Marshall football picked up a seventh and eighth verbal committment last week and two of those will probably sign in the early period next week. Hargrave Military Academy, a rich recruiting ground in the past for the Herd, reportedly will send wide receiver Ben Finney to join the Herd, as will Lackawanna College tackle Montel Glasco. Both committed on Thursday and will join the Thundering Herd for spring practice.
Glasco is a 6-foot-3, 279-pound rising junior tackle who totaled 19 tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage and three sacks for the Pennsylvania junior college. The Westfield, N.J. native also forced and recovered a fumble.
Finney appeared for Hargrave in the game in Huntington against the sub-varsity of the Herd and caught two passes for 24 yards, including a 13 yard touchdown. Finney is a 6-foot-4, 215 pound receiver/athlete, a three-star recruit according to Scout.com, who runs a 4.7 sec 40-yard dash. He caught two touchdowns in the final game of the season for the Tigers, from 40 and 38 yards, and as a high school player at Norcom HS in Portsmouth, Va., Finney set a VHSL record with 372 yards receiving in one game. He is playing both football and basketball at Hargrave, as he was AAA All-State in hoops in 2006.
The Herd needed immediate help on the defensive line and Glasco could be part of the solution. Juan Underwood was a senior and the Herd was so shallow at tackle when Underwood was hurt that hree converted defensive ends -- Byron Tinker, Ryland Wilson and Bilal El-Amin -- joined in the tackle rotation in 2006. They will be seniors next season. Also in the mix entering spring practice will be juniors Blake Merritt, Darrell Lake and possibly red-shirt freshman Michael Janac.
Marshall lost senior receivers Hiram Moore and Matt Morris and Finney will join a group that will also see the addition of red-shirt freshmen Travius Thompson and Bryant Milligan, in addition to the expected enrollment of junior college commitment from 2006 Darius Passmore. Glasco will enroll in January. Tight end Cody Slate, Wilson and placekicker Anthony Binswanger each played extensively last season after arriving in Huntington early for spring drills.
The Thundering Herd now has secured eight verbal commitments. Joining Glasco and Finney with verbals are quarterbacks Chris Smith (6-3, 225, South Point, Ohio, H.S) and Mark Cann (6-4, 225, Landrum H.S., S.C.); offensive linemen Micah Carter (6-3, 325, Woodrow Wilson H.S.) and John Bruhin (6-4, 300, Powell H.S., Tenn.); linebacker Kellen Harris (6-2, 200, Sharon H.S., Pa.)and strong safety Franchez Pitts (6-3, 197, Loachapoka H.S., Ala.).
Scheduled for a visit to Marshall on Dec. 15 is another 6-foot-1, 298 pound defensive tackle in Serge Elizee. Elizee is originally from Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami, but is playing this season at College of The Sequoias, the same school where Marshall found defensive back Aaron Johnson last year. Johnson, wide receiver Darrius Passmore and linebackers Antawn Booker and Mario Harvey were all prep school or junior college players who agreed to play for the Herd last January, but decided to work on academics before enrolling at Marshall in January of 2007. Harvey is already on campus, while Booker, Passmore and Johnson are still expected to start the spring semester. It is hoped Elizee will join his teammate Johnson from the College of The Sequoias at Marshall. Elizee appeared in six games in 2006, making 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks among 17 tackles. He also forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. He will have three years to play two in college. "His ability to go 100 miles per hour for four quarters is just unbelievable," his coach, Andy Siegal, told Scout.com. and said he was the MVP of the team last year. Elizee visited Washington State this past weekend and also has offers from New Mexico and SMU.
Players who visited MU this past weekend were Courtney Abbott, a 6-foot-9, 345 tackle from East Mississippi Junior College, a three-star recruit by Scout.com. He played high school football at Westlake (Ga.) High School and is also being recruited by Kansas State, LSU and Mississippi State. Also in was Coleman Edmond, a 6-foot-2, 195 pound defensive back from Harmony Community School near Cincinnati, Ohio (offered also by Rutgers and Temple); Alex Kauffman, a 6-foot-2, 215 pound linebacker from Lakota West HS, also in the Cincinnati area. He is ranked No. 48th in the nation by Scout.com at the weak side linebacker and Rivals.com calls him the No. 46th-ranked recruit in Ohio (Minnesota, NC State and Northwestern have offered); LeRico Mathis, a 6-foot-1, 185 pound defensive back from Mississippi Gulf Coast College. He would be eligible to join the Herd in January and go through spring football and played his high school football at Biloxi (Miss.) High School (Southern Miss, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State have also offered); and Chris Smith, the quarterback from South Point (Ohio) who already gave the Herd a verbal made his official visit. He is still being pursued by Michigan State, but has remained firm in his commitment to Marshall to play quarterback next season for the Herd.
Other players the Herd is reportedly involved with include Jason Chaffin, a 6-foot-1, 295 pound tackle from Archbishop Alter HS in Kettering, Ohio, who is also being recruited by Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, WVU and Wisconsin; Sam Barnett, a 6-foot-3, 315 pound offensive lineman from Clinton (Miss.) High School (LSU, Memphis, Ole Miss and Southern Miss); Aaron Douglas, a 6-2, 270 tight end and defensive end from Salem High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Virginia Tech, Akron, Louisville, Penn State, and UVA); Greg Tomczyk, a 6-5, 285 pound lineman doing post-graduate at The Hun School; and running back Dennis Mathis, who is 5-foot-9, 180 pounds and 4.4 in the 40-yard dash from Phoebus High School in Virginia (Virginia and Va. Tech).