As opener nears, Huff wants Herd to continue developing depth

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — It is a time of change for Marshall.

The football team has wrapped up more than two weeks of preseason camp and fall semester classes began Monday in Huntington.

The season-opening game against Albany on September 2 is less than two weeks away.

Marshall head coach Charles Huff says last Saturday’s scrimmage was make-or-break for some position groups.

“We now really have a good idea of those who can consistently play winning football,” Huff said. “We prepped them all week and gave them the tools they needed to improve and to continue moving up the depth chart.”

Many spots are already claimed on the depth charts, especially on defense, where veteran leaders such as defensive end Owen Porter, linebacker Eli Neal and defensive back Micah Abraham are in place.

Huff says many new faces not necessarily familiar to Marshall fans are still fighting for playing time.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can play consistent winning football, but we need more because that is what gets you through the grind of the season,” Huff said. “Even though you may not be in the mix early, what you do daily in your preparation and development will eventually determine if you reach your personal goal.”

Regardless of who starts against Albany a week from Saturday, Huff says that fall drills have shown the Herd is motivated and physically ready to succeed.

“The process is working,” Huff said. “What we’ve done throughout the summer and the spring, in the weight room and meetings works and these guys are starting to catch on. We’ve got to just keep developing a lot of guys who can do it because the way the season works out, you may need to rotate more guys in and out.”

The long days of preseason drills often wear on a team, but Huff says that he’s taught his players to work each day patiently.

“I tell guys that the best way to overview a season is to enjoy each day,” Huff said. “We’re focusing on today and how great can we make it. Our young guys especially are taking to that philosophy and we’re maximizing each day.”

— — — — —

The Herd took its annual preseason trip to Huntington’s Spring Hill Cemetery to visit the Marshall football plane crash memorial, which is the final resting of six MU football players that died in the November 14, 1970 plane crash, which killed 75 Herd players, coaches, administrators and fans.

“It gives everyone a chance to understand the passion, tradition and history at Marshall,” Huff said. “Some of our guys didn’t even know the story since they’re so far removed from it, so it gives us a chance to teach everyone in the program why people here are so passionate and so committed to this place.”

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