Freshman offensive lineman Selby shining for Herd
HUNTINGTON -- For nearly four decades, Marshall University football head coach Doc Holliday has operated under the premise that there are few offensive linemen who are ready to jump from high school to college and play immediately.
Yet, one player on his 2013 roster is making him rethink that philosophy this season.
Michael Selby, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman from Washington County (H.S.) in Sandersville, Ga., came into the Thundering Herd program as a true freshman this season. He has worked his way up the depth chart to the point where he is getting nearly the most snaps of the team's guards.
"Selby has been a tremendous surprise as a freshman offensive lineman to go in and play the number of snaps he has played," Holliday said.
In a victory over over UTSA, Selby logged the most snaps at guard, alternating between left and right guard for 61 plays while starters Sebastian Johansson and Alex Schooler were in the 50s.
Selby's progression was aided by his past where Washington County head coach Joel Ingram also coached offensive line. Ingram also had college-level experience, playing at Jacksonville State, so he knew what it took for a player to be ready for the next level.
"My offensive line coach in Washington County was also the head coach and he helped us a lot with technique," Selby said. "That helped me for where I'm at now."
In addition to what Ingram taught him, part of Selby's success was the mindset that he brought to campus.
It didn't matter what the drill was or what was needed, Selby was ready to do what was asked and learn in the meeting rooms as well.
Certainly, he didn't know that would turn into running nearly 50 snaps a game, but he mentally prepared himself to get ready for whatever came his way.
"Coming into Marshall, I had the mindset to help the team any way I could this year," Selby said. "Whether they needed me on scout team or if they need me at guard this week and center next week, I just want to help."
During preseason camp, backup center Cameron Dees had to sit out because of a concussion and the Herd was limited with its options.
Even though Selby had always played guard, he stepped into the backup center role and caught the eye of Herd coaches.
"I've played guard my whole life, but after playing center, I almost like playing center better just because you see everything and you get everyone the assignments," Selby said. "I'm still more comfortable at guard, but after playing center, I'm starting to get the hang of it."
For now, though, Marshall is set at center with Chris Jasperse logging all the snaps this season. However, the coaches realized he could be moved into the rotation to help with guard depth.
That became much more important when Josh Lovell decided to not continue his career, vaulting Selby into the backup guard roles.
There haven't been any freshman jitters for Selby, who now is a seasoned veteran with the year now midway complete.
Selby said he's enjoying his transition to big-time college football and the move from Georgia to West Virginia.
"It's definitely surreal," Selby said. "I'm out there playing Division I football as a freshman. It's pretty crazy, but I've just got to soak it in and take it one step at a time."
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