Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Marshall defensive lineman Marquis Couch (6) and Fermin Silva (9) sprint through a drill as Herd football holds its first practice in full pads on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — For the last few years, Fermin Silva and Marquis Couch have made it a point to take a picture together after the Marshall-FIU game.

In 2019, that picture is going to look a bit different.

That's because prior to 2019, the two high school teammates at Miami Central in Florida have been on opposite sides of the field with Couch at Marshall and Silva with the Panthers.

With Silva now in Huntington as a grad transfer, the two are back to their old high school ways, wreaking havoc in the backfield of the opposition.

"Now, to take pictures and we're both wearing the same jersey again, I would've never imagined that," Silva said. "That's just God's plan to be able to play with a close brother of mine from high school. It's good, it's fun and I can't wait."

Couch said that having Silva on the same defensive line with him again brings a bond that the entire team can feel. Such was seen during Saturday's scrimmage when the two lined up together - Couch in No. 6 and Silva in No. 9 - as bookends of the defensive front for a series.

It is much the same way at the linebacker level as well with Tavante Beckett and Jaquan Yulee having played together in high school at Indian River in Chesapeake, Virginia.

"It's fun that we can bring what we used to have in Miami up here to Huntington and let them see how we did it in high school," Couch said. "I feel like that juice catches on to everybody and everyone will want to go make plays. As far as Beckett and Yulee, they have that energy that can bring out the best in each other to make a play, and we have the same thing. When you have someone who you played with for a long time, you know how they play, but you also know how to get the best out of them."

Couch isn't the only one to take notice of the juice that the high school teammate combinations bring to the table.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday and defensive coordinator Brad Lambert said that a comfort level could be seen out of Beckett and Yulee, who have had a strong week together at their linebacker spots.

"They've known each other a long time and whether they feed off of each other or not, I don't know, but I see two guys who are more confident in what they are doing than what they were a year ago," Holliday said.

"I've been really pleased with Beckett and Yulee - the progress they've made since January," Lambert said. "They're really learning the system and getting zeroed in."

The goal for each group of high school teammates is to utilize that camaraderie and help others forge that bond on the defense.

For a unit that is relatively young, those bonds could serve as a big example, according to Couch.

"All four of us can come together and show them how to do it," Couch said. "We can add that on to the rest of the players and build that strong bond."


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