Herd Recruiting Gathers Eight More For FB

The Herd football program had a number of recruits in this final weekend before signing day and ended with a commitment bonanza of eight players giving the nod to Marshall for this Wednesday, Feb. 4, on the first day players can sign letters of intent. Included in the group who visited was receiver Aaron Dobson from South Charleston, who already committed to the Herd.

The big name on the visit was quarterback A.J. Graham, Florida's state Player of the Year. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound QB is ranked 27th in the nation as a dual threat, runner and passer, by Rivals.com. Graham was among the official visitors this weekend and had a solid visit to Marshall. He will announce his college decision on Wednesday, with the finalists donw to Marshall, Illinois and Kansas State.

According to Rivals.com's Jamie Oakes, the Herd got an outstanding eight commitments for the weekend. Up first was Roanoke (Va.) Craig County High School's Corey Tenney, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound offensive tackle. Tenney had interest from former Herd assistant Mickey Matthews, the head coach at JMU, and Virginia, where former Herd head coach Bob Pruett is an associate head coach, came in late on Tenney. Anthony Hanshew of Huntington's The Herald-Dispatch did not have Tenney among his list of commitments, but agreed with Rivals.com on the rest of the Saturday haul for the football program, although he listed a Corey Kenney from New Castle, Va.

Charlotte (N.C.) West Mecklenburg H.S. linebacker Trevor Black was next with a commitment. Fellow Tar Heel State standout Drew Stewart, an All-North Carolina 6-foot-2 kicker from North Gaston High School also committed on his visit. Stewart will be an invited walk-on at Marshall in the fall but is expected to earn a scholarship later on.

Trevor Black gave Marshall a commitment this weekend and is expected to sign on Monday photo courtesy of Rivals.com

The Herd will lose kicker Craig Rantanamorn after the 2009 season, and Tyler Warner will be a junior in 2010, so a red-shirt for Stewart might be in the works unless he wins the starting job.

Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview High School running back Andre Booker was offered last week and immediately scheduled for an official visit this past weekend. Booker, a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder with 4.4 speed, was the first of the Florida commitments. Up next from the Sunshine State was linebacker Donald Brown from Frostproof High School. A Class 2B linebacker, Brown also had offers from FIU and UCF but threw his lot with the Herd.

Then the Herd turned its attention to defensive backs, who will be coached by new secondary coach for the Herd, Mike Cassity. The first was Belle Glades (Fla.) Glades Central H.S. player Cartavious Baldwin. He is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety also held an offer from Troy. Marshall also got a commitment to the defensive backfield from Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards H.S. cornerback Monterrious Lovette, who was a late addition to the visitor list. The Herd may lead the nation in interesting names with the signing of Cartavious Baldwin and Monterrious Lovette this Wednesday, added to Jake Laudenslayer, the junior college quarterback, and Zakee Bashir, a linebacker who has committed.

Zakee Bashir gave Marshall a commitment last month and is expected to sign with the Herd on Feb. 4. photo from Scout.com

Recruiting coordinator for the Herd is offensive guards and centers coach Mike Cummings, and he did not ignore the o-line. First the Herd landed Tenney (or Kenney). Up next was Lithonia (Geo.) Martin Luther King H.S. lineman Darrell Martin, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive tackle.

Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Herd's head football coach, Mark Snyder, will have a signing day release at the Shewey Building on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. It is free to the public. On Feb. 12, Snyder and selected assistants will show the highlite tape to the audience at Pancho's in Point Pleasant, W.Va. On Feb. 14, Snyder and the entire staff will be at the Charleston QB Club's annual Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance to show the tape and mix with Herd supporters. The cost of that event is $75 per person, and you can call Joe Hartney at 304-542-2814 for more information.

Marshall head coach Mark Snyder has been on the run since the end of the 2008 season, recruiting, losing two coaching and (so far) hiring one. Things should settle down a bit for the MU alum, entering his fifth year, on signing day, Feb. 4, before spring ball starts March 31. The Green-White Game is scheduled for April 25. photo by Greg Perry, Herd Insider/marshall.scout.com

Here are the commitments for the Herd through Sunday, Feb. 1:

Junior College Players who have signed letter of intent -
Name Pos Ht Wt 40 Hometown
Wayne Bonner WR 6-4 210 - Scooba, MS
Troy Evans* RB 5-9 200 4.49 Oakland, CA
Jacob Laudenslayer QB 6-3 225 4.65 Ukiah, CA
Brandon Miller DB 6-3 195 - Bakersfield, CA
Press Taylor QB 6-2 195 4.8 El Dorado, KS
*needs Laney College math class to transfer/will enroll at MU on June 1.

Players who have committed to Marshall, expected to sign Feb. 4 -
Name Pos Ht Wt 40 Hometown
Marques Aiken DE 6-4 230 - Lauderdale Lakes, FL
Cartavious Baldwin DB 6-1 180 4.4 Belle Glades, FL
Zakee Bashir LB 6-0 209 - Columbus, OH
Trevor Black LB 6-3 210 - Charlotte, NC
Andre Booker RB 5-10 170 4.4 Sarasota, FL
Donald Brown LB 6-0 175 - Frostproof, FL
Craig Crawford ATH 6-2 196 4.48 Huntington, WV
Aaron Dobson WR 6-3 185 4.48 South Charleston, WV
Colton Griffis DT 6-6 300 5.1 Sunbury, OH
Jordan Jeffries OT 6-7 298 5.2 Oswego, IL
Monterrious Lovette CB - - - Tallahassee, FL
Darrell Martin OT 6-5 305 Lithonia, GA
Freddie Moore WR 6-3 190 4.6 Decatur, AL
Matt Pickett LB 6-2 206 4.63 Charlotte, NC
Michael Rhynes WR 6-5 202 4.6 Charlotte, NC
James Rouse DE 6-5 206 4.63 Harrisonburg, VA
Alex Schooler OL 6-5 245 4.9 Wichita, KS
Drew Stewart* K 6-2 170 4.7 North Gaston, NC
Corey Tenney OT 6-9 265 - Roanoke, VA
Phil Walker LB 6-0 210 - Weston, FL
* - invited walk-on.

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