Marshall Thundering Herd

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Starting Marshall corner charged with drunk driving

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The “Days Without An Arrest” ticker had just gotten to halfway to double digits… and then Rodney Allen came along.

According to WSAZ-TV in Huntington, the Marshall cornerback was arrested on multiple charges over the weekend, including driving under the influence. Additionally, he is facing one count each of crashes involving damage to vehicle and not having a driver’s license.

From the television station’s report:

According to the criminal complaint, Allen was stopped early Sunday morning in the 1400 block of 4 1/2 alley. Allen was driving a vehicle attempting to leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage.

According to the criminal complaint, Allen showed indications of being impaired at the scene. He then blew a .167 BAC into an intoxometer at HPD headquarters.

Allen only had an ID card out of Texas and not a driver’s license.

“We are aware of the situation and will handle it internally and appropriately,” a statement to the station from the university’s athletic department read.

Allen started 11 of 12 games for the Thundering Herd last season. His four forced fumbled tied for 10th nationally and his 14 passes defensed were tops in Conference USA, while his two interceptions tied for the team lead.

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

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It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.

Former Georgia DB Chad Clay finds new home at Marshall

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After a brief sabbatical, Chad Clay is back at the FBS level.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Clay announced that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Marshall. “I want to thank Coach [Doc] Holiday [sic] and the rest of the coaches at Marshall for this great opportunity,” the defensive back wrote.

Clay will be eligible to play for the Thundering Herd in 2017, the first of his three remaining years of eligibility.

Clay was a three-star member of Georgia’s 2016 recruiting class who enrolled early and participated in spring practice that same year.

Twice in a span of two months, however, Clay was arrested, the first for second-degree criminal damage and possessing a weapon in a school zone following an incident that allegedly involved a BB gun inside a dorm room, the second for theft by taking. Following that second arrest, he was dismissed by UGA head coach Kirby Smart.

This past season, Clay played at Butler Community College in Kansas.

West Virginia governor reportedly trying to oust Doc Holliday at Marshall, bring back Bob Pruett

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Living in the state now, it’s utterly fascinating when the backroom politicking in God’s Country gets a public airing.

The latest example?  Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Charleston Gazette-Mail is reporting that newly-elected governor Jim Justice, a Marshall graduate, as are his wife and daughter, “has sought to oust the head football coach, Doc Holliday, and install his longtime friend and former Herd coach Bobby Pruett.”

The West Virginia Democrat met with Marshall president Jerome Gilbert in early December, a meeting that reportedly was the initial step in the governor seeking to have Holliday replaced as the Thundering Herd’s head coach. “I probably shouldn’t comment on that,” Gilbert told the Gazette-Mail Wednesday night, adding, “it’s unfortunate that this information got out.”

A statement from one of Justice’s staffers said that “[i]t was not a meeting to say, ‘Fire the coach and hire Pruett. It was a meeting to say, ‘Ratchet up your game and do something to get yourself back to greatness.'”

A few months after that initial meeting, however, Justice reportedly “summoned five members of the school’s board of governors to his office at the Capitol” to again push for Holliday’s ouster.  None of those present at the meeting would delve into the specifics of what was discussed.

Holliday, who played his college football at West Virginia, has been the head coach at Marshall since 2010, guiding the Herd to a 53-37 mark in seven seasons.  He led the Herd to three straight double-digit win seasons from 2013-15, including a Conference USA title in 2014.  The program also has a perfect 4-0 mark in bowl games under Holliday.

A 3-9 mark in 2016, however, led some, including Justice, to call for Holliday’s ouster.

The 73-year-old Pruett, who played his college football at Marshall, was the head coach at his alma mater from 1996-2004.  His first season, and just before the move to the FBS level, the Herd, featuring Florida State transfer Randy Moss, went 15-0 and won the FCS national championship.  All told, Marshall went 94-23 in Pruett’s nine seasons.

Following the 2004 season, Pruett retired.  Four years later, he unretired to become the defensive coordinator at Virginia.  Pruett, who will turn 74 in June, retired a second time after just one season and hasn’t coached at any level since.

FIU makes hiring of Aubrey Hill as WRs coach official

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The poaching of one Conference USA coaching staff by another member of the league has been confirmed.

Florida International confirmed in a press release Thursday that Butch Davis has hired Aubrey Hill as wide receivers coach.  Hill will replace Kevin Beard, who left earlier this month for the same job at Tennessee.

Marshall had confirmed in an understandably terse statement earlier this week that Hill would be leaving Doc Holliday‘s coaching staff after being hired less than a week earlier.

“We’ve hit a home run in adding Aubrey Hill to the FIU coaching staff,” the first-year FIU head coach said in a statement. “He’s a heck of a coach and an outstanding recruiter. He’s got a tremendous ability to develop wide receivers. He will make our team that much better.”

Hill last coached at the collegiate level at his alma mater Florida in 2012.  He abruptly resigned less than a month before the start of the 2012 season for what were described as personal reasons.  He subsequently received a two-year show-cause from the NCAA for violations stemming from his time as an assistant at Miami.

The past four seasons, Hill was the head coach at a South Florida high school.  Last season, Hill led Miami Carol City High School to the Class 6A state title, the first in the school’s history.