HUNTINGTON - When Marshall University wrapped up spring football practice at the end of April, Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday said he might be adding a couple pieces in the coming weeks.
On Monday, one of those pieces became known.
Fermin Silva, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end and linebacker from FIU, announced on social media that he will use his final year of eligibility at Marshall.
"I know this process hasn't been easy for me but I want to start off by thanking my family and brothers and coaches that help me get through this and mostly the man above for giving me another opportunity to do what I love to do the most," Silva's social media message read. "With that being said I will like to announce that I will be attending Marshall University for my last year. I will like to thank coach Doc Holiday and his staff for giving me this opportunity. I'm very thankful (sic)."
In 2018, Silva made the switch from defensive end to linebacker, but played in only four games before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury. Silva played as a true freshman in 2015, which enabled him to still have a redshirt year at his disposal.
After utilizing 2018 as his redshirt year for medical reasons, Silva announced his intention to enter the NCAA's transfer portal in January.
On April 20, Silva visited Marshall during a spring intra-squad scrimmage session and later committed to the Herd.
Silva brings versatility and a wealth of experience to the Herd defense after seeing four years of action at FIU.
Silva has appeared in 38 career games with 25 starts, amassing 110 tackles with 23 tackles for loss, including 14.5 quarterback sacks. He also has 10 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery to his credit.
During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Silva was considered one of the better defensive ends in Conference USA - especially in the 2017 season when he tallied 50 tackles with 14 tackles for loss, including seven sacks and six quarterback hurries.
Because of graduation losses, Silva was moved to outside linebacker in 2018, but injured his Achilles in the Panthers' 55-9 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, thus ending his season.
Silva's ability to play multiple positions is beneficial for Marshall as the Herd looks to replace nearly its entire linebacking corps.
The likelihood is Silva will either play at the FOX position - a defensive end/linebacker hybrid in the Marshall scheme - or he will be a defensive end.
With Marshall's Darius Hodge moving from defensive end to linebacker in the final two weeks of spring practice, Silva adds another potential piece to the Herd puzzle to get the top available talent within the multiple-scheme look in defensive assistant coach Brad Lambert's front seven in 2019.
Silva is the second graduate transfer to commit to Marshall for the 2019 season, joining former University of Kentucky wide receiver Tavon Richardson.