Snyder is encouraged by his kicking game, especially with the kickoff coming from the 30-yard line this season and thinks Anthony Binswanger will be a weapon. "Bins came out the first few days with some shanks, but he was kicking the ball inside the five consistently today," said Snyder. Binswanger even kicked one this morning seven yards deep into the end zone. "I hope it doesn't affect our kick team, because we are becoming known around the country for that. But I think it will help our return teams, we just have to get the right guy back there." Chubb Small returned the bulk of kickoffs for the Herd in 2006, but many players are getting looks in camp including Darius Passmore, DeQuan Bembry, Darius Marshall and Terrell Edwards, who returned to practice today after sitting out since Tuesday with a concussion from the "Hoot-N-Holler" meeting with safety John Saunders.
Saturday's scrimmage is closed to the public, but will feature some early special teams followed by about 120 plays, 60 for the ones-versus-ones and likewise for the twos-versus-twos, with some of the third teams mixed in. "We'll give each group 10 plays for the first team versus the first team from the 20-yard line, then give the twos the same," said Snyder. "Then we'll move to the 40-yard line for 10 and 10, into the red-zone for the same, at the nine-yard line coming out and so forth. We'll mix in the third team with the twos, but each unit will get 60 plays, about a normal game. 80 plays would be a great day, if it was our offense."
Snyder also was disappointed to hear the NCAA's board of directors took no action Thursday toward overriding a text messaging ban it approved in April, simply sending it back to the membership for another vote at January's annual NCAA convention. Until then, the rule that went into effect Aug. 1 will remain in place. "It was an easy way to give some love to ten players with one push of the button," said the coach of texting. "I think there should be restrictions, such as not texting during school which I never do. Hopefully, it will continue to be reviewed. It's the way many kids use their phones."
Division I Vice President David Berst told ESPN.com, "The proposals were discussed in April and the board of directors followed the advice of student-athletes that text messaging be eliminated. I think even then the board realized there might be a better solution than elimination, but we haven't seen any yet." At least 30 schools must request an appeal in writing to force the committee to reconsider. The 18-member committee then has three options: To affirm the original decision, sending it back to the membership for another vote while the rule remains in place; overturning the ruling, wiping it off the books completely; or approving an emergency amendment to change the rule and possibly push back the date for implementation. It takes a simple majority to overturn the ruling, but the committee took no vote and sent it to the full membership.
NOTES: Marshall's scrimmage on Saturday is closed to the public...With Edwards return, and Montel Glasco practicing this morning, the Herd will only have Matt Altobello to come back Saturday to be at relatively full-strength. Doug Legursky will return in about one week to center for the Herd, but depth is still a challenge there for Saturday if Altobello is still out. The other Herd centers are junior, and starting right guard, Brian Leggett and true freshman John Bruhin...Marshall officials reported that two of the five student-athletes who are awaiting paperwork from the NCAA Clearing House were cleared today. Freshman corner T.J. Drakeford and tackle C.J. Wood were both given the OK, and privately officials are saying they expect quarterback Chris Smith to have no problems. The other two players waiting on the Clearing House are running back Terrell Edwards and defensive end Vinny Curry. Curry is a player who many think could step up for the Herd as the number three defensive end in the wake of Albert McClellan's season-ending knee injury for 2007. McClellan is expected to make a full recovery and be eligible for 2008 and 2009...Snyder met with his senior class following today's workout. The seniors were in charge of setting the curfew for Saturday night, as the team will be off from Saturday afternoon after the scrimmage until Sunday evening. "They set the time Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.," said Snyder, "and they will be responsible for seeing it is enforced and dealing out any punishment to those on the team that break curfew." Marshall's seniors are Marcus Fitzgerald, Shawn Lauzon, Brian Shope, Bernard Morris, Phillip Gamble, Kyle Echols, Antoine Cabarrus, Anthony Binswanger, Will Albin, Clint Eakles, John Inman, Doug Legursky, David Ziegler, Marcus Moresea and Ryland Wilson.