Youboty is from Houston, Texas, and is 6-foot-4, 246-pounds. He is rated by some recruiting services as the 51st best defensive end prospect in the nation. Youboty turned down offers from Louisville, Cal and Nebraska to sign with the coach who coached his brother, Ashton, at Ohio State when Snyder was an assistant with the Buckeyes.
Thomas turned down two in-state schools from the Southeastern Conference, Auburn and Alabama, as well as the Big XII's Iowa State to sign with Marshall. Just 5-foot-10, 180-pounds when he rushed for 1,000 yards as a junior, Thomas lifted at the YMCA and ran in his home's swimming pool to get bigger and stronger. As a senior, Thomas was 6-foot, 200-pounds and had all-purpose yards of over 2,000 yards.
He rushed for 1,783 yards and 18 touchdowns while catching 265 more yards through the air and adding five TD receptions. Thomas also posted 860 yards in returns and four more scores via the special teams. He is recruited as a running back, but played a number of positions in high school.
Just last week wide receiver O.J. Murdock (6-foot-4, 190-pounds, 4.5 40-yard dash), who originally signed with South Carolina out of high school, committed to Marshall about one week after visiting the MU campus. Murdock was also pursued by Florida State of the ACC, Tennessee of the SEC, and Louisville of the Big East. Murdock was a member of the Gamecocks for two years, appearing in four games. However, Murdock was arrested for shoplifting in October 2006 and then left school. He played football this fall at Pearl River (Miss.) Community College, catching six passes for 60 yards in three games. Marshall does have a commitment from Murdock's teammate at Pearl River in safety Brandon Burns (6-foot-4, 215-pounds, with a 4.5 40-yard dash), who is also committed to sign in February and hopes to be joined by Murdock in Huntington in May.
Previously, the Herd signed College of the Sequoias tight end Maurice Graham (6-foot-5, 295-pounds) just before the start of the spring semester, receiving his paperwork on Sunday for the first day of classes.His addition gave the Thundering Herd eight new players in school for the spring semester as well for spring practice in April. The No. 1-rated (junior college) four-star tight end started school on Jan. 16, along with other Marshall students, and fellow jucos: linebacker Andre Portis (College of San Mateo; wide receiver Charles "Chuck" Walker (Laney College); offensive tackle Jimmy Rodgers (Miss. Delta CC); and cornerback Josh Miller (College of the Sequoias). Darius Passmore, a senior wide receiver for the Herd, also came to MU last season from the College of the Sequoias.
Also starting school as "gray-shirts," or players who delay their eligibility clocks by enrolling in January, are cornerback Omar Brown 5-foot-10, 175 pounds from Moncks Corner, S.C.); back George Carpenter (5-10, 200-pounds from Lancaster, Ohio); and Micah Carter (6-foot-5, 320-pounds from Beckley, W.Va. and Woodrow Wilson H.S.), who will begin practicing with the team in April, along with the five new junior college players. This will give these players five years to play four, and they will get their first practice time in April, with Marshall's Green-White Spring Game coming up on April 26.
Marshall's now has three "gray"-shirts and five signed jucos to go with the nine commitments to date. And fans shouldn't forget about the two prop defensive tackles, Delvin Johnson (6-foot-3, 282-pounds, from Woodruff, S.C.) and Brandon Bullock (6-foot-3, 305-pounds, out of Egg Harbor City, N.J.), and the defensive end who did not clear the NCAA Clearinghouse, Vinny Curry (6-foot-5, 246-pounds from Cincinnati, Ohio). That group of five will join their Herd teammates in May for summer workouts and conditioning after the end of the spring semester.
Marshall's commitments include:
Position-Natl. Rank-Name-High School/Juco and Hometown-Height/Weight-40 time (when available)
DE-85 John Youboty-Klein (Tex.) H.S.- 6-foot-4/250-pounds
RB-NR Demetrius Thomas-Theodore (Ala.) H.S. 6-foot-1/200-pounds
TE-JC Maurice Graham-College of the Sequioas-Visalia, Cal.-6-foot-5/295-pounds (signed 1/13/08)
WR-JC O.J. Murdock-Pearl River-Poplarville, Miss. 6-foot/190-pounds/4.5
CB-JC Joshua Miller-College of the Sequoias-Visalia, Cal. (signed 12/19/2007)
WR-86 Jamal Wilson-Oscar H.S.-Cheasapeake, Va.-5-foot-11/180-pounds/4.4
P-NR Kase Whitehead-Blount H.S.-Maryville, Tenn.-5-foot-10/180-pounds
OT-JC Jimmy Rogers-Mississippi Delta-Moorhead, Miss.-6-foot-4/330-pounds (signed 12/19/2007)
S -JC Brandon Burns-Pearl River-Poplarville, Miss.- 6-foot-4/215/4.5
WLB-JC Andre Portis-College of San Mateo-San Mateo, Cal.-6-foot3/240-pounds/4.6 (signed 12/19/07)
WR-JC Charles Walker-Laney Community College- Oakland, Cal.-5-foot-10/185-pounds/4.45 (signed 12/19/07)
CB-157 Omar Brown-Berkeley H.S.- Moncks Corner, S.C.-5-foot-10/175
CB-115 Ahmed Shakoor-Stephenson H.S.-Stone Mountain, Ga.-5-foot-11/195-pound/4.65
WR-198 Cory McCutcheon-Stephenson H.S.-Stone Mountain, Ga.-6-foot-4/180-pounds
TE-61 Jamie Hatten-Hendersonville (N.C.) H.S.-6-foot-4/220/4.65