WR Darius Watts

2002 Statistics

Coach: Bob Pruett
80-13, 7 years
2002 Record: 11-2
at Virginia Tech LOST 21-47
at Kent State WON 42-21
at Central Michigan WON 23-18
at Akron LOST 20-34
at Ohio WON 24-21
WON 49-45
Louisville WON 38-15

2002 Final Rankings
AP-24, Coaches-19, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Coach Pruett has built a winning program in Huntington (as well a mid-major training ground for the NFL). Because of that success, we do not doubt Marshall will find a way to continue their winning ways. The Herd will compete for the MAC title, but will have to play second fiddle to Northern Illinois and/or Miami of Ohio.

Replacing a legend is never easy but a few games into the season Marshall fans will realize the team has much bigger concerns than at quarterback. The Herd needs to improve on their running game, hope their young secondary can come together and rebuild their special teams. While they struggle, look for Stan Hill and his receivers to actually carry the burden.

We expect Marshall to start off with an early non-conference loss at Tennessee. Once conference play begins, the Herd should win their fair share of games with a quality passing game and consistently improving defense. Look for the special teams to cost them at least one or two games along the way. Inversely, the passing game will open up an offense that can make shoot-outs theirs. Overall, it will be another exciting season for Marshall fans. Just don't expect too much so as to be pleasantly surprised.

Projected 2003 record: 9-3
QB Stan Hill
DE Jamus Martin
LB Kevin Atkins
OT Seth Cook
QB - 4 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 3.5
WR - 4.5 DB - 2
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Stan Hill, 83-52-5, 536 yds., 5 TD's

Rushing: Franklin Wallace, 129 att., 614 yds., 7 TD's

Receiving: Josh Davis, 75 rec., 1191 yds., 5 TD's

Scoring: Darius Watts, 12 TD's, 72 pts.

Punting: Ben Lewis, 3 punts, 39.0 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Jamus Martin, 99 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Jamus Martin, 5 sacks; Toriano Brown, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Robert Terrell, 3 for 12 yds.

Kickoff returns: Robert Terrell, 8 ret., 21.4 avg.

Punt returns: Josh Davis, 14 ret., 6.6 avg.


NT Toriano Brown
OFFENSE: Byron Leftwich-QB, Brandon Carey-RB, Denero Marriott-WR, Curtis Jones-WR, Demetrius Doss-WR, Steve Sciullo-OT, Jeff Edwards-C, Steve Perretta-OG, Curtis Head-K/P
DEFENSE: Orlando Washington-DT, Duran Smith-MLB, Yancey Satterwhite-CB, Terence Tarpley-ROV, Chris Crocker-FS

written by Dave Bagchi

Replacing Byron Leftwich and his 4,268 yards will be difficult, but the Herd should once again have a superior passing attack. It is coach Bob Pruett's system and play calling out of the shotgun, one-back spread formation that has produced four consecutive national top ten finishes in passing offense. Look for junior QB Stan Hill to be effective from the onset. Many people forget that Hill led Marshall to their biggest win last year over Miami of Ohio (25-39, 292 yds, five total touchdowns). Hill has good mobility and control of Pruett's offensive system. It will be key to watch his confidence and leadership. Hill is a special kid who will be up to the task of leading this team. However, sources close to the program tell us another QB may likely be Leftwich's replacement. Adam Black, a redshirt freshman and First Team All-State QB out of Pennsylvania, should make this an interesting position battle.

Returning are senior Darius Watts and junior Josh Davis, the team's two leading 2002 receivers. Watts and Davis combined for 141 receptions, 2,163 yards and 17 TDs between them. Although Watts needs to improve his hands, he will be a marked man by opposing defenses. Davis is underrated and has extreme speed. Marshall employs three- and four- receiver formations. Look for their dynamic duo to be joined by senior Jason Schroeder and junior Brad Bates. Schroeder is more of a possession guy. He will get the starting nod as the third receiver in the slot. Bates gives Marshall a deep-threat option. Senior TE Jason Rader (28 catches) provides yet another option in passing situations. His experience will open the short, underneath routes for all as his potential occupies LB's attention. Look for Rader to stay home more early in 2003 to protect his establishing QB.

With the departure of three seniors, this year's offensive line should struggle. The Herd will have plenty of beef upfront. Returning seniors LG Luke Salmons, RT Nate McPeek (and probable junior replacements Toby Bullock, Josh Blakey, and senior Joey Stepp) average over 310-pounds. However the group does not play physically and the incoming talent is in question. This unit allowed just 20 sacks, yet the running game averaged less than four yards per attempt. The line must keep teams off Hill because Marshall has limited depth at the quarterback position.

