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Herd staff gets Christmas gifts

Dec. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While Marshall's players were beaming over their PlayStation 4s that they received on Wednesday afternoon, Marshall's football staff was likely celebrating the gifts they received this week as well.

Marshall snagged four commitments during the Christmas week who will look to help sustain the success that the program has seen in 2013.

The four commitments are cornerback Stanley Dye, offensive lineman A.J. Addison and defensive linemen Malik Thompson and Jason Smith.

Dye was the Herd's Christmas gift after committing on Christmas morning.

He's a 5-9, 165-pound cornerback from Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, Fla. He committed to Marshall over several Conference USA offers, including Middle Tennessee, Florida International, UTSA and UAB. In addition to those schools, he also had interest from Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia.

At Ridgeview, he intercepted three passes this season while also catching eight touchdown passes as a receiver.

Addison is a 6-7, 290-pound offensive tackle who has spent the last year at Fork Union Military Academy.

In the last year, Addison has dropped 40 pounds from 330 to 290 in an effort to reconfigure his body and gain speed.

Look for him to enroll for the spring semester even though he cannot sign with the Herd until National Signing Day on Feb. 5.

Over the years, Fork Union Military Academy has been good to Marshall's program and such is the case once again this season as Malik Thompson, a teammate of Addison's at FUMA, has also decided to commit to Marshall.

Thompson is a 6-6, 246-pound strongside defensive end prospect who is originally from Edgewater High School in Orlando, Fla.

Coming out of Edgewater, Thompson had an offer from N.C. State and interest from Florida State, Louisville, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee.

He went to Fork Union to concentrate on academics and Miami (Fla.) had stayed with him, but he decided on Christmas Eve to verbally agree to join the Herd instead.

In addition to Thompson, the Herd landed another defensive line commitment this week when defensive tackle Jason Smith from East Coast Prep (Mass.) gave the word.

Smith is a 6-3, 270-pound defensive tackle who had offers from Akron and Ohio.

Originally from Hackensack High School in New Jersey, Smith had 31 tackles as a senior.

FEEL THE THUNDER: On Christmas evening, Marshall's band, the "Marching Thunder", started their trek up to Washington, D.C., for Friday's contest.

The band left around 5 p.m. from Huntington and was scheduled to make it into the Washington, D.C., area around midnight.



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