Herd Prepares For Practice One Of 2006

Marshall Football will begin Mark Snyder's Year Two Thursday afternoon with the first of 28 practices leading up to the opening game. Lots of experienced players and a number of exciting newcomers will fill out the 105-man August practice roster for drills that lead up to the 2006 opener at WVU on Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m. in the Friends of Coal Bowl Game in Morgantown.

Three new players expected to join the Herd in August will apparently join the team in January of 2007. Junior college transfers Darius Passmore and Aaron Johnson, along with Hargrave Military's Mario Harvey, are expected to be taking classes this fall in Huntington and join the Thundering Herd for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The students will reportedly pickup additional hours this fall that will help them to graduate following their playing time for the Herd.

Coach Mark Snyder, however, wanted to talk about the players who were here for the 2006 season. "I want to be organized these first few days," said Snyder, "and see a lot of enthusiasm and effort." He talked about some of his new players who they get a first look at today, like Ashton Hall and Courtney Edmonson. "Those players, Travius Thompson are impressive. Kevin Perry has impressed me. A couple of the young linemen impress me. They are in pretty good shape and we'll see if they are in good enough shape to help us this year."

Snyder was excited about the great shape his players came back in, as nearly double the amount of players passed the running test Thursday morning as compared to last year. "It's staggering. Last summer we had about 30-some guys stay in town," said Snyder. "This summer we had in the high 70s stay around. It showed this morning." It also appears the summer conditioning program, ran by strength coach Mike Cochran, has improved the physical appearance of the team. "We are a little bit better looking football team than last year. Quite a few people have commented on that."

Junior center Doug Legursky also agreed with Snyder about the relative sense of calm, heading into the first practice of this year compared with 2005. "We have had a lot of change since I came in as a freshman, things were a lot different," said Legursky at lunch on Thursday. "It was not bad then and its not bad now. All football teams experience change. But with a year underneath our belts, we know what the coaches expect and they know what we know what to expect." Legursky wants to change last year's losing record quickly. "Last year was a dissapointing year, it's an unacceptable year for us as Marshall players, coaches and fans. Every game, the next game, is the biggest game, whether it's WVU or the next opponent. We want to get to a bowl game."

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