The Herd should need around 140-150 rushing yds per game to keep defenses honest. This will not be easy with a re-patched offensive line. Senior RB Franklin Wallace (4.8 yds/rush, 27 catches) will see more carries now that Brandon Carey has graduated. Wallace is a physical runner but lacks breakaway speed. The x-factor is last year's project sophomore receiver-turned-running back Wilbur Hargrove. Although still a very upright runner, Hargrove raw speed (6.1 yds per rush) and Wallace's experience will make this position an asset as the line becomes less of a liability.


OT Nate McPeek


Returning Starters in bold
QB Stan Hill-Jr (6-3, 195) Graham Gochneaur-Jr / Adam Black-Fr
RB Franklin Wallace-Sr (6-0, 204) Wilbur Hargrove-So (5-10, 172)
WR Darius Watts-Sr (6-2, 181) Nate Manns-So (6-3, 218)
WR Jason Schroeder-Sr (6-2, 212) Marquis Huggins-Jr (5-9, 188)
WR Josh Davis-Jr (6-1, 185) Tremel Guillory-Jr (5-10, 185)
TE Jason Rader-Sr (6-4, 260) Joe Deifel-Jr (6-3, 231)
OT Seth Cook-Fr (6-5, 286) Nate Griffin-Jr (6-5, 334)
OG Luke Salmons-Sr (6-3, 298) Ryan Baynes-So (6-2, 316)
C Joey Stepp-Sr (6-1, 302) Jesse Saito-Jr (6-2, 293)
OG Toby Bullock-So (6-4, 335) Dwayne Robinson-Jr (6-3, 313)
OT Nate McPeek-Sr (6-4, 317) Josh Blakey-Jr (6-4, 310)
K Ben Lewis-Sr (5-10, 197) Jesse Cortez-Fr (5-6, 176)



written by Dave Bagchi

Marshall's pass defense (6th in I-A) worked primarily due to the play of a senior-dominated secondary and a schedule full of 'run first' opponents. There will be some drop-off, but secondary coach Lou Anarumo will be rewarded for giving much 2002 playing time to his backups. The group is led by returning junior DB Roberto Terrell. The three new starters have all played in at least eight games. Look for junior DB Renaldo Williams to earn the other starting corner spot. Williams and Terrell are only 5'9, but both have tremendous speed. Junior FS Moriah Anderson will have the unenviable (but achievable with his talent) task of replacing 2002 defensive leader Chris Crocker. At the Rover, sophomore Donte' Newsome should get the nod. Not making the same lofty national ranking will hardly deter this group. They will emerge strong, with their own identity and therefore confidence to stop any passing attack in their 2003 sights.

Junior right DE Jamus Martin is the returning top tackler. He leads a talented but under-sized defensive front, returning three of four starters. Martin and senior NT Toriano Brown combined for 191 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and ten sacks last season. This front four will not be an area opposing offensive coordinators can easily exploit. Joining them will be senior DE Jonathan Goddard and new starter junior DT Reggie Hayes. With one more year of experience, off-season action and weight-gaining diets, this front should be a pleasant surprise.

In 2002, this front averaged only 256 pounds in going two-deep. They will again use their speed early and make plays, but will typically get worn down by dominant running teams. As an overall defensive unit, the Herd struggled in forcing turnovers (82nd in TO margin). In over 528 attempts the Marshall defense caused just seven fumbles. Look for off-season drills, good coaching to make this number higher.

But much work is needed to shore up concerns about Marshall's run-stopping. Studied coordinators ran 59% running plays, and the subsequent moving clock kept Leftwich on the bench. But the linebackers did not step up to run-stop when needed. MLB Duran Smith (153 tackles) is gone. Junior Kevin Atkins will replace him and be joined by returning OLBs senior Charles Tynes and junior J.T. Rembert (69 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs). If the line isn't sharp, the under-sized Tynes will struggle in defending the run. The lack of size in Marshall's front seven led to their 86th ranked rush defense overall. Rembert and Tynes did combine for 148 tackles, but all too often, they were six or seven yards downfield. Do not be surprised to see Marshall employ a more aggressive defensive scheme. Coordinator Bill Wilt will be looking for ways to use his speed to avoid the LB corps from taking a beating. The Herd has some depth with senior Gladstone Coke and junior Dionte Wilson. Wilson is a playmaker who could challenge Atkins for the starting spot in the middle. Coke is strong in pass coverage. Both will push (through competition) to make the entire group better, but not reliable until proven such.


