Two Commit, More Visit Herd Football

A big recruiting weekend at Marshall University got off to a nice start for Coach Mark Snyder and his staff when they added two commitments on Thursday. The Herd added a tight end and a junior college defensive back to the list of 17 commitments, four of which are already in school at MU and who will take part in Snyder's first full spring practice as the coach of his alma mater. Snyder was hired on the final day of spring in 2005 from Ohio State, where he was defensive coordinator.

Marshall posted a 4-7 record in Snyder's first season, which was also Marshall's first season in Conference USA. MU was 3-5 in C-USA. The Herd defeated SMU, UAB and Tulane in C-USA, in addition to an opening win over William and Mary, but dropped games to Kansas State, at Central Florida (the C-USA East Division Champs), at Virginia Tech, at UTEP, Southern Miss (in overtime), East Carolina and at Memphis.

The Herd coaches picked up two commitments on Thursday, the fifth players to pick Marshall in the past seven days. Joining the Thundering Herd are David Reddick, a 6-foot-4, 235 pound tight end Cave Springs High School in Virginia. He is the younger brother of Duke's J.J. Reddick. Also agreeing to come to MU was Aaron Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 190 pound defensive back from San Francisco City College. Reddick caught 22 passes for 473 yards last season, scoring two touchdowns and earning All-Region Three honors. He did not play as a junior, due to a knee injury, but is currently playing basketball at Cave Springs without a knee brace.

Johnson played cornerback at SFCC and helped lead the Rams to a 9-1 mark on the 2005 season, losing only to final game of the year to Foothill. SFCC put 35 athletes into Division I-A programs from their 2003 and 2004 teams, including 11 in the Pac 10 (five each at Cal and Oregon State). Earlier in the week, Marshall also picked up commitments from Kevin Perry, 5-foot-10, 162 pound defensive back who runs a 4.6/40-yard dash. Perry played at Bob Jones High School, Madison, Alabama. Offensive lineman Erick Vint is 6-foot-3, 275 pounds out of Magna Vista High School, Ridgeway, Virginia and Kirby Watson, who played running back (caught 35 passes out of backfield last year) but is listed as an athlete is just 5-4, 197 pounds. Watson, however, runs a 4.56/40, benches nearly 500 pounds, cleans 270 and is from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida.

These players are expected to sign letters of intent in February. They will join the Herd in August and are in addition to players who are already on campus from junior colleges, including: Anthony Binswanger, kicker, 6-foot-0, 175 pounds, from Pleasant Hill, California (Diablo Valley); wide receiver Mike Bolis, who signed with USC in 2005 but returned to junior college due to injury, is 6-foot, 195 pounds. Bolio runs a 4.4/40 and could be the answer for Marshall at the "X" receiver, out of Los Angeles, California; and also already signed is Ryland Wilson, defensive end, 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, out of Natches, Mississippi. Also attending classes at Marshall since January 9 and will take part in spring football at MU is tight end Cody Slate, out of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. He is 6-foot-4, 235 pounds.

Finally, unofficial reports had Marshall coaches in Columbus, Ohio this week trying to secure a commitment from another tight end. Jeff Cumberland is 6-foot-4, 221 pounds and runs a 4.47/40. He played wide out in high school, has offers from Michigan, Minnesota, and WVU, but was familiar with Snyder from his Ohio State days. Cumberland was the MVP of the Scout.com Akron Combine and impressed scouts at the Nike Combine. Marshall football visits scheduled for this weekend at Marshall, according to Huntington's The Herald-Dispatch include:
1) Antawn Booker, LB, Auburndale High School, Florida;
2) Mario Harvey, LB, Hargrave Military Academy, Virginia;
3) Mark Jackson, OL, Brookhaven (Columbus, Ohio) High School;
4) Timothy "T.J." Kamfonik, DT, Point Loma High School, California;
5) Joward King, LB, Sea Breeze (Orlando, Florida) High School;
6) Darius Lewis, RB/LB, Ironton (Ohio) High School (already committed);
7) Josh Long, DE, Fort Myers (Florida) High School;
8) Kevin Macon, OL, Oliver (Pennsylvania) High School;
9) Marko Mitchell, WR, Mesa (Arizona) Community College;
10) Jason Onyebuagu, OL, Warren (Indiana) Central High School;
11) DeNaphian Robinson, DB, Phoebus (Virginia) High School;
12) Chad Schofield, OL, Strongville (Ohio) High School (already committed);
13) Aaron Ward, ATH, Phoebus (Virginia) High School;
14) Norman Whitley, RB, Richmond County (North Carolina) High School.
Another possible visit, according to scout.com, could be defensive lineman Ervin Baldwin. He is 6-foot-3, 260 pounds and committed to Kansas State in December, but recently returned from a visit to Manhattan and decided not to become a Wildcat. He visited Michigan State on January 9 and also has offers from Texas Tech, Minnesota, Washington State, Utah, and Nevada. He was a Juco All-American with 17 tackles-for-loss and 15 sacks at Reedley Junior College. Coach Mike White said of Baldwin, "Ervin is very quick and strong. He's a super edge rusher who gets after it. A high-motor type uy who'll be very good the next few years. He could play inside or out." Coach White went onto say Baldwin will have three years to play two.


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