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Chuck Landon: Marshall secondary plays with new flash

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 12:34 AM

Corey Tindal is like a flash.

He flashes here breaking up a pass intended for Marshall star wide receiver Tommy Shuler.

He flashes there blitzing from his nickelback position to sack Herd star quarterback Rakeem Cato.

He flashes everywhere in Edwards Stadium during Marshall's spring football practice, making plays, giving great effort and getting noticed.

Yes, Corey Tindal has been "The Flash" of spring practice.

And the best part?

He's not a flash in the pan.

"He's a football player," said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, paying Tindal the ultimate compliment in football coach-speak. "You just turn the film on and it just seems like he's everywhere.

"You talk a lot about players that have 'It.' He has 'It.' What's 'It'? They just make plays. They lineup and they find a way to find the football and find a way to make plays.

"He has done that throughout the spring."

Practice after practice, Tindal has made plays. That's why the 5-foot-10, 175-pound redshirt freshman already appears to have won the first-team nickelback job in the secondary.

Ask defensive coordinator Chuck Heater about Tindal's meteoric rise and he offers a simple answer.

"He plays quicker than the rest," said Heater, who also coaches the secondary.

There are two reasons for that. No. 1, Tindal has great speed and athleticism. No. 2, Tindal has even more desire than quickness.

"It feels real good to be back out here," said Tindal, who sat out the previous two semesters as an academic non-qualifier. "I am thankful for this. I thank God for the opportunity and Coach Doc giving me that opportunity to be on this football field.

"I really missed football.

"That prop year sitting out just taught me how much the game means to me and I really missed it. I said to myself, 'The next time I get an opportunity, I'm really going to take advantage.' I'm not going to take any day for granted out here.

"So, I'm going to come every day hard, ready to work."

Tindal is a man of his word. No one has played harder than the native of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. And no one has noticed that more than Holliday.

"The thing I love about him is he just loves football," said the fourth-year head coach. "That kid has been here a year now and his name has never been on one list as far as (missing) classes or tutors or anything at all. He just takes care of his business. He does his job.

"And he's going to be a really good player."

Tindal certainly has turned heads during spring practice. His tight, in-your-socks coverage on Shuler has been eye-opening. The star slot receiver and new cornerback haven't done anything but make each other better.

"I feel like I can make plays," said Tindal. "And I think Coach Heater knows I can make plays. So, he'll put me out there somewhere I can make plays."

That's why Tindal is at first-team nickelback where Heater doesn't hesitate to send him on a more than occasional blitz.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm ready to bring the fire," said Tindal enthusiastically. "I'm ready to come off the edge and bring that pressure that we need.

"Coach Heater lets me loose. I like that. I get to roam around ... just play my coverage and give me a little blitz every now and then. He sees I ain't scared to come in there and make contact.

"Whatever I've got to do, I'm going to do it."

Just call him "Flash."

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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