Herd signs top rated CUSA class

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va Marshall coach Doc Holliday has announced the Thundering Herd's February newcomers in the 2019 football recruiting class, a haul that is ranked Conference USA’s best by Rivals.com. The group features four student-athletes.

Marshall announced 16 early signees in December, just before it defeated USF 38-20 in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, its seventh consecutive bowl triumph and sixth under Holliday.

"We are excited to add these young men to what we believe is an excellent class,” said Holliday. "Securing the right personnel is key to building your football program and we’ve done that today.”

In total, Marshall has two of its newcomers ranked as a four-star prospect and 11 more as three-stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com or 247Sports.com - or some combination of the three.

Below are biographical capsules on each Marshall newcomer that was announced in February:

Esaias Carpenter
Position, Height, Weight: DL, 6-3, 280
School: Butler Community College
Hometown: Wichita, Ks.
Recruited by: J.C. Price

Will have two years of eligibility … Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … Also had offers from Akron, Jacksonville State, Chattanooga, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and has a shuttle time of 4.4 … Posted a squat of 560 pounds and bench press of 360 … Had 43 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss (2.5 sacks) at Butler … Played defensive end and defensive tackle.

TJ Johnson
Position, Height, Weight: DL, 6-6, 240
School: Independence Community College
Hometown: Southfield, Mi.
Recruited by: J.C. Price

Already enrolled at Marshall … Will have two years of eligibility … Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com out of Bradford Academy, when he had offers from Minnesota, Iowa State, Purdue and Miami, Ohio … Also had offers from Memphis, Tulane and UAB while at Independence, where he had 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks, with two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in just seven games last season.

Knowledge McDaniel
Position, Height, Weight: RB, 5-11, 215
School: Braden River
Hometown: Bradenton, Fla.
Recruited by: Pepe Pearson

Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Also had offers from Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Missouri, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, Iowa State, Indiana, Duke, Cincinnati, USF, Southern Miss and UAB … Also played wide receiver at Braden River … Named the Bradenton Herald’s 2017 Offensive Player of the Year.

Dante Walker
Position, Height, Weight: DL, 6-3, 240
School: Cedar Grove
Hometown: Riverdale, Ga.
Recruited by: Pepe Pearson

Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.com … Previously committed to Arkansas … Also had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee … Has a shuttle time of 4.82 seconds with a vertical leap of 27.4 inches … Played defensive end and defensive tackle at in high school … Mother Trinetta Moore played basketball at Florida State where she was team captain.

Below are biographical capsules on each Marshall newcomer that was announced in December:

Micah Abraham
Position, Height, Weight: DB, 5-10, 170
School: East Lake
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Recruited by: Mike Treier

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com … Also had offers from Boston College, USF, Buffalo, UMass, South Dakota and Alabama A&M … Also played wide receiver at East Lake … Competed in track in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay.

Elijah Alston
Position, Height, Weight: DL, 6-3, 250
School: Oscar Smith
Hometown: Chesapeake, Va.
Recruited by: J.C. Price

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Also had offers from James Madison, Norfolk State and Western Carolina … Played both defensive end and defensive tackle at Oscar Smith.

J’Coryan Anderson
Position, Height, Weight: LB, 6-2, 205
School: Fulton
Hometown: Knoxville, Tn.
Recruited by: Greg Adkins

Already enrolled at Marshall … Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com … Also had offers from Tulane, Appalachian State, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Kent State, Liberty, Old Dominion, UAB, UTSA, Western Kentucky, Austin Peay, Chattanooga, Eastern Kentucky, Samford, The Citadel, Samford and Western Carolina … Played middle linebacker, outside linebacker and running back at Fulton … Helped lead team to a 10-2 record, amassing 60 tackles (37 solo) as a senior with a forced fumble, pass breakup and safety to his credit … Also had 264 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

Josh Ball
Position, Height, Weight: OL, 6-8, 350
School: Butler Community College
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.
Recruited by: J.C. Price

Already enrolled at Marshall … Will have two years of eligibility for the Thundering Herd after playing at Butler CC … Four-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com coming out of Stafford High School with offers from Florida State, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, LSU, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Ole Miss, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Old Dominion and Cornell … Was ranked the 19th-best offensive tackle nationally and fifth-best prospect, overall, out of the state of Virginia.

