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Andrew Ramspacher: Rainstorm washes out quarterback competition

Aug. 12, 2010 @ 12:06 AM

Marshall University football head coach Doc Holliday said Tuesday he was going to put his quarterbacks in scrimmage situations on Wednesday to help weed out a four-man race.

Mother Nature had other plans.

In a sense, Joan C. Edwards Stadium was thunderstruck Wednesday afternoon, forcing Day No. 7 of Marshall fall camp to come to a halt after a little more than one hour of practice.

Heavy rains and flashy lightning took the Thundering Herd from its drills swiftly to its locker room around 4:08 p.m., and it never came back -- although it tried.

Still seen in their pads until around 6 p.m. were quarterbacks Willy Korn and Mark Cann at the entrance of the Shewey Building, a sign that Holliday didn't officially call it quits on the day until late.

In the little practice that occurred, Andre Booker looked sharp in a couple of draw plays, going untouched for big gains, similar to the way Travon Van sped his way around Monday.

Van, who has played extensively with the second-team all camp, still has his eligibility status up in the air. The electric 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back was released from his National Letter of Intent at Florida in June after failing to qualify academically.

Practice resumes Thursday at 6:05 a.m. and 4:05 p.m.

FINALLY FIT: After sitting out the first week of practice because Holliday said he was "fat," senior safety Kevin Perry was finally back on the field Wednesday.

While the two starting safety spots seem to be spoken for courtesy of Omar Brown and Donald Brown, the 5-10, 192-pound hard-hitting Perry out of Madison, Ala., figures to fit somewhere close to them on the depth chart.

But then again, Perry has competition from a trio of freshman.

"You've got Donald and you've got Omar," Holliday said. "And then you've got about three young kids we're trying to take a look at.

"Joe Johnson, Zach Dunston and Brian Robinson, all three of them are talented guys and they're going to get an awful lot of reps between now and when we open up, so I'm hoping one of those guys steps up and helps us."

TIGHT DEBUT: In their first practices at their new position, now-tight ends C.J. Crawford, of Huntington, and Harold "Gator" Hoskins impressed Holliday on Tuesday.

"I was pleased with C.J. Crawford and Harold Hoskins there at the end," Holliday said. "They moved to tight end and they have the kind of skills we want at that position. All of those guys are going to help us, I think."

HARRIS STILL OUT, DOBSON SIDELINED: Kellen Harris, the junior linebacker who's been Perry's partner on the stationary bike this camp, is still out because of a hamstring injury. However, he has been dressed for every practice. Holliday said Saturday he hoped to have Harris ready to go by early this week.

Aaron Dobson, the explosive sophomore receiver, was nicked up early on in Wednesday's practice with an apparent ankle injury and finished the weather-shortened practice on the stationary bike.

LOST AND FOUND: DeQuan Bembry, the recently booted Marshall defensive back, has found a new home. Bembry is at Tennessee-Martin, a Football Championship Subdivision school that competes in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Also, rumored but not confirmed, Antwon Chisholm and Fred Pickett, two of the the three freshman involved in last week's pizza robbery, appear headed to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

FAN DAY: Marshall Football Fan Day presented by Cabell Huntington Hospital is Sunday at Edwards Stadium.

Fans, from 4 to 6 p.m., will have the opportunity to get autographs and take pictures with the Herd and purchase season tickets.

Andrew Ramspacher is a reporter for the Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or aramspacher@herald-dispatch.com.

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