A Look Back at June
June has officially come and gone. Most football fans are slowly making their way through their summers waiting on the preseason magazines to come out so they can look through them, get mad at the predictions and get ready for the upcoming season. Herdhaven is going to take a look at the top four topics going on in Marshall land in this, the six month of the year 2015.
With just a little over two minutes to go until kickoff, usually this time of year is spent waking up each morning and hoping all of your players are still out of trouble and are on the team ready to go for the upcoming season. Fortunately for Marshall, that was basically the case throughout the month. Marshall did lose one player in former highly rated defensive end Jerome Dews. Dews was let go, violating team rules was the generic term released. Dews was struggling to put on weight to play the defensive end position at this level and had not worked his way onto the two deep this past spring.
Now, let’s take a look at four good things for the Marshall program over the past 30 days.
4. Securing two, three star teammates from Hilton Head Island High School, and two three stars from local schools.
Marshall has been in the Hilton Head area for quite some time, coming up short on a few players from the area, most recently Poona Ford who went to Texas and Michael Julian who went to Toledo. This time, Marshall, and area recruiter Mike Furrey secured the future services of two dynamic defensive backs. Jestin Morrow and Jeremiah Maddox announced their commitments to the program at a ceremony at the school last week. Both have indicated they are looking forward to the opportunity to play at Marshall and to play with each other.
The coaching staff then hit the jackpot locally. Marshall was able to obtain a commitment from the top outside linebacker in the state of West Virginia when Point Pleasant star Cody Mitchell committed to the Herd. Mitchell is rated three stars. The Herd then received a commitment from one of the top running backs in the state of Kentucky, Ashland native Quinton Baker. Baker was once committed to the University of Kentucky, and is also rated three stars. 3. So Many early commits. In addition to Morrow and Maddox, Marshall has secured 9 additional commitments for the 2016 signing class. Doc Holliday is always recruiting, but seldom has he been able to put together this much talent, this early in the season. The Herd will have around 18 graduating scholarship seniors following the 2015 season.
The class is well rounded, and of the 11 players, nearly half (5) are three star athletes. Morrow (3 stars), and Maddox (3 stars), are joined by offensive lineman Alex Mollette (2 stars), offensive lineman Tarik Adams (2 stars), offensive lineman Will Ulmer (2 stars), running back Quinton Baker (3 stars), linebacker Cody Mitchell (3 stars), quarterback Garet Morrell (3 stars), tight end Anthony Watley (2 stars), defensive back Jaylon Sapp (2 stars), and offensive lineman Sean Behrens (2 stars.) That group of athletes has the Herd perched atop CUSA in recruiting at this stage of the game.
2. Mike Hamrick inks a deal with Appalachian State of the Sun Belt Conference. Marshall has played the Mountaineers 22 times in the past, losing 14 of the games, and winning 8. The series will begin with a game in Boone, NC in 2021, followed by a game in Huntington in 2022. Marshall is on a two game winning streak against Appy. The teams have only played one time since the Herd left Division 1-AA (now FCS). Marshall won that game 50 – 17 in 2002, led by Byron Leftwich. Marshall also won the last game in Boone in 1996, 24 to 10.
Marshall fans have been across the board in their opinions of this game. What is your opinion, discuss here
Read about the Appalachian State series and discuss now at Appy State Game.
1. Former Marshall great, and all time leading passer Rakeem Cato went undrafted in the NFL draft this year and many wondered what the former gun slinger would do. Cato finally signed a two year deal with Montreal of the Canadian Football League. He had some issues getting to Montreal, but once he did he didn’t disappoint. He played so well that they decided to keep him as a fourth quarterback, and lucky for them they did.
Montreal has seen their top two quarterbacks go down with injuries which leaves Cato and Canada native Brandon Bridge battling for the starting spot for their game this Friday.
Stay tuned to Herdhaven as we continue to bring you all things Marshall, including, but not limited to recruiting coverage, throw back stories, and good conversation. Please check out our forums and talk some Thundering Herd Sports.