Grant Traylor: Taylor is named to Hendricks Watch List
HUNTINGTON -- Once upon a time, Marshall defensive end Jeremiah Taylor was a walk-on to the football program.
Now, he's receiving accolades for being one of the top defensive ends in the country.
On Monday, Taylor was one of 22 players nationally named to the Ted Hendricks Award Watch List.
Taylor was one of only two Conference USA players named to the list, which is named in honor of Ted Hendricks and celebrates the nation's best defensive end.
The 6-4, 255-pounder from South Point was joined on the list by Louisiana Tech defensive end IK Enemkpali, who will be new to Conference USA in 2013.
Taylor was a defensive captain in 2012 and finished with 54 tackles, which included 8.5 tackles for loss and a team-leading 5.5 sacks. He also blocked two kicks, forced a pair of fumbles and had a fumble recovery in 2012.
While the Hendricks Award is based largely on merit on the field, part of the criteria for the award goes beyond what is done statistically.
The intangibles, such as attitude, leadership, contributions to school and community and academics are also taken into account for the award participants, who are selected by the Ted Hendricks Foundation selection committee.
That committee includes members of the media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners.
NUMBERS GAME: Marshall had eight players switch their numbers for the start of fall camp.
On offense, number switches were running backs Remi Watson (from No. 35 to No. 8) and Essray Taliaferro (No. 42 to No. 16), as well as wide receivers Devon Smith (No. 33 to No. 11) and DeAndre Reaves (No. 32 to No. 19).
Defensively, four secondary members now have new numbers: Keith Baxter (from No. 8 to No. 5), Darryl Roberts (from No. 39 to No. 7), Corey Tindal (from No. 19 to No. 10) and Taj Letman (from No. 30 to No. 17).
LOCAL PLAYERS: Several local players also made their initial appearances in a Marshall uniform during the morning session.
Offensively, former Cabell Midland standout Cody Carter joined the team after transferring from the University of Charleston while former Knight Josh Baisden also is on the team as a walk-on offensive lineman.
Huntington High's Mark Shaver has also walked on to the program as a safety.
Shady Spring quarterback Adam Weeks also has walked on to the team.
DIDN'T MAKE IT: Several high-end recruits from the Class of 2013 are likely to end up being academic non-qualifiers and will sit out as props this season.
The list includes wide receivers Angelo Jean-Louis and Deontay McManus, defensive backs Shykeem Pitts and Chocolate Wilson and running backs Tony Pittman and Brandon Byrd.
Defensive lineman Gerald Wright will greyshirt this season.
Carter and University of Miami transfer Ricardo Williams also have to sit out 2013 as transfers.
Grant Traylor covers Marshall football for The Herald-Dispatch. He can be reached by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (304) 526-2860. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).
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