--Marshall made three changes on its coaching staff, with the most intriguing addition the hire of Lytrel Pollard to coach cornerbacks. Pollard is a veteran of Conference USA, spending nine seasons at Southern Miss and two at Memphis before serving as defensive coordinator of Tennessee-Martin, an FCS team, in 2011.
The Herd also hired Geep Wade, who will coach the offensive guards and centers. The addition of Wade shifts the position-coach duties of offensive coordinator Bill Legg, who now instructs the offensive tackles and tight ends.
Marshall also has a new defensive line coach in J.C. Price, who spent the previous eight years coaching at James Madison.
--The Herd signed 30 players in their 2012 recruiting class, the largest total haul in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision. Half of that sizable contingent already is enrolled at Marshall and consists of junior-college transfers, grayshirts and players who were academic non-qualifiers at other schools. The latter category includes RB Kevin Grooms, who was bound for Miami; DT Steve Dillon, who originally signed with USC; and DB/KR Shawn Samuels, initially an Arkansas signee.
WR Aaron Dobson -- Coach Doc Holliday waited mere minutes after the Herd's win over FIU in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl to anoint Dobson as the face of the program before 2012. That was before Dobson submitted his paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory board to get an evaluation of his status as a pro prospect. Dobson eventually decided to return, and it's a huge boost to get both his leadership and his production -- Dobson tallied 668 receiving yards and 12 TDs last season.
S Donald Brown -- Kicked off the team last year following an arrest on domestic violence charges, Brown remained in school on his own dime in 2011 and was allowed to rejoin the team for offseason conditioning and is listed on the spring roster. Though not fully reinstated to the team and currently under a zero-tolerance policy, he could be a real boon to the back end of the defense, where there's zero experience returning at safety. Brown started every game at safety in 2010 and could factor there or as a nickel back.
QB Rakeem Cato -- After beginning his collegiate career as the starting quarterback, then losing the job only to regain it and finish out the stretch, Cato is trying to lock down full command of the position this spring. The bad news is that Cato currently has literally next to no competition. Blake Frohnapfel, who's still recuperating from shoulder surgery, is the only other QB taking snaps during spring drills.
LB Devin Arrington -- If Marshall wanted to hold a senior meeting for its defensive players, it would be a small session. Arrington is the solitary senior on that side of the ball. The linebacker was forced to play safety out of necessity last season, but he is headed back to his natural position. The coaches hope it's a fairly quick transition for Arrington, especially given the pass-happy offenses that populate Conference USA.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I don't think you have to be a senior to lead. One of the greatest leaders I've ever been around was Philip Rivers. He walked on campus at N.C. State when he was a freshman and became the leader of that football team. I constantly talk about it." -- Marshall head coach Doc Holliday
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