Nine days before kickoff for the 2015 Thundering Herd Football season, Marshall is set to defend its Conference USA championship. The Herd will be breaking in a new quarterback and several other new players, but today Herdhaven will take a look at the safety position.
Marshall returns arguably the best two safeties in Conference USA.
The Herd’s starters heading into camp appeared to be Senior Taj Letman and Redshirt Junior AJ Leggett. Both players showed signed of brilliance last season on the backside of one of the conference’s most improved defenses.
Leggett, however, was pushed hard throughout camp by true junior Tiquan Lang. Lang, who played significant minutes as a true freshman and sophomore, missed spring practice as he spent the semester back in his home town. It was unknown if Lang would be back to join the team, and the decision would prove to be on him to make. Lang not only appeared back with the team this August, but he exploded back on to the scene and is now pushing Leggett.
Letman, one of the Herd’s top NFL prospects enters his senior year after coming to the Herd from the Junior College ranks. Coaches and scouts raved about the Herd landing Letman out of the JUCO ranks saying he had the ability to play at any of the biggest schools in the country. Letman should have his starting spot secure and is expected to have a huge senior season.
Backing up the big three expect to be true sophomore Kendall Gant who is one of the highest rated recruits in school history. Gant has been getting a lot of reps throughout camp, and should be able to step in and play if any one should go down.
The unknown thus far in the safety mix is junior college transfer Corey Neely. Neely came to the Herd late in the game, committing in late June. He arrived on campus and was expected to compete for a spot on the depth chart. He adds to an already veteran group.
Marshall brought in the following guys with the 2015 recruiting class:
The aforementioned Corey Neely was the only member of the 2015 recruiting class expected to play safety.
The Herd has already secured commitments from the following safeties for the 2016 recruiting class:
Three Star Jeremiah Maddox from Hilton Head Island High School
Expected Depth Chart should be:
Corey Neely will be expected to back up both spots along with former walk on Cody Carter from nearby Cabell Midland High School.
Stay tuned to Herdhaven as we breakdown the rest of the defensive backfield tomorrow.
T - Minus 10 days and counting until the Herd’s 2015 Home opener against the Big Ten’s Purdue Boilermakers at the Joan on September 6th.