DE Albert McClellan

2006 Statistics

Coach: Mark Snyder
9-14, 2 years
2006 Record: 5-7
at West Virginia LOST 10-42
at Kansas State LOST 7-23
at Tennessee LOST 7-33
UCF LOST 22-23
at SMU LOST 21-31
at UAB WON 31-24
at East Carolina LOST 20-33
UTEP WON 49-21
at Southern Miss LOST 7-42

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

In beating every 2006 foe (except UCF) with a losing record, yet losing to all those at or above .500, head man Mark Snyder didn’t improve much from his initial campaign’s 4-7 measure. The Herd has been rebuilding since losing 25 seniors after the ’04 season, but with eight starters now back on each side of the ball, Snyder’s prospects look good for getting his alma mater back into winning form. The defense needs some real help, so he hired coordinator Steve Dunlap after his tutelage under defensive guru Chuck D’Amato at N.C. State ended. The WVU grad has tried desperately to whip his guys into shape this spring, but the secondary still seems to be struggling - they were decimated in the spring game. The converse conclusion from the Green’s 43-6 win over the White is how well the offense (and especially the passing game) seems to be doing. With their already-strong running game sure to benefit from improvements to the aerial assault, scoring won’t be a problem. Still, QB Bernard Morris’ decision-making skills when passing are the one thing that will limit this offense - don’t be surprised if the dual-threat is kept on a short leash and the two underclassmen see significant reps early and often. Even if they wind up over .500, the 2007 Herd won’t be anything near the powerhouse teams of Leftwich and Pennington. Though Snyder has nothing more than two- and three-star recruits on his roster, (like we usually see out of Huntington) the team as a whole is worth much more than the sum of its parts. Tough litmus tests against the Hurricanes (in Coral Gables) and in-state big brother West Virginia start their slate with two lightning quick foes who will show Snyder’s men their weaknesses. From there, Marshall also sees upstart “local” Cincinnati (140 miles away) for another tough non-con game. The initial C-USA sequence that follows of Memphis, Tulsa (both away) and then league runner-up Southern Mississippi means their first seven games will define the 2007 Thundering Herd. With any bowl game a respectable goal, Marshall has to see this year as another one where they can make marginal advancements that will pay dividends down the road - small steps can eventually get them to where they were just a few seasons ago. But if they tank early and never recover, such regression would make 2008 another struggle just to get back to where they are now. Small steps, baby, small steps.

Projected 2007 record: 6-6
TE Cody Slate
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Bernard Morris, 116-188-12, 1346 yds., 8 TD

Rushing: Bernard Morris, 82 att., 324 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Cody Slate, 43 rec., 684 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Anthony Binswanger, 5-13 FG, 36-40 PAT, 1 2-pt. conv., 53 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Anthony Binswanger, 5-13 FG, 36-40 PAT, 51 pts.

Tackles: C.J. Spillman, 79 tot., 44 solo

Sacks: Albert McClellan, 11.5 sacks

Interceptions: J.J. Johnson, 2 for 0 yds.; C.J. Spillman, 2 for 85 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Chubb Small, 18 ret., 20.1 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Emmanuel Spann, 12 ret., 12.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Jimmy Skinner-QB, Matt Morris-WR, Hiram Moore-WR, Seth Cook-OT, Wesley Jones-OT, Chris Barnes-OT, Ahmad Bradshaw-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Juan Underwood-DT, Shavar Greer-DE, Brandon Souder-MLB, Matt Couch-WLB, Dennis Thornton-LB, Curtis Keyes-SS, Ian O'Connor-P

