HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshal’s new running backs coach Chris Barclay had a big day when he and the rest of the Herd were graced by the presence of former Herd defensive coordinator and Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe.
“That’s my coach. He brought me to Wake Forest,” said Barclay, who played for the Demon Deacons from 2002-05. “I was part of his first recruiting class and he gave me a start into coaching. I was a GA for him in 2010-11, so that man means the world to me. He’s given me not one but two or three chances and I’m forever indebted to him.”
As for his new post at Marshall, Barclay said there is ample talent among the current group of running backs that includes Steward Butler, Remi Watson, and Kevin Grooms, who has been allowed to practice with the team this spring.
“There is so much they bring to the table from catching the ball out of the backfield to being able to run and outrun defenders,” Barclay said. “We have some great speed and some great vision with this group and I think we can win a lot of game with this unit. We just have to come along in the area of pass protection and understanding blocking schemes so we can play a little faster.”
The 2005 ACC Player of the Year, Barclay is in his first spring with Marshall after serving as the running backs coach at William & Mary and beginning as the graduate assistant at Wake Forest.
“I’ve picked up a lot of coaching points along the way that I hope can make them play faster when the ball is snapped.” Barclay said. “Processing pre-snap information, keying safety rotations for protection purposes and also what am I looking at in the running game.
“(Players) can’t just see seven people in the box. Where are those seven people? On an inside zone, what am I looking at so I can play faster once the ball is snapped? I think those are the things I’m trying to impart with them so they can have better pre-snap recognition so they can play faster when the ball is snapped.”
— Braxton Crisp