Grant Traylor: Marshall linemen demolish hot dogs
Given the fact that offensive linemen try to block men in excess of 300 pounds for a living on the college football field, the plight doesn't sound so bad for Marshall University's freshmen.
All they have to do is tackle something that is three pounds.
But this is no man, nor beast.
This is the Homewrecker from Hillbilly Hot Dogs, and it packs a wallop.
The time-honored tradition of Marshall's offensive linemen commenced Saturday as center Chris Jasperse, tackle Jordan Jeffries and the other veterans watched the newbies in the film room try to tackle the mass of processed meat disguised as a hot dog.
"It's the one thing we do as an O-line with all the freshmen every year," Jasperse said with a hot-dog-eating grin on his face. "We go to Hillbilly Hot Dogs after our first scrimmage and we get the Homewrecker and they have to try to complete it in 12 minutes."
For those who are not familiar with the Homewrecker, it is a one-pound hot dog weenie (15 inches long) piled high with two pounds of toppings which include chili, mustard, onions, ketchup, mayo, relish, slaw, kraut, nacho cheese, jalapenos and pork barbeque.
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Three pounds of hot dog, 12 minutes, zero dignity left at the end.
The winner was offensive lineman Tom Collins, who just shook his head in disgust when congratulated during Sunday's Fan Day for his victory.
Collins and former Lawrence County High School standout Tyler Combs went bite-for-bite down the stretch with Combs literally shoving handfuls of what was left of the demolished hot dog -- toppings and all -- into his mouth in the final minute to earn the right to say he had finished.
Well, they weren't so lucky.
"Chris Huhn, he puked and we got some good video footage of that," Jasperse said. "If you check out Grady (Kerr's) Vine and Instagram it's on there. It's perfect."
Jasperse was quick to point out that it has become a staple in the offensive line's repertoire of bonding time. Jasperse himself admitted he was unable to finish it and many others have fallen victim to the Homewrecker's wrath.
There is one veteran guy on the Marshall team who celebrated victory on Saturday.
That would be reserve offensive lineman Eric Ansley who Tweeted that his record was still intact.
Three pounds of hot dog, just more than five minutes.
So, the next time someone says Marshall has a lot of beef up front, just remember.
Thanks to the Homewrecker challenge, there's way more than beef on the O-line.
REAVES AT RUNNING BACK: Marshall's DeAndre Reaves made the switch from wide receiver to running back on Monday morning.
Reaves, who played both running back and slot receiver in high school, looked comfortable in his first repetitions in the backfield.
It is not initially known whether Reaves will remain at running back or he is just getting repetitions and could see time at both positions in the future.
INJURY NEWS: Offensive lineman Josh Lovell was on crutches on the sideline on Monday morning while running back Kevin Grooms was out of a boot, but still not a go at practice as well.
Defensive back Keith Baxter did appear in a boot on the sideline.
The extent or cause of Lovell's injury is unknown while Grooms is believed to be a high-ankle sprain, which might limit him over the next week of camp. Baxter's injury forced him to miss Friday and the scrimmage on Saturday.
TWO-A-DAY PRACTICES: Because of class schedules in the final summer session, Monday's first practice -- originally-scheduled for 9:15 a.m. -- was moved to 7:45 a.m. The final practice of the day went off at 4 p.m. as scheduled.
Indications were that the schedule for Wednesday and Friday would also reflect the same change with practice likely to start in the 8 a.m. range with the 4 p.m. session to follow.
According to a Tweet by Marshall's Compliance department, two-a-day practices are allowed a maximum of five hours on on-field work with at least three hours in between each session.
Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).
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