Marshall Offers Legacy

Marshall has had success in recent years with players whose fathers and other family members had played for the Herd. Keith Baxter, a defensive back entering his senior year, is the son of former Marshall wide receiver with the same name. The elder Baxter caught one of the biggest passes in school history in a 1987 win at Louisville. Is there another legacy on the Herd's radar?

In the 1990’s the Marshall Thundering Herd won more games than any team in Division 1 football. The Herd was led by well name players such as Chad Pennington, Randy Moss, Doug Chapman and Byron Leftwich. The Herd though won game due to their offensive and defensive lines.

The offensive lines had multiple all conference players and All Americans, as did the defensive lines. One of the most well known offensive lineman was big Buck Manning. Marshall coach Sean Cronin is now trying to get Buck’s son Tashawn to come to Huntington and continue the Manning legacy in green and white.

Tashawn plays on the other side of the line. Just a year ago he was a 6’2”, 230 pound defensive end, but times have changed. Heading into his senior year at Wekiva High School in Apopka, Florida, Manning has burst onto the scene as a 6’4”, 270 pound defensive tackle. Marshall will be losing two long time starters after the 2015 season at the defensive tackle position in Steve Dillon and Jarquez Samuel, just one year after losing James Rouse to graduation as well.

Coach Cronin has been on Manning for some time. Cronin and head coach Doc Holliday offered Manning a scholarship in early March. Manning, at his current size, hopes to line up at defensive tackle at the next level.

Currently Manning has eleven offers. Those offers include North Carolina State, Purdue, Marshall and Georgia Southern. Other schools to offer the Florida defensive lineman are Mercer, Florida Atlantic, Colorado State, Idaho, South Alabama and Old Dominion.

Manning does not have a top three or even a top five at this point but he said, “Marshall is a school that I would consider going to.” Manning plans on visiting the Marshall campus this summer. I asked Manning what all he knew about Marshall and he replied with, “I do know that the great Randy Moss played at Marshall.”

When asked what he was looking for in a school, Manning said, “I am looking for a school where I can play football for an awesome team and get a good education.” Manning is unsure when he will make a decision on his future but is very excited.

Manning is very excited for his senior year at Wekiva and said, “I feel like we are going to have a great season coming up. We have a lot of returning players and we plan on being better than we were last season.”

In addition to the aforementioned interior defensive lineman that the Herd will lose after this season, back up and former Miami Hurricane Ricardo Williams who will see a lot of action this season will also exhaust his eligibility after the 2015 campaign.

Graduation will leave Marshall with potentially just four defensive tackles heading into the 2016 season, so clearly this is a spot where the Herd coaching staff will be looking to fill with the upcoming recruiting class. Marshall will have 2015 recruit Channing Hames, 2014 recruits Nyquan Harris who was a non qualifier last season and should be ready to play this fall, and Jason Smith. Marshall also will return Tomell One who played as a true freshman in 2014.

After signing a full class in 2015, and getting a handful of early commits, Marshall is looking for their first commit for the class of 2016.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven for further updates.

Herd Haven Top Stories