Tyson Gale, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound All-State linebacker from Alva (Okla.) High School is the nephew of Marshall Director of Football Operations and former MU football position coach Mark Gale. Tyson threw his lot with the Herd on Monday night, picking Marshall over New Mexico. He recorded 157 tackles and five interceptions last season.
Five other players joined the already strong recruiting years over the weekend. The star of the class would appear to Martin Ward. Ward is a 5-foot-9, 188-pounds outstanding running back for Mt. Zion in Jonesboro, Ga. Martin is rated by other internet services at the No. 24th-ranked running back in the nation and No. 36 prospect in Georgia. Scout.com has him as a three-star recruit and No. 54 in the nation. Ward was also reportedly offered by the SEC's Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the ACC, Louisville in the Big East and Conference USA rival Memphis.
Scott Kennedy of Scout.com says of Ward, "A running back with good size, power, and balance, Ward has the ability to make a guy miss in space or punish a would be tackler. He is an excellent receiver and will be an asset to the passing game as a weapon out of the backfield."
After rushing for 970 yards and seven touchdowns on 129 carries (7.5-yard average) as a sophomore, Ward blew up during his junior season. With just 20 more rushes, Ward increased his yardage to 1,379 yards (9.2-yard average) and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 181 yards and another touchdown. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55.
Martin Ward, shown on the practice field at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro, Ga., would appear to be another home run in recruiting by Marshall head coach Mark Snyder. photo from InsideCarolina.com
Marshall landed four other outstanding players this weekend. Leshawn Henderson is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback from Okeechobee (Fla.)High School. Henderson committed to Marshall on Sunday following a weekend visit. Henderson had also been talking with SEC and ACC schools, and is ranked among the region's top corners in his area of Florida.
Leshawn Henderson, a 6-foot-1 cornerback from Okeechobee (Fla.) High School, is now going to be a member of the 2008 Thundering Herd. photo from Scout.com
Other players included:
Jordan Taylor-RB, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, St. Joseph Prep (Ind.). Jordan gave Marshall football a commitment on Sunday after a visit over the weekend. Jordan was being recruited by Indiana, Purdue and Illinois of the Big Ten - where Snyder was a defensive coordinator at Ohio State and an long-time assistant at OSU and Minnesota - and led St. Joseph to the Class 3A championship game.
Devon Arrington-LB, 6-foot, 210-pounds, Deep Creek (Va.). Arrington visited Marshall over the past weekend and committed to the Herd before leaving. Arrington, who attended the Marshall 2007 Football Camp, worked out as a strong safety at camp, but most coaches see him moving to the weak side linebacker.
Zach Tenuta-TE, 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, Walton (Ga.). Tenuta gave the Thundering Herd football team a commitment. Tenuta is the son of Jon Tenuta, who last week left Georgia Tech to become the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Tenuta coached current MU head coach Mark Snyder in 1986-87, and Snyder set a still Marshall record of ten interceptions in 1987 in helping the Herd to its first appearance in the I-AA Championship Game. The younger Tenuta is reportedly going to delay his enrollment at Marshall until January of 2009, becoming a "gray-shirt" and having five years to play four with the benefit of spring football next year before beginning his career in the fall for the Herd.
Other players who were scheduled to visit with Marshall this past weekend were:
Grant McClinton-LB, 6-foot-2, 223-pounds from Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) who played high school football at Spring Valley H.S. in Columbia, S.C. He was All-Conference , All-Region and All-State at Hargrave, who played the sub-Varsity at Marshall last fall. McClinton is also talking to Syracuse, Illinois, North Carolina, Maryland and Southern Miss of Conference USA.
Other players who visited included Robert Schell, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound fullback from Logan; Marcel Dareus, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive tackle from Huffman, Ala., and his brother Demerius Dareus, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end; and Darryn Davis, 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman from Martin Luther King H.S. in Georgia.
MU's current commitments:
Position-Natl. Rank-Name-High School/Juco and Hometown-Height/Weight-40 time (when available)
LB-Tyson Gale-Alva (Okla.) High School-6-foot-3/230-pounds
RB-54-Martin Ward-Jonesboro, Ga.-Mount Zion H.S.-5-foot-9/188-pounds/4.55
CB-NR-LeShawn Henderson-Okeechobee (Fla.) H.S.-6-foot-1/180-pounds/4.6
RB-NR-Jordan Taylor-St. Joseph Prep-South Bend, Ind.-6-foot-1/205-pounds
LB-NR-Devon Arrington-Deep Creek H.S.-Chesapeake, Va.-6-foot/210-pounds
TE-NR-Zach Tenuta-Walton (Ga.) H.S.-6-foot-3, 230-pounds
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)
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)
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
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