HUNTINGTON — Following Saturday’s win over Rice, Marshall football players hit the team plane for a journey that brought them back from Houston to Huntington.
As soon as the Thundering Herd wrapped up its 20-7 victory over the Owls, though, it was back to business for Marshall’s staff members as they embarked on their next road trip — one that took them to several different destinations on the recruiting trail.
“It was great for us, having that game in Houston, that our coaches could fly out from there and go directly to where they were recruiting,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Marshall’s early November bye week is of benefit not only to the players, who get the chance to rest their bodies, but also to Marshall’s staff, who gets a key week out on the road preparing for the future of the team.
With the December signing period now a fixture in college football, Holliday wants his staff to take advantage of every opportunity possible prior to the early signing day. Especially for teams in the mix of their conference championship, the December signing period creates a conundrum that makes maximizing recruiting time during off weeks critical, as Holliday pointed out.
“With this early signing date now — of course, our goal is to be playing Dec. 7 — you have one week and then you have signing day with the bowl preparation and everything that goes along with that,” Holliday said. “You have to get out at some point. We were able to get out a little bit with the first bye and everyone is out this week, with the exception of coach (Tim) Cramsey.
Marshall’s staff may only be out for a couple days — practice resumes on Wednesday — but there may be no two more critical days on the recruiting calendar.
“We may only be able to get on the road two or three days prior to signing day, which is kind of crazy, but that’s the way it is right now,” Holliday said. “Everything has gotten really accelerated.”
Holliday said that, with only two or three days of recruiting time available to the staff, the planning and implementation has to be finalized weeks in advance.
That organization is done in the heart of the season, which is no easy task. Holliday praised recruiting coordinator Mike Treier for his efforts in ensuring that the entire operation runs smoothly.
“Mike Treier does a great job of heading that up,” Holliday said. “That started a month or so ago, about where we were going to go and those types of things. We have areas that we’re really targeting, some of that being junior college kids. We had that all planned out months in advance.”
On Saturday, Marshall’s list of destinations for its staff included Mississippi and Kansas for the junior college players, along with several other recruiting hotbeds for the high school ranks.