HUNTINGTON, W.Va.– It has been a busy spring and summer for the Marshall coaching staff answering phone calls, checking tweets and travelling around the country searching out the next class of prospects who will be part of the 2014 recruiting class.  So far, the hard work is paying off with eight verbal commitments.  To put that in perspective, at this point last year Doc Holliday’s staff had only received two verbal commitments.

What’s changed?

First-year recruiting coordinator Todd Hartley and the rest of the Marshall coaching staff reevaluated the recruiting process this year in an effort to more clearly define which players they wanted to pursue before hitting the road.

“We have to be able to separate ourselves from these ‘BCS’ schools and sometimes that difference is Marshall was the first to offer.” — Todd Hartley

“We got more involved in the evaluation of players and prospects on the front end,” explains Hartley.  “It used to be in the past, when we would go out to Florida and Georgia and all these high schools we were trying to find prospects at that point.

“What we did this year, we found the prospects before we went out.   We changed out evaluation process, how we evaluated film, how we looked at the kids.  We did a lot of film evaluation and talking to high school coaches before we went out in May.”

Instead of travelling to states such as Florida and Georgia to look for prospects, the staff already identified the targets they wanted to sign and it was a matter of confirming if a player was up to Marshall’s standards.  The film study and emphasis on the frontend of the recruiting process has allowed Marshall to make contact with prospects earlier than other schools and that has turned out to be an advantage for The Herd.

“I really think that’s why we’ve had an early little run of success with some verbal commitments,” insists Hartley.  “We feel like if we can be there first or the first to offer there’s a sense of loyalty there.  Hey, we didn’t have to wait for somebody else to offer and we’ve given you our commitment by offering a scholarship.  We want to offer the best in the country.”

Cole Garvin says he committed to Marshall partly because it was the first school to offer him a scholarship.

Being there first made a difference for at least one of Marshall’s verbal commitments.  3-star quarterback Cole Garvin says Marshall was the first school to offer him a scholarship and that definitely played a factor in his decision to commit.

“I wanted to be loyal since they were my first offer,” says Garvin.  “Other people came in, my next one came in the week after that.  But since they were my first one they had my loyalty from the beginning.”

Hartley understands Marshall must find ways to distinguish itself from other schools, especially major programs that may come in and offer a recruit late in the process.

“We have to be able to separate ourselves from these ‘BCS’ schools and sometimes that difference is Marshall was the first to offer.

“It shows loyalty, it shows we we’ll stepped out on limb, bent over backward and took a chance to offer a scholarship early.  Sometimes, that really means a lot to the kid and a lot of times, it means a lot to the parents as well.”

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  • wvtrue2

    Chad Pennington was a 2 star, it means nothing. Last i checked, Marshall is ranked above WVU in USA todays preseason countdown. Amd WVU will not see another bowl game in the next 10 years, even with pansies like georgia state, maryland and savannah state(or whoever the other scrub is). WVU got out of the series just in time, just like before. Lucky timing js the only reason marshall didnt bounce your heads off the field. Caught us when you hsd your best teams ever and we had our worst since the early 80s, and now WVU is playing competition was above its head and is the big 12 door mat. Cant wait til wvu is 4-8 thisyear and laugh.

  • Pudge

    Marshall who?

    • blue n yeller

      The Marshall you are reading about and searching the net for, Pudge.

  • derek

    Eers fan but pulling for ya Doc.

  • jwg66

    I have a hard time understanding the negativity of some of these posts....

    Prediction - Marshall will have some kids get arrested. They recruit kids just like every other school and kids will be kids. Eventually a few of them will do something illegal and get caught.

    As for using stars to evaluate a recruit, that system is pretty worthless. Using WVU as an example, Jason Gwaltney was 5 stars and did not work out.... Pat White and Adam Jones were 2 stars and had great careeers.... Rich Braham was no stars and played many years in the NFL... These recruiting analsyts rely on others to evaluate talent and can't predict heart, work ethics, class room performance and injuries... First, anyone that follows recruiting should step back and see which recruits actually qualify and enroll. Then, look back in 4-5 years and see how good Marshall's players are. Know this, they are good enough to get D1 scholarships and they will compete. Marshall has a tradition of overcoming great adversity and as a WVa school, I hope they do well against everyone but WVU.

  • Roger

    I can't remember the last Marshall player that was arrested. I can name several EERS.

  • GranslaMU

    The new approach seems to be best. In sales if you are not do the research, making contacts and working with them to establish a relationship before the customer gets approval or has the need you will not get the business.

    We MU lose some of the early commitments? Maybe, but at least we have a better chance to land them. Even they select another college and are not happy there, the coaches may hear from them later.

    It is all a game that we must get better.

  • mauldawg

    Remember the old saying "even a blind squirrel can find an acorn". When MU does something meaningful on the Football field let me know. Once every 20-30 years they might win a Div II title. That's like kissing your sister. MU and football do not mix. Just take a look at C-USA, what a power house this is. At a quick glance of the 125 teams ranked for this up coming season C-USA had 5-7 teams ranked 114-125. Just saying.

    • Jherd97

      Hey instead of searching the web for Marshall articles to post insults, why don't you work on learning grammar? Then you won't look like a such a dimwit.

      • glenn

        You are the one that shouldn't be throwing rocks.You live in a glass house.Make sure you start a sentence with a capital letter before you try to embarrass someone.Dumbass. Do you think people care that you think someone has poor grammar? So here you go. "Me thanks you is a retard.Ain't that right everyone." (CRICKETS IN THE BACKGROUND).Exactaly. Nobody cares.

  • mauldawg

    8 commits 5 non rated players total of 7 stars
    avg star rating .87. Great job,but what do you expect from MU. QB commits because MU offered first. Is that a joke or what.

    • Jcol

      An expert like you should be the first in line to submit an application next the football job comes open. I believe MU has several players in the NFL.

      • j

        Those had taken, but their thug life kept them out of BCS programs. I wouldn't boast over thugs with talent

    • blue n yeller

      Stars mean very little in real world production, eerdiots, but 247Sports showing 7 hard commits, 4 of which are 3 star.