Impressions From 1st Day of Practice

Some thoughts and impressions from the first day of football practice for Marshall's crop of freshmen, junior college transfers, and others...

Junior college transfer receiver Jason Schroeder runs really, really nice routes. The 6-2, 212 pounder runs them so nice, that if you can 't see Schroeder, you'll hear him run his route. Schroeder works so hard that he grunts each time he cuts left or right. He wears #18.

Running back Darrell Sheppard looks like a run-over-you machine. There's a lot of strength in the 6-2, 235 pound sophomore's stride. A lot. Sheppard wears #34.

Same goes for Tank Tunstalle, the top-ranked recruit in the state of West Virginia last year. At 6-1 and 213 pounds, Tunstalle is a touch more lithe than Sheppard. Tunstalle is wearing #43.

Offensive lineman Ryan Nolan got off the bus ready to play, it appears. Nolan and Ace Withrow squared off against each other a few times on Wednesday, and both were very quick off the line. Nolan is 6-5, 290 pounds, while Withrow is 6-2 and 255. For those of you keeping track, Nolan is #61, while Withrow is #92.

Quarterbacks Graham Gochneaur, Adam Black, and Jimmy Skinner all look very nice in shoulder pads. All three showed signs of having a 'touch' on their passes, being able to get the ball exactly where it needed to be. Corner routes were a little iffy for all three, but practice will make perfect. Gochneaur is wearing his traditional #11, even though he's listed as #18 in the media guide. It seems Graham has a tattoo of the #11 on him, and well, he really, really needed that number. Skinner wears #16, while Black is #17.

Curtis Keyes, the 6-1, 187 pounder from Mississippi, has great size already for a free safety. Which is exactly where he spent the afternoon practice session. Chris Royal moved up to play some at the corner. Keyes is #25, while Royal is #26.

Listed as a wide receiver, Wilbur Hargrove made a splash at the running back position in the afternoon. The 6-0, 180 pound Hargrove sliced and diced his way through the defense on one play, and caught the eye of Marshall coach Bob Pruett. "That's pretty quick," was Pruett's comment to nobody specifically. Hargrove wears #22.

And finally...only one player did not practice at all on Wednesday. Junior college transfer offensive lineman Jesse Saito was kept from practice by a clerical error on his transcript, according to sources. Saito is expected to practice beginning Thursday, and will wear #79.

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