Marshall's Morris & Legursky To Hula Bowl

Marshall University's Doug Legursky and Bernard Morris have accepted invitations to play in the 62nd annual Hula Bowl on January 12, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Also on Monday, Marshall's football team made its annual Halloween visit to Cabell Huntington Hospital to bring children in the hospital some trick or treat goodies, as well as smiles.

Doug Legursky, a senior center, is a two-time All Conference USA selection that has started 32 consecutive games for the Thundering Herd. The Beckley, W. Va., native ranks among the strongest football players in the nation and holds Marshall weight room records for the squat (705 pounds) and the hang clean (430 pounds). Legursky has been named on the Rimington Watch List for the best centers in the nation for three-consecutive years.

Bernard Morris, a senior quarterback from Orlando, Fla., is having an outstanding senior season. Morris has thrown for 2,103 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, while completing 61.8 percent of his passes. He ranks second in Conference USA with 262.9 passing yards per game and third in total offense with 296.5 yards per game. His 296.5 yards of offense per game ranks him 15th in the nation in that category.
On Saturday, Morris led the Herd to a win over Rice in the annual Homecoming game at MU, the 15th consecutive win in the annual contest. Morris rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns while passing for 227 more yards. He is 142 yards passing in his career from passing former MU quarterback Stan Hill for eighth all-time at Marshall in passing yards (4,711). Morris has thrown for 4,570 yards in his career through the air and rushed for 890 yards in his career on the ground.

Herd center Doug Legursky (66) and Marshall quarterback Bernard Morris (14) will represent MU in the 2007 Hula Bowl after the season. photo from Marshall Sports Information,

The game, which pits squads of NFL draft-eligible seniors against each other in a Kai (East) vs. Aina (West) format, will be nationally televised by Versus. The game is conducted in full cooperation with the National Football League and will be attended by scouts from all 32 NFL teams.

Marshall football players make their annual visit to children at Cabell Huntington Hospital to deliver Halloween treats. photo from, Randy Burnside.

Also on Monday, a group of Marshall University football players including starters like defensive tackle Byron Tinker, offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge, wide receiver Emanuel Spann, punter Marty Biagi, tight end Cody Slate and linebacker Josh Johnson, visited children at Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Joan C. Edwards Cancer Center on Monday. The players brought treat bags with them that were filled with candy for all of the children who are hospitalized and will unlikely be able to trick-or-treat this week. "It feels great to visit with the children and just bring a smile to their face. I really enjoy spending some time with these kids," senior wide receiver Shawn Lauzon said. "The hardest part for me is visiting the intensive care unit and the oncology patients. It really puts things into perspective and makes you appreciate all of the things we take for granted. "Once a player makes a visit, you don't have to ask again. The older guys tell the younger players and they want to come, too."

Marshall football players routinely visit children at Cabell-Huntington Hospital during holidays such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas. The annual hospital visits are just one of the many community outreach activities that Thundering Herd football players participate in each year. In the last three years alone, Marshall football players have contributed 722 total hours of community service in Southern West Virginia. Marshall players have volunteered their time in activities ranging from the Special Olympics and elementary school reading programs to youth football camps and Habitat for Humanity projects.

It's a wonderful feeling to know you had a part in making a child smile," Slate said. "I think it is very important for us to give back. If we can just make a little bit of a positive difference in a someone's life, its worth it." The program is headed up by Marshall's Director of Football Operations, Mark Gale, who began his career at MU as a position coach for both Jim Donnan (1990-95) and Bob Pruett (1996-2004). "We don't have to beg players to make this yearly visit on Halloween," said Gale, who is the father of two girls. "It makes you want to go home and hug your children a little tighter at night, but the joy on the faces of the children at the hospital is a joy money can't buy."

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