Doc Holliday said Marshall came away “+2” on National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Marshall was able to sign all of the players it was after plus Holliday and staff were able to convince a couple of recruits who had committed to schools in the SEC and ACC to flip and sign with The Herd.
Michael Johnson, a three-star recruit, had given his verbal commitment to Florida State and the safety from Booker T. Washington High School was ready to play for the Seminoles but Holliday never gave up on him. Holliday had recruited Johnson’s father out of high school and already had a personal relationship with the highly touted prospect’s family.
“He’s a tremendous young guy who wants the opportunity to play early,” Holliday said.
Johnson could certainly find a spot on the field for The Herd early on in his career. Johnson also turned down offers from WVU, Texas Tech, Houston, FIU Kansas State, Ole Miss and Utah.
Tiquan Lang is another defensive back that chose to play at Marshall rather than a BCS school. Lang had verbally committed to the University of Georgia but when it came time to sign on the dotted line, he sent is letter of intent to Huntington, not Athens.
“Relationships are everything in the recruiting business,” emphasized Holliday.
While Holliday has gained the reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters but he was quick to spread the praise for Marshall landing one of the top recruiting classes in Conference USA.
“JaJuan Sieder has done a tremendous job,” praised Holliday. “He’s right in the middle of all that and he’s the reason we’re being so successful down there (Florida).”
Holliday also brought in former FIU offensive line coach Alex Mirbal late in the recruiting process and he was instrumental in swaying offensive lineman Sandley Jean-Felix to switch his commitment from FIU to Marshall during the final week of recruiting.
“Hiring Alex Mirbal, he was a high school coach down there for years, that just increases our trust from those coaches down there.”
Marshall also hung on to offensive line prospect Michael Selby who got a late offer from Georgia Tech. Holliday said Selby told Yellow Jacket Head Coach Paul Johnson, he was playing at Marshall.
Holliday won’t give up the secrets to landing recruits who had already committed to play at BCS level programs but the lure of early playing time and the chance to be star instead of just another player undoubtedly resonates with recruits.