HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—Chris Jasperse has become the iron man of the Thundering Herd offensive. No other lineman has played more snaps up front this year than Jasperse. His leadership and work ethic has been wearing off on what has become his protégé.
True freshman Michael Selby is already making an impact along the line. Generally, offensive linemen take longer to develop than skill position players. Running backs, receivers and quarterbacks can often rely on their sheer physical talent to overcome their lack of experience. However, along the line, putting a true freshman against a senior defensive lineman who has been in a college weight lifting program for four years is a clear disadvantage. That’s why Doc Holliday likes to redshirt his linemen and allow them to grow.
Selby has thrown a wrench into that philosophy.
“Physically he’s a gifted guy who could play for everybody. I’m glad he’s on our side. He’s a really good player,” complimented coach Doc Holliday.
Selby stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 275 as a first-year player and will only get stronger as he works with strength coach Scott Sinclair. While he possesses the physical skills to be an impact blocker, Selby has had to learn the mental part of being a D-1 lineman. That’s where Chris Jasperse has been a major help for the young Georgian.
“It’s been a big adjustment,” admitted Selbey. “Coming here and Chris Jasperse helping me learn the calls and all the offensive linemen have helped me learn the offense.”
Selby has been rotating along the line throughout the season as Marshall works to keep the big guys fresh through the entire four quarters. He’s worked at guard and has worked extremely hard to learn the blocking schemes and understand why certain block calls are made or how to know when to check into a different protection. When he has a question, Jasperse is his go to guy.
“Selby’s like his son,” joked Holliday. “He follows him around like a little dog. It’s a good thing.”
Jasperse is highly regarded among his teammates. He’s been named captain four times this season and has been starter since his freshman season. He rarely, if ever, comes out of a game. If Selby is going to follow somebody around all the time, Jasperse is a good choice.
“He’s [Selby] extremely tough. He’s extremely smart and he just likes to play ball,” said Holliday.
It seems the sky is the limit for Michael Selby. He’s already making his presence known and will likely be a leader for the offensive line for several years to come.