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MU Notebook: Dees leans on Jasperse in first start

Nov. 16, 2012 @ 12:05 AM

Last week, Marshall true freshman center Cameron Dees made his first start against UAB.

And when he did, he felt right at home.

That's because he had his good friend and mentor Chris Jasperse right beside him.

Jasperse is the Herd's veteran center, but shifted to right guard last week as Dees made his first start for a Marshall offensive line that has been riddled by injuries.

"It was easy playing next to him. If I messed up a call, he was right there correcting me," Dees said. "My first start, I was thrown in there ready to play. They always tell you to be ready when your number is called."

For Jasperse, it was a fun experience to see his protege get his chance in the lineup and both be on the field for his first start.

However, before that, Jasperse ribbed him a little bit about the situation.

"Me and Cam room together on the road and I was messing with him the night before asking 'Hey, you nervous yet,'" Jasperse said. "He said no, but I told him, 'You're not going to get nervous until the coaches say offense, get ready.'"

Dees was sort of thrown to the fire that is college football from his first snap on Saturday.

UAB came out in a defensive front that featured three down linemen and had the Thundering Herd on its heels a bit while they figured out the scheme.

"All week, we practiced against a four-down front with a shaded nose guard and they came out in odd -- a head-up nose with three down linemen the whole game," Dees said. "It wasn't what we were expecting by far."

Jasperse praised Dees for his reaction to the situation.

"He took it well and I tried to lead him through the way," Jasperse said. "I told him make the snap first, block and we'll go from there."

During player interviews this week, Jasperse walked in after having just left class and Dees had been in the Shewey Building watching tape on Houston.

The two instantly started communicating about what Dees picked up on the tape, whether it was a particular front or the measurables of the guy they will line up against Saturday afternoon.

And after his first start, Dees is much more ready for battle against the Cougars -- no matter whether it is a four-man front or an odd front.

"Starting one and seeing a defense fresh is different," Dees said. "That's going to prepare me better for my next start, no matter when it may be."

THE LAST TIME: Houston has only been to Huntington to take on Marshall one time in the program's history.

Marshall won that game 37-23 in 2008, but that's not what the game is most remembered for.

Houston wide receiver Patrick Edwards suffered a horrific leg injury when he slammed into a cart holding Marshall's band equipment while running through the back of the end zone following a third-quarter pass.

The injury left Edwards with a compound fracture of his right leg.

Luckily, Edwards leg healed completely and he went on to be the 2011 Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year.

He is now a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions and was recently placed on injured reserve.

Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or gtraylor@herald-dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).

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