The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

April 26, 2009

Does Marshall dare start a true freshman quarterback?

HUNTINGTON — Marshall coach Mark Snyder was asked after Saturday’s Green-White Game for his assessment of several key positions.

For various reasons, he replied that some freshmen will be needed when preseason camp opens in August.

At linebacker, Mario Harvey followed up a solid 2008 with an impressive spring. Kellen Harris and Tyson Gale engaged in a competitive battle to replace Maurice Kitchens in the middle. But, there isn’t much depth beyond those guys.

“We’re one injury away from being on life support there,” Snyder said.

As for receiver, a position that traditionally shines in Huntington, no one stood out. Word is junior college transfer Wayne Bonner could catch a cold on the equator, but he was injured for most of the spring.

Bryant Milligan was hurt for part of drills. So were Tavaris Thompson and Charles Walker. And Courtney Edmonson has been said to have a penchant for making highlight-type catches, but struggles with balls that hit him in the numbers.

“Courtney’s got to catch the ball,” Snyder said. “But Chuck (Walker) is going to be in that mix. He had the best spring at the wide receiver position. He’s the only guy I’m looking at out there ... who can make a play.”

The additions of some first-year players will be important out wide.

“You get Troy (Evans, a JUCO signee) and (South Charleston star Aaron) Dobson and those guys are going to have to help us, based on what I’ve seen,” Snyder said.

Then, there’s the quarterback spot.

Snyder said, in his opinion, that Brian Anderson came out of the spring as the No. 1 QB, followed by Butler (Kan.) Community College signee Press Taylor. Jake Laudenslayer and 2007 starter Mark Cann were neck-and-neck behind the first two.

Snyder said nothing to indicate a fifth party would enter the competition in 3 1/2 months. But, after the less-than-sterling performances of all four QB candidates this spring, you couldn’t help but wonder if there might be a true freshman behind center, too.

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