— By Bill Cornwell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Senior wide receiver Tyre Brady, considered to be Marshall’s top NFL prospect, says he will be in the Herd’s lineup when Marshall faces South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on December 20.
Unlike several standouts who have already announced they will not participate in their teams bowl game, Brady sees the postseason contest as a chance to showcase himself.
The Homestead, Fla., native and Miami transfer told Herdzone.com that his love for the team is more of a factor than any concerns about potential injuries.
“Because of Marshall, I will leave Huntington with a degree and be the first person in my family to be a college graduate,” Brady said. “I couldn’t imagine missing out on the bowl game with my coaches and teammates who have fought hard with me day after day.
“I’m a better person and player because of all of them.”
Brady added: “The bowl game is one more chance to suit up with my brothers and compete. It is one more opportunity to play for the greatest fans in the country, and I believe the best way to prepare for the NFL is to show scouts what I can do. I can’t wait to return to Florida and go for another bowl win.”
Brady was an All-Conference USA first-team performer this season and he’ll be joining West Virginia quarterback Will Grier at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama in January.
Grier, along with Mountaineer left tackle Yodny Cajuste, recently announced they would not play in WVU’s bowl game against Syracuse on December 28.
Brady finished the regular season with 66 catches for nine touchdowns and 914 yards. He has at least one reception in 23 straight games.
Brady has a history of performing well in bowl games and last season, he caught six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in Marshall’s 31-28 New Mexico Bowl win against Colorado State. Brady claimed offensive MVP honors.
NOTES: Marshall’s football team held its annual end-of-season banquet Saturday at the Memorial Student Center.
The big winner was junior safety Malik Gant, who was named team Most Valuable Player. Gant had 90 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, two interceptions and one sack in 12 games this season.
Brady was the offensive MVP, while senior defensive end Ryan Bee won the same honor for defense.
Long snapper Matt Beardall was honored as Special Teams MVP.
Other award winners included: Senior Scholar Award (highest GPA/toughest major) — Jordan Dowrey, senior offensive lineman; Jim Conard Award (top offensive lineman) — Levi Brown, sophomore center;
Offensive and Defensive Gridiron Gladiators (relentless, gives everything all of the time) – senior offensive lineman Jordan Dowrey (offense); senior defensive lineman Malik Thompson (defense); Chad Pennington Award (offensive player on/off field who gives his all) — Marcel Williams, senior receiver; Tom Stark Award (defensive player on/off field who gives his all) — Chase Hancock, senior linebacker; Scout Team Players of the Year (players that gave the opposite side of the ball the best look in practice) — Luke Zban, freshman (offense); Owen Porter, freshman (defense)