a.m.

Who's Hot:

Well, on the first day of two-a-days, everybody is hot. 90 degrees and high humidity take care of that...

...In terms of physical play, freshman receiver Nate Manns hauled in a 35-yard touchdown catch at the back of the endzone in Saturday's afternoon practice. Manns is an athletic, good-looking 6-4 receiver, with good hands...

...Look for the battle over the open kicking spot to become heated as summer drills continue next week. Up for the job: current punter Curtis Head, recruit Sam Erny, and walk-on Nick Kelly. From the looks of things on Saturday, both Erny and Kelly are set to do battle.


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