Like the great QBs before him, the entire team can only go as far as senior quarterback Bernard Morris takes them. This dual-threat is a former walk-on who has earned each stripe along the way to becoming a starter in 2005. The spread has made its way to Huntington, and Morris knows how to make the most it through his feet. His strengths include his ability to know, on the fly, when to run and when to pass…his marginal weakness has been his decision making once he chooses to pass. Morris is the man for now, but we expect to see young hurlers Wesley Beardain and/or Brian Anderson in the same kind of pure passing role that now-departed Jimmy Skinner held last campaign. Anderson lit it up in the spring game, and (besides the first pass attempt of the game by Morris that was intercepted and returned for a TD) the incumbent looked much improved in his passing efforts, too. But since they still run the ball close to 60% of the time, Marshall’s set of up-and-coming backs have much to prove as they try to uphold the team’s 30th ranking for their ground attack. Junior Chubb Small seems up to the task – in his limited showings, Small has shown that his 4.32 (in the 40) burst guarantees yards when he touches the ball (lost only three yards in his 42 carries last year). Kentucky prep record-holder Kelvin Turner is the same kind of tough runner as Small, and though a half-step slower than his counterpart, Turner can also take the corner effectively. The receivers are led by all-conference junior Emmanuel Spann, the short yardage, “go to” guy who returned from a knee injury in 2005 to prove he is still a serious weapon. 6’3 JUCO-transfer Darius Passmore has leapt into a starting role with his offseason efforts, though, emerging soph Courtney Edmonson who could make the biggest impact from his backup/fourth-WR role. The entire corps is too big to list, yet it is svelte TE Cody Slate, last year’s team leader in receptions and yards (as an all-conference freshman from his backup spot), that has coaches drooling for what he means to opening up coverages. Complimented by bigger senior Brian Shope and Tennessee-transfer Lee Smith, this position’s huge potential means it has more of a permanent place on the field in the new schemes than any fullback(s). All together, this is a lethal set of snarlers, if they can just have the ball delivered with consistency. The amount of time spent this spring on the aerial assault should signal how much more they will open their playbook up come September. The line looks ready and eager to again push for nearly five yards per carry as they supply adequate pass protection for the elusive Morris. Speaking of the QB’s blind side, John Inman (twice prep Mr. Football – Tennessee Division II) is the senior who bumps over to left tackle (started in 2005 at right guard). This should work, as should returning the line’s entire interior of worthy upperclassmen who together started every game last year. Not enough praise can be heaped on Doug Legursky, their all-conference center who is the leader up front (via example). This will be the third year the Beckley-native has made the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list. Guard David Ziegler’s lack of spring reps allowed freshman Josh Evans to work with the first-team, though, Ziegler should be back by fall. The depth throughout this offense is respectable, and with eight returning starters already comfortable with the working flow, improvements to what was their No.49 total offense should occur with their more efficient (speedier) execution displayed this spring.


C Doug Legursky


Returning Starters/
Key Players/Injured
QB Bernard Morris-Sr (6-4, 211) Wesley Beardain-So (6-1, 198)
RB Chubb Small-Jr (5-9, 193) Kelvin Turner-So (5-10, 190)
WR Darius Passmore-Jr (6-3, 180) Shawn Lauzon-Sr (6-6, 204)
WR Marcus Fitzgerald-Sr (5-10, 202) Courtney Edmonson-So (6-0, 175)
WR Emmanuel Spann-Jr (5-11, 179) E.J. Wynn-Jr (5-11, 156)
TE Cody Slate-So (6-4, 212) Brian Shope-Sr (6-5, 248)
OT John Inman-Sr (6-5, 302) Brandon Campbell-Fr (6-5, 305)
OG David Ziegler-Sr (6-5, 296) Josh Evans-Fr (6-4, 315)
C Doug Legursky-Sr (6-3, 311) Matt Altobello-Jr (6-1, 306)
OG Brian Leggett-Jr (6-1, 296) Marcus Moresea-Sr (6-1, 241)
OT Daniel Baldridge-So (6-9, 270) Joe Bragg-Jr (6-4, 254)
K Anthony Binswanger-Sr (6-2, 193) ..



