A Look at the 2015 Thundering Herd Offense

The Marshall Thundering Herd enters their first bye week with four wins and no losses. Throughout the first four games the Herd has scored over 40 points per game in each contest. The offense has been efficient and the defense has been very effective. The defense has only allowed six first half points total throughout the season.

The Marshall Thundering Herd enters their first bye week with four wins and no losses. Throughout the first four games the Herd has scored over 40 points per game in each contest. The offense has been efficient and the defense has been very effective. The defense has only allowed six first half points total throughout the season. Senior day this year on Black Friday against Western Kentucky will be a special one for Herd fans as several top players will head out onto the field at The Joan for their final regular season contest. As the team, “makes itself better, “ per Coach Doc Holliday, during the bye week, Herdhaven.com is going to take a step back and look all the way forward at who will be wearing the Green and White during the 2015 season.

The offense is set to lose senior stars Rakeem Cato and Tommy Shuler. In addition to the lifelong teammates, the Herd will also say goodbye to tight end Eric Frohnapfel, center Chris Jasperse, offensive tackle Blake Brooks, and wide receivers Craig Wilkins and Demetrius Evans, along with a couple more on the offensive side of the football.

What returns for the Herd?

Quarterback – Juniors to be Gunnar Holcombe and Michael Birdsong appear to be the two that will be battling for the starting spot along with freshman Cole Garvin. Birdsong transferred in to Marshall from James Madison where he threw for over 2700 yards, and 22 touchdowns in his final season. Birdsong will have two years to play. He also rushed for three touchdowns. He is unable to play this season due to the transfer rules, therefore Holcombe will get the second team reps when the lights come on.

Running Back – The backfield, crowded this season, will be even more crowded next season as everyone returns and freshman Delvin Weems enters the mix as a true freshman. Starting running back Devon Johnson will return for his senior season as will seniors Remi Watson and Steward Butler. The three backs have rushed for over 1,000 yards this season together and are augmenting a potential Thundering Herd passing attack.

In addition to the aforementioned players, Marshall also returns redshirt freshman Brandon Byrd and Tony Pittman. Byrd has already made an impact this season, scoring his first touchdown this past weekend at Akron.

Wide Receivers – Tommy Shuler will graduate, most likely, as one of the top three pass catchers in school history. He has a chance to finish his career as the first person in college football history to haul in 100 catches or more in three consecutive seasons. Freshman Hyleck Foster has seen some action in the slot position thus far this year and is proving to be very effective. Foster has the speed, and the size to take over where Shuler left off.

Several playmaking wide receivers will return for Marshall. This group will be led by sophomore to be Angelo Jean Louis and Senior to be Davonte Allen. Jean Louis and Allen exploded on to the scene with huge games against Ohio. Also returning will be Gator Green, Justin Hunt, DeAndre Reaves, Emmanuel Beal and Josh Knight. Coming into the program will be Reggie Rogers, Raylen Elzy, Larry Dunnon, Kenneth Rawls, and possibly 2014 recruit Reese Wooten.

The tight end position will be short on numbers, but big on talent when the 2014 season ends. Currently the Herd will only have three players on the roster at tight end next season. Ryan Yurachek is getting the most reps currently from the back up tight end position. Yurachek is shorter than Frohnapfel, but has excellent hands and has blasted onto the scene as a true freshman. Former four star wide receiver, Deontay McManus also returns at tight end, as does Joe Woodrum.

See what Coach Holliday had to say about McManus during this weeks interviews here Doc on Mcmanus.

The offensive line position could be more crowded than it ever has been with scholarship athletes. Marshall will return three starters in right tackle Sebastion Johansson, left guard Michael Selby and left tackle Clinton Van Horn. In addition, AJ Addision who has played multiple reps thus far this season at left tackle, will return.

Marshall currently has three commitments for the 2015 recruiting class at the offensive line position and all three could step in and play immediately. Logan Grieser, Jason Jean and Alex Locklear from nearby Spring Valley High School have all committed to offensive line coach Alex Mirabal and head Coach Doc Holliday.

Marshall is also redshirting (most likely) a very solid group of offensive lineman. Three star center, and former Cincinnati commit Nate Devers will return and has potential to play either the guard or center position. Federice Binot, and Jordan Dowrey also will come into next year with a full season of practice and conditioning under their belts.

Sandley Jean Felix has been getting some late game playing time at the right tackle position. Other lineman returning for Marshall next season will be Eric Ansley, Will Mendoza, Chris Huhn, Cody Collins, and Tom Collins.

Below is my way too early stab at the 2015 offensive depth chart:

Quarterback:

Michael Birdsong
Gunnar Holcombe

Running Back:

Devon Johnson
Steward Butler

X Receiver

Angelo Jean Louis
Josh Knight

Y Receiver

Davonte Allen
Justin Hunt

Slot Receiver

Hyleck Foster
Deandre Reaves

Tight End

Ryan Yurachek
Deontay McManus

Left Tackle

Sebastion Johansson
AJ Addision

Left Guard

Tom Collins
Cody Collins

Center

Michael Selby
Cody Collins

Right Guard

Chris Huhn
Nathaniel Devers

Right Tackle

Clinton Van Horn
Sandley Jean Felix

Notes: Both Logan Grieser and Alex Locklear have a very good chance to crack immediately into the two deep next year. Both Guard spots could be wide open if Selby is moved to Center. If Selby stays at guard, then Devers should win the center position, bumping Selby back out to his normal right guard slot. An interior line of Cody Collins, Devers, and Selby would be young, but very strong. The tackle position and wherever Selby lines up should go into the season very stout.

What do you think the Two deep on the offensive side of the ball could end up as, click the link below to discuss

Continue reading notes and discuss now at Discuss the 2015 Offensive Depth Chart Here.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com as we take a look at the defense in the coming days.

Herd Haven Top Stories