Five Players Marshall Can't Do Without

The long months of May, June and July allow fans of schools around the country time to reflect back on the past seasons, upcoming seasons, and the breakdown of the team in regards to needs, strengths, etc. Today, Herdhaven.com will take a look at the five players Marshall can least afford to lose, or have them have bad seasons in the 2014 campaign.

The one difference is, today we are going to discuss four that cannot be missed, and leave it open ended for everyone to discuss on who the fifth person could end up being.

Marshall has had very little turnover in the two deep or amongst the coaching staff. The Herd led the conference in virtually all offensive categories last season and the bulk of that nucleus returns for the 2014 campaign. Marshall did lose super star tight end Gator Hoskins and leading rusher Essray Taliaferro.

Marshall ended the season averaging 42.1 points per game. The Herd amassed these points by being very balanced. Marshall averaged 205.9 yards per game rushing and 294.4 yards per game through the air. On the defensive side of the ball Marshall gave up 160.6 yards per game on the ground and 208.1 yards through the air. Teams scored an average of 22.9 points per game.

If Marshall is able to at worse, maintain those number in 2014, the Herd should be favored in nearly every game both on the road, and at home.

Now a quick look at those players Marshall simply cannot do without in 2014.

Rakeem Cato – Cato is the all everything quarterback who will end his career at Marshall as the top passer in school history. Last season, Cato threw for 3,916 yards, 39 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions. Cato has come along way throughout his career. He arrived at Marshall in the class of 2011 as a two star quarterback from Miami Central High School. He was rated the 126th best quarterback in the country, and will enter his senior year easily within the top 10. Cato will be backed up by Gunnar Holcombe and Cole Garvin. Transfer Michael Byrdsong will set out the 2014 season in preparation for 2015. Kevin Anderson has left the program. Cato's health may be the single most important aspect of a Marshall football season in two decades.

Tommy Shuler – Shuler is Cato's long time buddy. They have played football together since youth league. Shuler arrived at Marshall the same year as Cato and both played as true freshman. Last season Shuler exceeded the 100 catch plateau for the second straight year, ending with 106. He tallied 1,165 yards and 10 touchdowns and at average of 83.2 yards per game. Shuler arrived at Marshall from Miami Central ranked just two stars, and was unrated at his position. Shuler has players behind him that could step in and produce, but the chemistry that Shuler has with Cato allows Cato to calm down and play an overall better game. Backing up Shuler, most likely will be DeAndre Reaves. Donquell "Gator" Green will arrive over the summer and could be another player that could step in if needed.

Chris Jasperse – Jasperse starts at center for Marshall. Are there players that could step in and play his actual position, yes. Michael Selby is more than capable of playing center, but Selby starts at guard. Jasperse could be the most important piece to this dynamic offense He is a senior leader both on the field and in the community. He was the offensive captain last season more than any other player. His presence on the field alone makes the offense better.

Ra'Shawde Myers – Myers will start at defensive end for Marshall. The Herd lost two senior ends last year in Alex Bazzie and Jeremiah Taylor, both of whom are getting a chance in the NFL. Myers returns after having a break out season. Last year he totaled 55 tackles. That included 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. He also had seven additional quarterback hurries. Myers will be joined at the end position by Arnold Blackmon, Gary Thompson and Armonze Daniel. Thompson had a very good freshman year but is still growing into the position. Blackmon came on strong at the end of the year, and Daniel is finally getting grounded at the end position. Myers is the one returning constant at that spot.

So, there is my four. Who is the fifth one?

Lets discuss on the Marshall Insiders Board.

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