Charles "Chuck" Walker, a wide receiver from Laney College; Andre Portis, a linebacker from the College of San Mateo; Jimmy Rogers, an offensive tackle from Mississippi Delta Community College; and Josh Miller, a cornerback from The College of The Sequoias all signed on Dec. 19.
"I am extremely pleased with this group," Snyder said. "All four of these young men have the potential to make an impact at their positions and help our program. We wanted to go out and add depth to our junior class with more experienced athletes and I believe we were able to do that. We have large freshmen and sophomore classes in the program and I charged our coaching staff with going out and targeting junior college players that had three years to play two to add depth to our junior class and balance our numbers. They have done a great job."
Safety Troy Giddens, 6-foot, 205-pounds from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi, decided to attend Louisana-Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference. He originally was a LSU signee. Copiah-Lincoln is the same school graduating MU defensive end Ryland Wilson played at as a juco. Giddens is reportedly attending ULM due to his girlfriend attending the same school.
The other player committed to the Herd on a visit two weeks ago, but will have to finish classes in the spring and may sign with Marshall in February. Safety Brandon Burns of Pearl River Community College was also recruited by Mississippi State of the SEC and Southern Miss of Conference USA. He is 6-foot-4, 215-pounds and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.
Marshall hopes to sign additional players during the national signing day in February. Marshall is also expected to add "gray-shirt" players in January including Omar Brown, a 5-foot-10 cornerback from Moncks Corner, S.C., Micah Carter, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound offensive tackle from Beckley's Woodrow Wilson H.S., and back George Carpenter, a 5-foot-10 running back from Lancaster, Ohio. Joining the Herd in May will be props Brandon Bullock and Delvin Johnson, at defensive tackle, and Vinny Curry, at defensive end.
JCFootball.com was able to speak with College of San Mateo defensive coordinator Tim Tulloch in the pre-season, about Portis in the pre-season. "Andre is a big, physical outside linebacker for us," said Tulloch. "He played at 255 last year, but we've already got him down to about 240 pounds now and he's just lean and cut. He signed with Colorado State out of high school, but he didn't qualify so he came to us and we couldn't be happier. He's a hybrid guy. He can play outside linebacker or defensive end – it basically depends on where the team he signs with eventually wants him to play. He plays the same position as Joey Porter and Shawne Merriman play (in the NFL). He also plays with their style too."
Scott Eklund of JCFootball.com, part of the Scout.com network like the Herd Insider magazine and website, talked with Walker before his season started. "It's become common for football programs to enlist the services of big receivers to use their height and size advantage over the typically smaller cornerbacks facing them. One player who isn't big in stature, but has a big heart is Laney wide receiver Charles Walker and he's ready to show the northern California junior colleges what he's made of this fall. ‘I know teams like the big receivers, but I have the abilities that teams want in their offenses," Walker said back in the spring. "I can run (4.45) and when the ball is in my hands I don't think anyone can stop me.' After prepping at Hayward High School in California, Walker didn't pass the NCAA Clearinghouse because of a technicality - ‘they sent my packet back to me because it didn't have an official seal on it' - so he turned his attention to Laney, a school he knew would feature him on a regular basis."
Below is a brief biographical sketch on each player, with information from MU Sports Information and Scout.com:
Charles "Chuck" Walker
Wide Receiver Laney College (Oakland, California)
Height: 5-foot-10 Weight: 185-pounds
Hometown: Hayward, California
Walker had 56 receptions for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns last season at Laney…has been timed with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash…rated three stars by Scout.com…as a freshman for the Eagles, Walker posted 26 catches for 404 yards and six touchdowns. He also had a punt return for a touchdown as well. he will have three years to use his remaining two years of playing eligibility and plans to enroll at Marshall in January 2008…chose Marshall over California, Hawaii, San Jose State and New Mexico State among others.
Andre Portis, a linebacker from the College of San Mateo, picked the Herd over Cal, Colorado St., Temple and Minnesota. photo from Scout.com
Outside Linebacker/Defensive End College of San Mateo (San Mateo, California)
Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 240-pounds
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Named first-team all Northern California Conference…rated as one of the top five linebackers in Junior College and as a three-star recruit by Scout.com…has three years to use his remaining two years of playing eligibility and plans to enroll in January 2008…chose Marshall over 10 other scholarship offers from schools such as California, Minnesota, Colorado State, and Temple.
Jimmy Rogers, shown at the Scout.com Combine as a senior at East Side High School in Cleveland, Mississippi, is one of four to sign with Thundering Herd on Thursday. picture from Scout.com
Offensive Tackle Mississippi Delta CC in Moorhead, MS
Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 325-pounds
Hometown: Cleveland, Mississippi
Listed as a four-star offensive tackle by Scout.com and other recruiting websites… possesses great footwork and tremendous power…played high school football at Cleveland East Side High…at East Side High School, he weighed 285-pounds but benched 375 and squated 500 pounds and was a four-year starter…Rogers is the cousin of former Mississippi State offensive lineman Pork Chop Womack…signed with Marshall over programs such as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kansas State, and Louisville.
Cornerback College of The Sequoias in Visalia, California
Height: 5-foot-9 Weight 185-pounds
Hometown: Fresno, California
Recorded 35 tackles, two interceptions and 18 pass break-ups last season…has been timed with 4.37 speed in the 40-yard dash…will have three years to use his remaining two years of playing eligibility and plans to enroll at Marshall in Jan. 2008… He chose Marshall over San Diego State.