HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— For one play it looked like 1998 at Joan C. Edwards with Chad Pennington in the shotgun and Randy Moss line up out wide to Pennington’s right. Pennington completed the first pass of the Green/White game, an eight-yard hitch to Moss.

“Heck those would go for 20 yards,” Pennington later joked.

Pennington, Moss, Bryon Leftwich and several other Marshall alumni returned for the game Saturday but it was the collection of quarterbacks that caught everyone’s attention. It was a rare sight to have the top three passers in Marshall history on the same field at the same time and one of them still has a year to play.

Brad Helton / Herd Insider

Marshall legends Randy Moss and Chad Pennington take in the annual spring game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

 

“When he leaves here he’s probably going to have the best stats out of any quarterback that has played here and that’s ok,” Leftwich said about current quarterback Rakeem Cato. “When Chad left I told him I was coming to get him and its good to see he came and got us.”

Cato has built a relationship with the former Herd and NFL quarterbacks and has been able to draw from their experiences to improve his game and leadership qualities. He also wants to set the bar higher than Pennington and Leftwich left it.

“Those guys played on this turf and set the standards high,” said Cato. “For us we need to set our standards even higher and become those legendary players.”

Leftwich is right. So long as Cato stays healthy he will rewrite Marshall passing records during his senior season. That also means the expectations placed on Cato are going to be higher that ever before.

“They’re not going to be realistic. There’s going to game where he throws for 250 yards, two touchdowns, grades out at 99 percent and people will be asking what’s wrong with Rakeem Cato?” Pennington pointed out. “He has to focus on ‘what do I have to do win football games?’ period.”

And that’s where Pennington and Leftwich can help Cato. Both were in the exact same positions heading into their senior seasons. Pennington’s senior year ended up being one of the best in school history. He led the 1999 Thundering Herd to a perfect 13-0 season and a top 10 ranking. Leftwich battled through a broken leg during his senior season to stay on the field and lead his team, cementing his place in Marshall lore.

But Leftwich notes, extremely high expectations on the quarterback at Marshall just comes with the territory.

“When you play quarterback at this university it is expected of you,” Leftwich said proudly. “Only a few people can say they played quarterback at Marshall University.”

And for a few hours, the best three to have ever played the position at Marshall stood on the field at the same time.

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Comments

  • Herd98

    MU has a history at QB as does WVU. MU's for the size of the school definetely is more impressive. I find it interesting that any WVU fan even attempt to take away from MU and its accomplishments. Its obvious that there is no QB in Morganhole that is worth a dime at this point and Holgerson is not what everyone thought he would be. It will be several years of bad football. But the money will come in so you know the University has it's priorities. Kansas needed a companion at the bottom to compete with every year. And Hey even they have a winning season every 5 or 6 years so Im sure the eers will as well. WVU belongs in the Big 12 just about as much as MU does, as an MU fan Im fine where we are competing to actually win something. I dont care that its not one of the Big 5, I want to win and keep winning. You can keep all the money it's not worth being a punching bag in the BIG 12.

  • Mark

    First off let me say I am a West Virginia fan. I truly hope both schools always perform well! They both represent our wonderful state and I am proud of both schools. I gets me how people can bash each others schools. I seriously doubt that you are true West Virginian if participate in these actions.

  • Larry

    Marshall really needs to go the way of South Carolina and just use the last name of their stadiums namesake, The Joan just sounds silly for a football stadium.

  • polarbear

    Id rather be a small fish in a big pond than a tiny fish in a small pond

    • Interesting123

      It cant be that bad joining Kansas as the cellar dweller of the Big 12. Just like them at least you have basketball. Oh wait....

  • DWM

    I'm a WVU fan, but I got to say they were fortunate that the WVU-Marshall series ended when it did.

  • Mike

    What great words spoken by Leftwich!! Almost made me cry,not. What a joke. "Only a few people can say they played QB at MU. Almost passed out from laughing so hard!!

    • Ms Horsewoman

      Enjoy your 3-4 wins year in and year out in the B12. Enjoy every 6 or so years fighting for the B12 last bowl game. If you think you have a shot at competing year in and year out with Texas, OK, OK State, Baylor and Texas Tech then I feel sorry for you. The 1st 3 on that list doesn't even have to recruit they just look at a kid and say come play for us.

      The Who doesn't have the resources, facilities or Money to compete game in and game out, year in and year out with the teams in the B12.

      The worst thing happened for the Who when the NBE broke up. You pretty much sucked in the OBE too. When you would reg get your rear kicked by Miami (3-16) and Pitt (40-61-3).

      • Well

        And what is marshals all time record with ecu Other non bcs bowl teams

    • Bill B.

      Please, tell us all again how wvu fans could care less about Marshall. Please, so we can all "almost pass out" from laughing.

    • Bull

      I know the feeling, I laugh that way when I see Holgerson's mullet, and also when I watch how arrogant and cocky Holgerson is, even though he's probably the worst caoch in the country on one of the worst teams in the country. I wouldn't go so far as to say I "almost passed out", but it's quite humerous.

    • Rob

      Maybe you should be less concerned with Marshall and more concerned over WVU's upcoming 5-7 season.

      • Tom

        You mean WVU's upcoming 3-9 season.

      • Jason

        Correction, their perpetual 5-7 seasons.

        • rlr

          Perpetual? Im pretty sure last season was the first year since 2001 wvu didnt go.bowling...and remind me of the all time series again????

          • Interesting123

            Its called a trend and since WVU's arrival in the Big 12 they have trended downward. Dont believe me? Look at their two year conference record. Its abysmal. Small sample? It sure is but anyone can see WVU is a small fish in a big pond. Most years WVU will be floating around .500 or slightly above. Anywhere from 5-8 wins. Then occasionally better than that. .