Tommy Shuler was among ten Herd receivers to catch passes Saturday.
As the Thundering Herd lined up for practice this past spring Doc Holliday was willing to dress anyone who could catch a football. Injuries and attrition from graduation had left Marshall’s receiving corps depleted and Holliday was so desperate for receivers he even began asking members of the media if they had any eligibility left. Depth at receiver isn’t much of a worry anymore for Holliday and his offensive staff, ten receivers caught balls Saturday afternoon against Louisville as Marshall passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns.
When word reached the press box that Troy Evans and Antavious Wilson had been suspended for the game for a violation of team rules, everyone began going through the depth chart to figure out who would step in and how Marshall would replace the two critical pieces of the offense. Marshall got production out of ten receivers, some who hadn’t had the ball thrown their way all season.
“That’s what good teams do and we’ll be a better football team because of it,” said Doc Holliday.
Andre Booker stepped up in a big way playing the “X” receiver in place of Aaron Dobson who didn’t practice during the week leading up to the game.
“He’s got a big old heart and the kid loves to play,” praised Holliday.
Booker snagged three catches for 66 yards. His long catch was a 31 yarder, which the speedy receiver may have taken all the way to the endzone for a touchdown had his own feet not gotten in the way.
“His legs go so fast, he should’ve scored a touchdown out there, but tripped over his own feet,” joked Holliday after the game.
Jermaine Kelson caught three balls as did tight end C.J. Crawford. Crawford was on the receiving end of the two yard touchdown pass from Rakeem Cato that gave Marshall the lead for good late in the fourth quarter.
“I didn’t even know how much time was on the clock,” Crawford said after the game.
Redshirt freshman Jazz King made his first catch of the season, a touchdown grab to cap off The Herd’s scoring drive to start the game and Wayne Bonner got in on the action with two catches for 38 yards. Tommy Shuler, Aaron Dobson, Tron Martinez, Eric Frohnapfel and Gator Hoskins also had catches in the game.
“Unfortunately we had two receivers make a mistake and let the entire Marshall football program,” said Holliday. “But we’re a better football team because of it.”
Marshall is a better team because now Holliday knows he has players that can step in at any time and get the job done when asked, he also sent the message that no one is too valuable to be held out of a game, even if it just hours before kickoff.
“This is D-I level football so everybody has talent,” remarked quarterback Rakeem Cato. “Everybody was a superstar at their high schools so whoever’s number is called has to step up and make things happen.”
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