Kersey going green
HUNTINGTON -- After coming from Penn State to the Marshall Thundering Herd football team wide receiver Shawney Kersey said switching from a dark blue jersey of the Nittany Lions to a kelly green jersey felt natural.
"Oh, I like being in green," Kersey said. "Green's the color of money. Who doesn't like green?"
Kersey hopes to be the "money man" at the X receiver position for Marshall this year after the graduation of four-year X receiver Aaron Dobson, who is likely to make some of that green Kersey spoke of after he is selected in the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Kersey said he has watched film of Dobson from last year on several occasions with coaches, and it motivates him daily to reach his potential.
"It's real exciting and much respect to Aaron Dobson," Kersey said. "He did a great job here and the coaches use a lot of his film to show me what they want me to do and what they'd like me to do differently, too. It puts pressure on me and makes me want to be better than he was here."
The statement was not made in jest to Dobson. Instead, it was just a show of Kersey's mindset.
He wants to be the best on the field, regardless of who is playing and he wants to keep working until he achieves that.
Kersey said having some familiar faces around -- particularly former Penn State receiver Devon Smith who transferred to Marshall last year -- was a big reason why he landed at Marshall.
"That was really a strong point of the decision of where I wanted to transfer to," Kersey said. "We both played wide out together at Penn State for four years. It's good to see familiar faces when you're a new guy."
Marshall wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said this spring is going to be a lot for Kersey to handle because there is so much to learn in such a little time.
He sees plenty of potential in his new deep threat, though.
"Kersey is so raw," Furrey said. "He can fly, but he's so raw. I don't think anyone has ever really sat him down and taught him how to play the game to use the ability he's been given while adding the wrinkles that will allow his ability to shine a little bit more. That's what we're going to working on with him."
Kersey is also charged with ingesting a new playbook, learning the on-field language used for calls, getting used to a hyper-speed tempo of play and building chemistry with the quarterbacks.
It's all part of being the new guy and Kersey admits it can be a bit overwhelming at first.
"Big ups to the playbook at Marshall because right now, it has me a little stooped," Kersey said. "I'm starting to get things right and it's coming along. It's definitely a very, very fast offense. It's somewhat similar to what I came from with (coach) Bill O'Brien at Penn State, but it's a lot quicker. We do it all the time here, too; it's not just a tempo that we use at times."
Perhaps the spring is the best initiator to the new system for Kersey because like the style of play, the spring practice period goes fast.
It's forcing him into a trial-by-fire scenario in which he has to move quickly to keep up.
Now that he's getting adapted to the schemes and language, he is moving into the next phase of his learning process.
"Getting comfortable with the quarterbacks is crucial," Kersey said. "This spring is really the first time I've caught balls from them so the main thing is building a chemistry with all the quarterbacks -- not just (Rakeem) Cato, all of them."
Kersey and his teammates hit the practice field at 3:30 p.m. Thursday for the fifth of 15 sessions this spring before taking part in the first scrimmage at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.
Tickets on sale for spring game April 27
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall's football spring game is April 27 at 2 p.m. in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 17 and younger. Purchase on game day, by phone at 304-696-4373 or online at HerdZone.com.
Game seating will be general admission on the west side of the stadium only.
Choose-A-Seat begins at 10 a.m. with customer service representatives available to assist potential season ticket buyers.
Parking lots open at 9 a.m. Parking on the West Lot, Softball and Annex lots is $20 and can be purchased in advance at the Athletic Ticket Office.
-- The Herald-Dispatch
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