Marshall Football’s First Scrimmage Brings Some Answers

By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Football conducted its inaugural scrimmage of fall practices on Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Third-year head coach Charles Huff revealed that the scrimmage provided insights into potential depth within the team, particularly with 40 new players joining the camp.

“The guys who do what we ask them to do in practice from a technique and energy standpoint did a lot of good things,” Huff said. “Even making mistakes for them and getting it on tape is a way to improve in practice, but if they do what is asked and they get it on tape, it’s a chance to move on and learn more.”

Huff noted that the team has maintained good health after ten practices, with no significant injuries. He expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the veteran players, who treat scrimmages as early game simulations.

“Guys are vocal and ready to practice every day, but when you say ‘scrimmage,’ they get anxious and treat it like a final exam,” Huff said. “That’s good because you get a chance to coach those young men through how to prepare for a game, because the intensity needs to be the same for practices and scrimmages.”

Huff emphasized that every player, including established ones like Owen Porter and Rasheen Ali, requires ongoing development. The coaching staff aims to assess the capabilities of other players before they enter a game scenario.

Among the Thundering Herd’s roster of 25 transfer portal players is local talent, J.J. Roberts, a former Cabell Midland High and Wake Forest defensive back.

Huff highlighted that the redshirt junior has evolved into a more vocal leader since returning to play at Marshall.

“He’s probably a lot more vocal and he’s more comfortable with who he is and who we are,” Huff said. “He’s found his niche on the team and he’s challenging guys more as a leader. He has the confidence of knowing what he’s walked into.”

The Herd is scheduled to hold its second scrimmage on the following Saturday at 1:45 pm at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The final scrimmage is set for a week before Marshall’s season opener at home against Albany on September 2nd.

Preseason Honors Accumulate for Marshall Players

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall redshirt senior cornerback Micah Abraham has been named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, as declared by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Abraham is one of 35 players selected for the watch list of The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, an annual recognition for the nation’s best defensive back.

This announcement adds to the extensive list of preseason accolades for Abraham. In the 2022 season, he concluded tied for third in FBS in interceptions with six and ranked in the top-10 in FBS for passes defended with 16.

The senior hailing from Tampa, Florida, garnered recognition as a Preseason All-American Fourth Team selection by Phil Steele Publications. He also secured a spot as a 2022 Phil Steele Publications All-American Honorable Mention selection.

Abraham’s 16 total passes defended in 2022 marked the second consecutive season where he recorded 15 or more passes defended, a distinction shared with only one other player in FBS, Donte Kent from Central Michigan.

Among his standout performances was during the upset victory against No. 8 Notre Dame, where he contributed three tackles, a half-sack, an interception, and a pass breakup in Marshall’s 26-21 win over the Fighting Irish.

Image Credit: Paul Swann