Marshall’s list of signees for 2009 blends a bit of a state flavor with some big-time Florida talent.

West Virginia products C.J. Crawford and Aaron Dobson were among those to submit their official letters-of-intent on national signing day. Crawford is a wide receiver/athlete from hometown Huntington High, while Dobson was an all-state receiver at 2008 state champion South Charleston.

Crawford was a special honorable mention Class AAA all-state selection last fall when he caught 27 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns, ran the ball for 467 yards and six scores and completed 19 of 50 passes for 274 yards and another score.

Crawford, rated as the No. 1 prep prospect in West Virginia, made waves last summer when it was announced that he was transferring to Nitro.

That came after he spent his junior year as a quarterback for the Highlanders and was 129-of-230 for 1,611 yards, 13 TDs and just four interceptions.

He wound up staying at Huntington, which went 1-9 each of the last two seasons, beating Nitro in the last week of the season both times.

Dobson comes to Huntington after a stellar season for the Class AAA state champion Black Eagles. He had 45 receptions for 1,298 yards (a 28.8-yard average) and 17 touchdowns en route to garnering first-team all-state honors.

Marshall is certainly pleased to lock up two in-state players, but getting the 11th-hour signature of quarterback A.J. Graham was the coup of the class.

Graham, a 6-5, 205-pound Tallahassee, Fla., native, led Amos P. Godby High with an amazing senior year. He completed 244 of 396 passes for 3,870 yards, 38 touchdowns and 13 picks. The dual threat also ran for 551 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Those numbers were good enough to earn Graham the Mr. Florida award as the top high school football player in the state.

“He took on more of a leadership role this year,” Graham’s coach, Shelton Crews, said. “His first two years he didn’t have to. We had strong leaders scattered all over the field.”

Crews said the Cougars, who were defeated 7-6 in overtime of the Class 3A finals last fall, ran a no-huddle spread offense, which led to Graham passing so much. Crews said Graham is a 61 percent career passer, and that was with an estimated 50-60 drops.

“If he would have had half of those, he was at 65 percent,” Crews said. had Graham rated as the No. 27 prep quarterback prospect in the nation. He reportedly was also offered by Clemson, Illinois and Kansas State.

Graham is currently averaging a double-double on the Godby basketball team. He will practice with but not compete for the track team this spring.

The quarterback spot is filling up in Huntington. Incumbent starter Mark Cann is back, as is backup Brian Anderson. But inconsistent play on the part of Cann prompted coach Mark Snyder to sign JUCO quarterbacks Press Taylor and Jake Laudenslayer in December.

“This is a great group and I am confident that these young men will add a great deal to our program on and off the field,” Snyder said. “In addition to their God-given talent and football abilities, these young men have great character and will represent Marshall University well. One common denominator for this class is the speed factor. We recruited great athletes with excellent speed at all positions.”

Spring drills begin March 31.

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