Chuck Landon: MU mines mid-year recruiting gold mine
The concept is called "mid-year enrollees."
And it is really paying dividends for Marshall's football program.
Two years ago, the Herd picked up defensive back Corey Tindal and linebacker Kent Turene via that route. Although Turene suffered an ankle injury that eventually required surgery and sidelined him for most of the 2013 season, Tindal sparkled.
The 5-foot-9, 173-pound redshirt freshman starred at nickelback, accumulating 55 tackles including five for loss, six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Tindal played so well he was selected as Conference USA's Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the award with Tulane linebacker Nico Marley.
Then in 2013, four more recruits enrolled for the spring semester. They included linebacker Stefan Houston, wide receiver Angelo Jean-Louis, quarterback Kevin Anderson and wide receiver Deontay McManus.
Again, the mid-year concept paid off as Houston had 38 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and started two games. The 6-4, 220-pound true freshman was named to C-USA's All-Freshman team.
As for the other three, Anderson was redshirted while Jean-Louis and McManus sat out the year as academic non-qualifiers. All three will be participating in spring practice.
Based on all that success is it any wonder Marshall revisited the mid-year concept again?
That's why four more new recruits enrolled at Marshall in January. Here's a look at the quartet.
Malik Thompson -- The 6-6, 246-pound defensive end was offered a scholarship by N.C. State as a senior at Edgewater High School in Orlando, Fla., and appeared to be headed to the Wolfpack.
Instead, he enrolled at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy to work on his academics. Thompson also slimmed down in prep school, dropping nearly 30 pounds from his high school playing weight of 275.
Cole Garvin -- The 6-1, 196-pound quarterback was the quintessential winner at prep powerhouse Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga.
He led Sandy Creek to the Class AAAA state championship in 2012, then to an 11-0-1 record in 2013 before getting upset in the state playoffs.
A.J. Addison -- Think this 6-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Fork Union is big now? When Addison played at Fredericksburg (Va.) Christian High School as a senior in 2012, he weighed a hefty 330 pounds.
Addison started at left tackle for three years in high school and could provide some much-needed help at that problem position for Marshall. He probably will get that opportunity during spring practice.
If Addison is a quick study, it will be another example of Marshall finding a prospect other major colleges overlooked.
"I had six Division I-AA offers," Addison told The Free Lance Star, a newspaper in Fredericksburg, Va. "But Marshall was my first Division I-A offer. They told me they have four seniors on the offensive line who are graduating, so I'm going to go in and compete for a spot."
Jason Smith -- The 6-3, 270-pound defensive tackle comes to Marshall from East Coast Prep (Mass.) after starring at Hackensack (N.J.) High School. Smith was once committed to UMass and also had scholarship offers from Akron and Ohio.
Another spring semester, another recruiting haul for Marshall.
Don't be surprised if the mid-year concept is here to stay.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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