Snyder Gets Enthusiastic Thursday

Marshall coach Mark Snyder was rewarded with what he was after in practice on Thursday: enthusiasm. Spirited enthusiasm, at that. The Herd capped Thursday's practice with one of the more intense 'team' sessions thus far, and Snyder knew exactly where his team stood when the dust settled...

"We started slowly, it was hot," Snyder said after Thursday afternoon's two-hour practice in muggy, 90-degree weather. "But I thought we ended at a pretty frantic pace."

That frantic pace would be the 'team' session that ended practice. QBs Jimmy Skinner and Derek Devine battled it out during this session, and Skinner came out firing, making completions on his first three attempts. Wilbur Hargrove hauled in two in a row from Skinner. Devine answered the call, however, hitting Matt Parkhurst over the middle for a nice 10-yard pickup.

"We started seeing some of that enthusiasm I've been talking about," Snyder added. "As I look out there right now, the leadership on the offensive side of the ball is going to have to come from us coaches."

Defensive lineman Juan Underwood went through blocking drills during Thursday's practice at Edwards Stadium.

Also making solid plays: Receiver Marcus Fitzgerald made a leaping catch over the middle, then followed it up nicely with a diving catch later on.

Defensively, things reached a fever pitch when DB James Johnson curled under a receiver and made the interception of QB Derek Devine. Once the 'goal line' drill began, it was all-out war.

Scott Wilks began the fireworks with a pick of QB Skinner to start things off. "Scott is having a good camp," Snyder added. "I've been pleased with the linebacker corps. I feel good about our linebackers. We're going to be fine there."

Ahmad Bradshaw capped a stellar practice by running in for a four-yard TD despite getting popped twice at the two yard line. Earlier in the day, Bradshaw busted a kickoff return wide open, taking the Ian O'Connor kick five yards deep in the end zone and breaking through the line untouched and running free. Only after being stopped by a coach at the 50-yard line did Bradshaw slow down.

"He competes," Snyder glowed of Bradshaw. "That's what I like. He's a special kid."

Receivers and tight ends played a 'hot hands' drill near the 50-yard line during Thursday's practice.

Receiver Hiram Moore added two TD catches during the final goal line session, both on 10-yard passes, one each from Skinner and Devine. QB Bernard Morris didn't throw on Thursday, but rather ran running plays. With a scrimmage coming up on Saturday at 11:30am, Snyder promised that Morris is "going to get in there."

Marshall will practice twice on Friday, then prepare for the first full scrimmage of the summer session on Saturday morning at Edwards Stadium at 11:30am. It will also be another "Choose A Seat" day at the stadium, where Marshall fans can buy season tickets and choose their seats from those available.

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