DE Jamus Martin


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jonathan Goddard-Sr (6-0, 246) Marcus Hairston-Jr (6-3, 236)
DT Reggie Hayes-Jr (6-3, 278) Ace Withrow-So (6-1, 244)
DT Toriano Brown-Sr (6-0, 275) Paul Sinclair-Sr (6-1, 262)
DE Jamus Martin-Jr (6-2, 224) Maurice McKinney-Sr (6-3, 245)
ILB J.T. Rembert-Jr (6-1, 227) Carlos Morgan-So (5-10, 237)
MLB Kevin Atkins-Jr (6-3, 237) Dionte' Wilson-Jr (6-2, 221)
WLB Charles Tynes-Sr (6-0, 194) Donte'Newsome-So (5-11, 201)
CB Roberto Terrell-Jr (5-8, 175) Ivan Clark-Fr (5-9, 180)
CB Willie Smith-Jr (6-0, 194) Chris Royal-So (5-9, 176)
ROV Gladstone Coke-Sr (5-9, 196) Dennis Thornton-So (5-11, 205)
FS Moriah Anderson-Jr (6-2, 188) Curtis Keyes-Fr (6-0, 187)
P Ben Lewis-Sr (5-10, 197) ..




Inexperienced senior PK Ben Lewis will replace the invaluable Curtis Head (16-21 FGs, 43.1 yds per punt). Lewis is also a dual role kicker. While the kicking game needs to be maintained, the return game needs to be completely overhauled. Marshall ranked 116th in punt returns and 117th in kickoffs. Look for wholesale changes here and the punt return unit to get a spark from the exciting Wilbur Hargrove. This retooling year will suffer unless this area can hold its own -- there is no room for margin with a new QB.


Marshall may have more depth at RB than they have ever carried in Huntington. The 'Herd go four deep at the position, with almost everyone impressing this spring. Franklin "Butchie" Wallace is the starter, but James "Tank" Tunstalle and JUCO transfer Earl Charles proved their worth and will get carries this fall. Hargrove still figures into the picture and there are three more good backs behind him. This will help as the passing game and new QB get adjusted… Speaking of the new QB, Stan Hill (when he wasn't in trouble) had a fairly solid spring. Not far behind him though is junior Graham Gochneaur. Pruett says both have made strides, but Hill will start the season… Offensive lineman Seth Cook was recognized as making great strides this spring, working his way into the starting lineup. Pruett has also talked about shuffling his line just a bit to put the best five out there… The 'Herd are looking for a backup TE to solidify and so far Joe Deifel and Jeff Mullins are in competition. Deifel is the better receiver, while Mullins is the better blocker… Marshall coaches were concerned with how many quality, impact receivers they carry going into the fall. Jason Schroeder stepped up to fill the void left by Marriott, and hopes are that incomers Tremel Guillory and Hiram Moore can team with Nate Manns to give them depth through the air. Talent is there; it's just a matter of experience and repetition.

The defensive line was the group who caused the most damage this spring, and we expect them to do the same and more this season. Jamus Martin and Jonathan Goddard set the tone with notable DL play, while Marcus Hairston was praised for improvements made in his game. Good news comes from the return of Maurice McKinney at DE. McKinney was a strong part of the defense in 2001, but suffered a knee injury last season that kept him out for the duration of 2002. This group is not only strong, but deep as well… Starting DT Toriano Brown sat out the spring after having surgery on his chronically bad toe. Paul Sinclair stepped up nicely in his absence and provides a dynamite sub if Brown falls… MLB Kevin Atkins was a busy man, seemingly leading the defensive in action this spring. Atkins will continue to battle Dionte Wilson for the starting slot in the fall, but expect him to hold on… Redshirt freshman Dane Holland had himself a fine spring game, flying all over the field and making plays. He will continue to seek movement up the depth chart in the fall… Willie Smith's play at CB has risen to the level that it needs to be, inspiring coaches with confidence.

Senior Ben Lewis is expected to handle both kicking duties this fall and he didn't let anyone down. He averaged nearly 50 yards a punt and made 2 of 3 FGs in the spring game, while making all his PAT attempts. Hargrove and Chris Royal will get first crack at returning kicks. I would not be surprised if Watts dropped back to return punts - him or Josh Davis.