Spring Practice to Begin

Regardless of what the weather looks like outside, today marks the first of fifteen "spring" practices for Doc Holliday and his defending CUSA East champions. For the first time in a decade, things seem to be moving in the right direction for the Marshall Thundering Herd Football program.

The Herd is coming off of a ten win season, culminating in a Military Bowl win over Big Ten to be Maryland. In that game, the Herd showed its strength on both sides of the football and showed the ability to score each time it needed to before finally putting the game away on the defensive side of the ball on consecutive possessions.

Marshall lost only one member of the coaching staff, running backs coach Thomas Brown left after just one season to go to Wisconsin. Chris Barclay will step in as Brown's replacement. Barclay is a Wake Forest Graduate from 2009, and has served the last two seasons as the running backs coach at William and Mary.

Marshall lost very few seniors, however, some of those seniors were big producers, most notably, Gator Hoskins, Essray Taliaferro, Alex Bazzie and Monterius Lovett. Possible replacements for those impact players are, in order, Deontay McManus, Kevin Butler, Gary Thompson and Corey Tindal.

The preseason depth chart came out last week with very few surprises. One notable change however was former four star safety, turned linebacker, turned safety D.J. Hunter is now back to outside linebacker. Most fans have to love this move as Hunter was an all CUSA Freshman Team linebacker two seasons ago before losing his starting safety job last year to true freshman Tiquan Lang.

Lang returns at safety along with A.J. Leggett and Taj Letman.

Missing spring camp will be Tyler Combs, Kent Turene and Neville Hewitt. All three players will have ground to make up this summer as there have been multiple changes along the offensive line which will effect Combs. At linebacker Stephan Houston has moved inside which will effect both Turene and Hewitt. A combination of returning senior Jermaine Holmes, and Houston on the inside would expect to hurt the playing time of any other inside linebackers. Hewitt will be a senior, Turene will be a redshirt sophomore coming off a couple injuries.

Some questions to look at this spring?

1. Who will play left tackle? The depth chart says Sebastian Johansson, can he hold on over A.J. Addison?

2. Who will back up Rakeem Cato? Most seem to be split between Gunnar Holcombe and newcomer Cole Garvin, while Kevin Anderson seems to be mentioned less and less, can Anderson prove people wrong and leave camp as the number 2?

3. Can Kevin Grooms come back, and stay back? He has had several issues throughout his career, can he bounce back and by dynamic to close out the last two years of his Marshall career?

4. Who will replace Gator Hoskins? Can anyone replace Gator Hoskins? Devon Johnson, Eric Frohnapfel, or even former wide receiver Deontay McManus.

Those are just a few of the questions looking to be answered this spring.

Shocking, there are no number changes this spring.

There are some roster notes, check the post titled Roster Notes on the Marshall Insider Board.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com for updates and practice reports throughout Spring Practice.

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