Herd Inks Former Georgia Linebacker To Start

HUNTINGTON - Coach Mark Snyder started signing day with a bang when former Georgia linebacker Josh Johnson signed early February 1 with Marshall University. The 6-foot-2, 235 pound Johnson played for the No. 2 team in the NJCAA, Georgia Military College, helping the Bulldogs to a 9-2 mark and a win over #4 Coffeyville in the Golden Isles Bowl Classic. Johnson had 151 tackles and five sacks as a senior at Stephenson H.S. near Stone Mountain, Ga., and was the No. 9-ranked linebacker by scout.com.

Johnson, a three-star recruit by rivals.com but a four-star recruit according to scout.com, is the first reported signee for the Herd in a class that is now at 26 total expected to sign on Wednesday, plus the three junior college players already in school. Marshall, lost 13 seniors from last year's team, including three offensive starters - receiver Wilbur Hargrove, tackle Toby Bullock and tight end Jeff Mullins - and six defensive starters - corners Willie Smith and Chris Hawkins; safety Chris Royal; linebackers Donte' Newsome; defensive end Damarcus Thomas; and defensive tackle Floyd Wright. Snyder also lost his long-snapper in Mullins and four-year holder Scott Wilks, a special teams force for four years on kickoff, punts and place-kicks.

Marshall signed three juco players at mid-year, including kicker Anthony Binswanger (6-foot, 175 pounds), defensive lineman Ryland Wilson (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) and wide receiver Mike Bolio (6-foot, 195 pounds, 4.4/40-yard dash). Herd coaches reportedly received some bad news this week when it was learned Bolio will not be able to participate in spring football, due to some classwork that still has to be completed, but he is expected to join the squad in August.

Marshall received a 25th commitment on Monday from Alabama running back DeMorris Kilow, beating several Conference USA rivals for the back. Kilow rushed for 1,805 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2005 at Carroll High School, setting the school record with 321 rushing yards in a single-game his senior year. He was Alabama Class 5A first team All-State and had been recruited by Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, UCF, all from C-USA's East Division with the Herd, and former MU opponent Troy who, like UAB, was an Alabama school. Kilow was one of five recruits who visited MU last weekend and committed to the Herd.

Also commiting on Monday of this week were Byant Milligan (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), listed by scout.com as an athlete, who is from Glenville H.S. in Cleveland, Ohio; in-state lineman Josh Evans (6-foot-3, 327 pounds) from Fayetteville H.S. (W.Va.), a first-team WV Class A All-State player and Fayetteville's first Division I-A recruit; defensive tackle Michael Janac (6-foot-4, 250 pounds), from Pearl Cohn H.S. in Nashville, Tenn.; and another defensive lineman in Richard Nelson (6-foot-3, 260 pounds), who played in the Outback All-Star Game out of Dwyer H.S. in Palm Beach, Florida, the same high school that produced four-year Herd starter at corner, Willie Smith.

Marshall had one mis-step when three-star center Mark Jackson (6-foot-6, 301 pounds) switched his verbal to Akron. The Brookhaven H.S. product had told Herd coaches last Thursday he was coming, but then told the Zips he had changed his mind over the weekend. Jackson had been recruited by MU and Akron, as well as Michigan State and Minnesota of the Big Ten and West Virginia. He may yet change his mind, if the Herd lands his teammate at Brookhaven, tight end Jeff Cumberland (6-4, 240 pound, 4.6/40). MU coaches have continued to pursue Cumberland, despite his apparent commitment to Illinois just under two weeks ago, but this is a player reportedly recruited at Ohio State by Snyder.

Herd Insider will post signed recruits as quickly as released by Marshall football on Wednesday. MU appears to have commitments from six defensive backs, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, three linebackers, three running backs and two each of tight ends, wide receivers and quarterbacks. Six recruits come from Virginia (although one of those is originally from Georgia) and six are from Florida, where Snyder recruited for the Buckeyes as an assistant. The Herd will have four recruits from Ohio, three from Alabama and two from California, while there is one each from Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia. A complete list of expected recruits who will sign a letter of intent with the Herd on February 1 is below:

NAME POSITION HEIGHT WEIGHT HS/HOMETOWN
Brian Anderson, QB, 6-2, 200, Louisville (Ky.) Male H.S.
Antwan Booker, LB, 5-11, 245, Auburndale (Fla.) H.S.
Brandon Campbell, OL, 6-5, 305, Friendly H.S., Ft. Washington, Md.
Josh Evans, OL, 6-4, 327, Fayetteville (W. Va.) H.S.
Ashton Hall, DB, 5-10, 183, Camden County H.S., Kingsland, Ga.
Mario Harvey, LB, 6-0, 220, Hargrave Academy, Chatham, Va. (Forsyth, Ga.)
Michael Janac, DL, 6-4, 250, Pearl Cohn H.S., Nashville, Tenn.
Aaron Johnson, DB, 6-2, 193, San Francisco (Cal.) City College
DeMorris Kilow, RB, 6-2, 202, Carroll H.S., Ozark, Ala.
Josh Johnson, LB, 6-2, 235, Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, Ga. (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Howard King, LB, 6-2, 193, Seabreeze H.S., Daytona Beach, Fla.
Darius Lewis, RB, 5-11, 235, Ironton (Ohio) H.S.
Josh Long, DL, 6-5, 242, Fort Myers (Fla.) H.S.
Bryant Milligan, DB, 6-1, 185, Glenville H.S., Cleveland, Ohio
Richard Nelson, DL, 6-3, 260, Dwyer H.S., Palm Beach, Fla.
Kurtis Ovesen, DB, 6-2, 200, El Camino Community College, Torrance, Cal.
Darius Passmore, WR, 6-3, 180, College of the Sequoias, Visalia, Cal.
Kevin Perry, DB, 5-10, 162, Bob Jones H.S., Madison, Ala.
David Redick, TE, 6-4, 215, Cave Springs H.S., Roanoke, Va.
DeNathian Robinson, DB, 5-10, 161, Phoebus H.S., Hampton, Va.
Chad Schofield, OL, 6-4, 320, Strongville (Ohio) H.S.
Cody Slate, TE, 6-4, 225, Hargrave Academy, Chatham, Va.
Travius Thompson, WR, 6-2, 165, Boyd Anderson H.S., Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
Josh Tillman, DL, 6-3, 245, Colonial White H.S., Dayton, Ohio
Erick Vint, OL, 6-3, 275, Magna Vista H.S., Ridgeway, Va.
Arron Ward, QB, 6-3, 175, Phoebus H.S., Hampton, Va.
Kirby Watson, RB, 5-4, 197, Mainland H.S., Daytona Beach, Fla.


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