Weekend important for recruiting
HUNTINGTON -- Arguably Marshall University football's most pivotal recruiting weekend kicks off today.
As many as eight prospects, including a pair of junior college teammates, are scheduled to arrive this afternoon. Highlighting the weekend is Saturday evening's Marshall football Senior Awards Banquet.
Common sense dictates that offensive line represents the Thundering Herd's overwhelming remaining need, followed by best player available, regardless of position. That take is represented by today's arrivals.
Five offensive linemen, including Portsmouth High School standout John Prior, headline the group. The 6-foot-6, 283-pound tackle ranks as the nation's 53 prospect at his position by rivals.com and Ohio's No. 38 overall prospect. Prior has received at least a dozen scholarship offers and has verbally committed to Florida State.
Coahoma Community College (Miss.) teammates Tavaris Jeffries and DeMarde Dean each enjoyed stellar junior college careers. Jeffries (6-5, 320) lists among the nation's top 25 JUCO prospects by The Clarion Ledger, which also lists Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as his choices. Dean (6-2, 280) was a preseason All American selection in 2008.
South Florida and Florida Atlantic also have offered Darren Baker, a 6-5, 265-pound lineman Hillsboro H.S. (Fla.) Baker earned first-team all county honors as a senior.
Jordan Jeffries, imposing at 6-7 and 300 pounds, was selected to the Illinois East-West Shrine Game during his standout career at Oswego H.S.
Joining the fivesome of linemen are Matt Pickett, Marques Aiken and Quanthony Fletcher. Pickett, a 6-2, 206-pound linebacker from Providence H.S. (N.C.), verbally committed to Marshall earlier this month.
Colorado State, Purdue, Tennessee and UCF also have offered Fletcher, a 6-1, 244-pound linebacker. The Dr. Krop H.S. (Fla.) standout is rated No. 53 nationallly at his position.
Aiken, a 6-4, 230-pound defensive end from Boyd Anderson H.S. (Fla.), also is receiving interest from Colorado State, North Carolina and Northern Illinois.