The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

July 15, 2014

Van Horn on Lombardi watch list

Beckley native among 3 Herd players recognized

HUNTINGTON — Beckley native Clint Van Horn was one of three Marshall players named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List on Monday.

Van Horn, the starting right tackle for the Thundering Herd, was joined on the list by center Chris Jasperse and linebacker Jermaine Holmes. They are three of 12 Conference USA players to be mentioned.

Van Horn burst onto the scene with a strong 2013 season in which he earned All-Conference USA second-team honors. He also won the team’s Chad Pennington Award, given to the Marshall offensive player whose businesslike approach and dedication to tasks on and off the field make a difference.

Van Horn, who moved into the starting lineup in Week 7, graded out at 97 percent (assignment) and 83 percent (success) for the season. He had 35 knockdowns and allowed only 2 1/2 sacks while committing no penalties.

A 2011 Woodrow Wilson graduate, Van Horn is a preseason All-C-USA first-team pick by Lindy’s and third-team selection by Phil Steele.

Jasperse, also a Rimington Award candidate, enters his senior season having played 3,032 career snaps, which leads all active FBS offensive linemen. He has been picked by preseason publications as an All-C-USA center and has started every game in his Marshall career (39) since being redshirted as a walk-on in 2010, a number that is also tied for the active FBS lead among offensive linemen in consecutive starts.

He received his undergraduate degree in December and will play the 2014 season while taking classes toward a master’s degree in sports administration.

He was the All-C-USA first-team center in 2013, as voted by league coaches.

Holmes, also a nominee for the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy, has been a preseason All-C-USA first-team pick by Athlon Sports, The Sporting News and Phil Steele’s 2014 Preview. Steele also rated him 30th among inside linebackers in his national “draft eligible” player rankings.

His 192 career tackles is best on the team. He played in all 14 games last season, starting 10, and was third on the team in tackles with 84 and in tackles for loss with 8 1/2. He also posted a pair of sacks, an interception and a pass breakup. For his efforts, C-USA coaches made him a second-team all-league selection at season’s end, while placed him on its third team.

Eligibility for the Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen — end-to-end, on offense or defense — who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-America honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2014 preseason honors.

The list will be updated prior to the start of the season in order to identify other players who have received significant preseason honors.

The winner will be announced Dec. 10 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston. For more information, visit

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