It got a bit ugly on D last year - none of Marshall’s 2006 foes failed to score under 21 points, and half of them went over the 30-point barrier. Furthermore, allowing foes to convert 47% of their third-downs, as well as giving up 42 offensive scores, just won’t support a winning record. After the Thundering Herd defense was barely audible in finishing ranked 101st for total effort, Steve Dunlap was hired away from N.C. State to fix this liability. Progress within their 114th-ranked secondary has been coming along slowly but surely, and they will definitely know by the end of their second game exactly which parts still need more attention. What was a young, inexperienced set of DBs is now a year wiser. Both starting corners are back - converted-QB-RB Zearrick Matthews, loaded with speed, now has a much better grasp on what is expected of him. J.J. Johnson has been improving, too, and has impressed with his ability to learn well from his mistakes. Still, it is Ashton Hall’s raw ability that promises this secondary its most improved results. Junior safety C.J. Spillman can put out deep fires effectively, and classmate Phillip Gamble is ready to step into the other starting safety slot after apprenticing there admirably. Depth in the defensive backfield is undeveloped, but plentiful. The linebackers start three juniors who move well for their size, though, ironically, could actually be tougher in the box (like now-departed Matt Couch was). Returning starters Josh Johnson (middle) and Ian Hoskins (strongside; recovering from knee surgery) get broken-in classmate Maurice Kitchens to bolster the vacancy on the weakside. The depth includes last year’s fullback, senior Will Albin (big spring [game]), but the two-deep here is, otherwise, full of more potential than experience. The Thundering Herd’s run stoppers (ranked 65th) were the brightest facet of last year’s defense. Tied for the eighth-most sacks in the nation (11.5) was now-junior Albert McClellan, an “old school” All-American ( rush end who has the quickness of a safety combined with a lineman’s toughness, even at his svelte 210lbs. Soph end John Jacobs’ freshman campaign has fans eager for how much this quick ex-RB will improve, though, two freshmen backups mean McClellan and Jacobs have their wok cut out. The inside quickness of Byron Tinker earns him big plays galore, but he will find even more double-teams since he is the biggest starter up front. That leaves converted-DE Ryland Wilson, and no matter how the JUCO-transfer’s abilities are broken down, his sub-250lb. frame likely spells trouble against larger, mobile lines. Moreover, the lighter approach up front will possibly mean extra help is needed from the LBs when good running teams start to rack up the yards, and once that bait is taken, Marshall’s DBs and their inconsistencies will again be tested. Whether the defense steps up or not will mean the difference between weekly shootouts where the Herd probably finishes under .500 and tougher battles that may seem ugly, but will have Marshall winning more than they lose.


DB C.J. Spillman


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE John Jacobs-So (6-3, 240) Michael Janac-Fr (6-4, 250)
DT Ryland Wilson-Sr (6-3, 248) Montel Glasco-Jr (6-3, 279)
DT Byron Tinker-Sr (6-4, 281) Bilal El-Amin-Jr (6-3, 249)
DE Albert McClellan-Jr (6-2, 210) Chad Clay-Fr (6-2, 220)
SLB Ian Hoskins-Jr (6-2, 245) Howard King-Fr (6-2, 193)
MLB Josh Johnson-Jr (6-2, 240) Daniel Wells-So (6-1, 236)
WLB Maurice Kitchens-Jr (6-3, 226) Mahala Wiggins-Jr (6-2, 224)
CB Zearrick Matthews-So (5-9, 162) Chuck Roberts-So (5-10, 160)
CB J.J. Johnson-Jr (5-11, 180) Ashton Hall-So (5-10, 183)
SS Phillip Gamble-Jr (5-11, 217) Jon Moravec-Jr (6-0, 195)
FS C.J. Spillman-Jr (6-0, 193) John Saunders-So (6-0, 192)
P Marty Biagi-Jr (6-0, 170) Jake Fields-Fr (6-2, 205)




Kicker Anthony Binswanger went a mere 5-for-13, but the JUCO-transfer has a big leg and will get plenty more chances when the offense sputters. His three special team tackles reflect what an asset he is on kickoffs. Marty Biagi started two seasons ago when the punter was a freshman, so his seemingly new elevation shouldn’t worry fans as to how shaky he may be stepping (back) into the limelight. Chubb Small is decent on kick returns, but Emmanuel Spann, unless hurt, seems like he should be the man for both return jobs.