Marshall University head football coach Mark Snyder announced back in December that Lackawanna College (Pa.) defensive lineman Montel Glasco has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Thundering Herd. "We are excited that Montel has decided to join the Herd," Snyder said. "He is a great football player that meets one of our needs and he is a good person. We are happy to have him as a part of our football family." The six-foot-three, 279-pound lineman from Westfield, N.J., will begin classes this week and be eligible to participate in spring practice. Glasco recorded 19 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss in nine games last season. He also was credited for forcing a fumble and recovering a fumble.
Marshall will also have three other players joining the team this week as classes start for the spring semester, and there are also two non-qualifiers who are attending classes at Marshall and hoping to join the Herd for the 2007 season . Antwan Booker and Mario Harvey are linebackers who originally signed with Marshall last February and are currently attending classes and hoping to join the Herd for the fall season (Marshall officials do not publically comment on non-qualifiers until they are members of the Thundering Herd team and officially added to the roster). Two players, however, who are going to be part of spring football include Aaron Johnson and Darius Passmore, both of whom will be eligible for spring practice. Punter Jake Fields of Hargrave Military, and Hurricane High School (about 20 miles from Huntington), will also walk-on this spring and compete for the Herd's punting position.
Here are the bios of Booker, Harvey, Passmore and Johnson, from the 2006 signing class story which ran last February at marshall.scout.com:
*Antwan Booker, LB, 6-1, 240, Auburndale (Fla.) H.S.. - Named first-team Class 4A All-State as a senior and second-team All-State as a junior, Booker was coached by Bob Williams at Auburndale, the same school that produced current Marshall player Chubb Small. Booker was rated as one of the top linebacker prospects in Florida by several recruiting services and clocked in at a 4.7/40. "Antwan is a full-grown man. He just totally negates the run game of our opponents. He controls it from sideline to sideline. On the field he loves to hit and go wild, but off the field he is a very quiet kid. He has tremendous potential and just a great nose for the football," said Auburndale coach Bob Williams.
*Mario Harvey, LB, 6-0, 220, Hargrave Academy in Chatham, Va., and Forsyth, Ga. - Harvey is rated as the No. 30 prep school player in the nation by Rivals.com. He ran an astounding 4.35/40-yard dash at a recent Hargrave combine, with the Marshall coaches in attendance, while posting a 4.26 in the shuttle and a vertical leap of 30.5 inches. One of 31 players signed to D-IA scholarships off the 2005 Hargrave postgraduate team including Marshall teammate Cody Slate.
*Aaron Johnson, DB, 5-11, 190, City College of San Francisco. Calif. - Johnson helped the City College of San Francisco, one of the premier junior colleges in California, to a 10-2 record and a berth in the state championship game in 2005. He played for head coach George Rush and CCSF ranked third in the state in team defense, allowing only 235 yards per game last year. The Rams went on to play for the California Community College COA championship. In an emotional 40-35 victory over Reedley in the Northern California championship, Johnson batted down a Reedley pass attempt on fourth-and-goal on the final play of the game to preserve the victory for CCSF. The Rams fell to Grossmont in the title game. CCSF has won four of the last seven CCC-COA state titles.
*Darius Passmore, WR, 6-3, 180, College of the Sequoias, Visalia, Calif. - Passmore has been timed with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash. He led all California junior college receivers with 18 touchdowns in 2005, following 18 catches for 343 yards and two touchdowns in 2004. He is rated as a four-star recruit by Scout.com and rated as the No. 8 junior college receiver in the country by collegefootballnews.com. His college choices included Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State of the PAC 10, plus MU opponent on September 16 in Manhattan, Kansas State. Passmore is originally a native of Homestead, Florida and one of his coaches is sold on the receiver at the next level. "Darius is like a taller Peter Warrick. He can make a move on you and he's gone in an instant," said Andy Siegal, the offensive coordinator at College of the Sequoias. "He can change direction as good as anyone I have ever seen."
Fields, a punter from Hurricane, W.Va. who punted last fall for Hargrave Military Academy, will compete for the position vacated by the loss of senior punter Ian O'Connor, who exhausted his four years eligibility last fall for the Herd. Fields has committed to walk on at Marshall. He has enrolled and is expected to battle 2005 punter Marty Biagi in spring practice. "That's what I plan on doing, and that's what they want me to do," Fields said to The Charleston Gazette last month. Fields averaged about 41 yards per punt. He had two kicks against Marshall's sub-varsity team, downing one at the Herd's 4-yard line.
Marshall has reportedly lost only two players who will not return for spring drills, but both were defensive tackles. Senior Jeff Bush, a 6-foot-3, 250 pounder from Fayetteville, N.C., and junior Blake Merritt, a 6-foot-4, 250 pounder from Wendell, N.C. have both reportedly left the program. Two other players are now on a full ride with Marshall, including tight end Lee Smith, who transferred to the Herd from Tennessee last fall, as well as D.J. Wingate of Mainland (Fla.) HS. Wingate was a "gray-shirt" who sat out in the fall and was second-team All-Volusia County in 2005.
The Herd will reportedly have two large classes of recruits in the next two weekends Jan. 19-21 and Jan. 26-28, a weekend that includes the annual Marshall football banquet on Jan. 27. Call the MU football office at 304-696-6464 for information on buying tickets to the banquet, which will have as its featured speaker William "Red" Dawson, a Thundering Herd assistant coach from 1968-1971. Dawson is portrayed by Matthew Fox in the Warner Bros. picture, "We Are Marshall," and is one of the main characters. Dawson was an All-American at Florida State before playing professionally for the Boston Patriots (today's New England team), the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and the Orlando Predators of the Continental Football League. Signing day nationally is February 7th for all college football programs.