Senior Day

November 29th, 2013, for Marshall fans, players, and staff, hopes to only be senior day in name only, and not the final home game for the 17 Marshall seniors. The Herd takes on the ECU Pirates in a pseudo CUSA East championship with a spot in the CUSA Championship game on the line.

If ECU wins, they host the game next week, if Marshall wins, and Tulane beats Rice, then the Herd will host the title game at the Joan next Saturday.

This Thanksgiving weekend is a time is a time for thanks as we all know, and tomorrow Herd fans can grant thanks to 17 seniors. With some luck, this number could only be 16 as one defensive tackle could be granted a sixth year of eligibility.

Let's take a look at these Sons of Marshall:

Derrick Thomas – Thomas wears number 2, and came to Marshall from Penn State. He played two years with the Herd and is the second team defensive back behind Darryl Roberts and Monterius Lovett. Thomas has 12 tackles.

Demetrius Evans – Evans wears number 4. Evans is a wide receiver who has seen some starting time this season. Evans has 19 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.

Devon Smith – Smith is number 11, he is a wide receiver/punt returner who transferred from Penn State. Smith is sixth in the country in punt return average this season, and has been an explosive wide receiver on the outside. Smith has 21 punt returns for 347 yards and one touchdown, he also has 29 catches for 547 yards and three additional touchdowns.

Essray Taliaferro – Taliaferro grabbed the starting running back spot in August camp. He has been able to hold off exciting young backs Steward Butler and Kevin Grooms. Taliaferro is a former walk on who has had several big games in a Marshall uniform. Taliaferro has carried the ball 159 times for 845 yards and nine touchdowns.

Gator Hoskins – Hoskins came to Marshall as a quarterback/wide receiver. He quickly moved to tight end and has dominated the past three seasons. He has flown into the top 5 in career TD catches in a Marshall uniform. Hoskins was a semi finalist for the Mackey Award for the nations top Tight End. Hoskins currently has 34 catches for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Billy Mitchell – Mitchell was a big factor at linebacker late last season, however he suffered some injuries early in summer camp and has not been able to play this season.

Monterius Lovett – Lovett is a fifth year senior, and will be one of a handful of Marshall players to play in three bowl games in his career at the end of this year. Lovett is a starting defensive back for the Herd. Lovett has 25 tackles and two interceptions on the year.

Derek Mitchell – Mitchell is a former walk on linebacker from Point Pleasant. One moment that Mitchell will remember forever is his opening game of his true freshman year. He started on special teams, and was standing in the middle of the "O" at Ohio State in a rare opening night kickoff under the lights. Mitchell has 15 tackles for the season to this point.

Matt Pickett – Pickett is another fifth year senior who has really started to contribute this season on special teams. Pickett has 4 tackles and one sack.

Alex Bazzie – Bazzie is another former walk on in this graduating class. Bazzie has been elevated to starting defensive end and has been an explosive player throughout the last two years of his career. Bazzie has 51 tackles and 1 sack.

Jeremiah Taylor – Taylor is defensive end from South Point, Ohio. Taylor's journey is well documented, as he too is a former walk on who battled on both sides of the line of scrimmage before settling in as a team leader and true force at defensive end. Taylor's season was cut short due to a season ending injury early in the year.

Gage Niemeyer – Niemeyer is a former Junior College transfer who has been a contributor at both right and left tackle in his career.

Garrett Scott – Scott is arguably the Herd's best offensive lineman and has been since he walked onto campus four years ago. His first start came as a true freshman on the road at Ohio State. He has played and dominated at both tackle positions throughout his career.

Jordan Jeffries – Jeffries is a fifth year senior offensive lineman. Jeffries was a big impact two years ago in the St. Pete Bowl when starter Ryan Tillman went down with an injury.

Alex Schooler – Schooler is another fifth year offensive lineman. Schooler has been instrumental to the Herd's success throughout his career, especially this season as he has started every game and played nearly every snap at his right guard position.

Brandon Sparrow – Sparrow is a fourth year defensive tackle. Sparrow is a dominating force on the inside. Sparrow has 28 tackles, and 1.5 sacks.

The 17th senior who could get a sixth year due to multiple injuries is defensive tackle James Rouse. Rouse has 31 tackles, and 4 sacks this season including two consecutive impressive plays to secure a victory late in the game at Tulsa.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com for further updates.

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