Tristen Bittner
Position, Height, Weight: OL, 6-4, 295
School: Wheeling Park
Hometown: Wheeling, W.Va.
Recruited by: Greg Adkins/Mike Treier

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com, who ranks him as the ninth-best in the state of West Virginia … Has the versatility to play tackle or guard … Also played defensive line at Wheeling Park.

Rashawn Hunter
Position, Height, Weight: S, 6-3, 170
School: Mariner
Hometown: Cape Coral, Fla.
Recruited by: Mike Treier

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com … Also had offers from Iowa State, Virginia and Fordham … As a senior, recorded 42 tackles (31 solo) with two interceptions … Also played quarterback, where he threw for 756 yards and nine touchdowns to go with 882 rushing yards and 15 more scores … Averaged 19.5 yards on four punt returns, which included a 70-yarder for touchdown … Played basketball and competed in track and field at Mariner.

Zack Leininger
Position, Height, Weight: TE, 6-4, 235
School: Dodge City Community College
Hometown: Hugoton, Ks.
Recruited by: Tim Cramsey

Already enrolled at Marshall … Will have two years of eligibility for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com … Listed as the 12th-rated junior college tight end by 247Sports.com … Also participated in track and field in the 100 meters, shot put and discus at Hugoton High School.

Eli Neal
Position, Height, Weight: LB, 6-1, 210
School: White Station
Hometown: Memphis, Tn.
Recruited by: Greg Adkins

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com … Also had offers from Arkansas, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Austin Peay, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State, Jackson State, Mercer, Southeast Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee-Martin and Western Illinois … Played outside linebacker, middle linebacker and running back at White Station … Posted 95 tackles and two interceptions on defense with 750 yards and 12 touchdowns on offense as a senior.

Sidney Porter
Position, Height, Weight: LB, 5-11, 195
School: Cardinal Gibbons
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Recruited by: Mike Treier

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com … Also had offers from Kansas, Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Florida A&M and Tennessee-Martin … Played both free safety and strong safety at Cardinal Gibbons, helping the school win the 2018 5A state title.

Amir Richardson
Position, Height, Weight: WR, 6-2, 205
School: University
Hometown: Morgantown, W.Va.
Recruited by: Dallas Baker/Tim Cramsey

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com, who all listed him as the state’s fifth-best talent … Also had offers from West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Air Force, Army, Cincinnati, Nevada, Temple, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale … Played wide receiver and free safety at University.

Jeremy Smith
Position, Height, Weight: LB, 5-11, 185
School: Jenkins
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Recruited by: Pepe Pearson

Already enrolled at Marshall … Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247sports.com … Also had offers from Tulane, Coastal Carolina and Mercer … Posted a 40 time of 4.63 seconds with a 4.3 shuttle mark … Caught 20 passes for 315 yards and one touchdown as a junior and ran for 177 yards and three more scores out of the backfield … Played defensive back as well … Also competed in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and high jump in track and field at Jenkins.

Broc Thompson
Position, Height, Weight: WR, 6-3, 180
School: Fork Union Military Academy
Hometown: Indianapolis, In.
Recruited by: J.C. Price/Dallas Baker

Already enrolled at Marshall … Also had offers from Ball State, Northern Iowa and Weber State … Played wide receiver and defensive back at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis … Runs the 40 in 4.46 seconds with a 4.01 shuttle and a 37.5-inch vertical leap … Father Ryan played was a 10-year pro in Major League Baseball and won a world title with the New York Yankees … Brother Trevor plays professional basketball overseas.

Juwan Truesdale
Position, Height, Weight: OL, 6-6, 280
School: Myers Park
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Recruited by: Cornell Brown/Greg Adkins

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.com … Also had an offer from Charlotte …. Featured at both tackle and guard at Myers Park, where he also played basketball.

Maurice Underwood
Position, Height, Weight: QB, 6-3, 170
School: Miami Central
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Recruited by: Mike Treier/Tim Cramsey

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Also had offers from Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Howard, Jackson State, Florida A&M and Valdosta State … Played for the same powerhouse Miami Central program that produced Thundering Herd stars Rakeem Cato and Tommy Shuler, along with current defensive lineman Marquis Couch.

Grant Wells
Position, Height, Weight: QB, 6-1, 190
School: George Washington
Hometown: Charleston, W.Va.
Recruited by: Tim Cramsey

Already enrolled at Marshall … Rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Listed by Rivals.com and ESPN.com as the state’s eighth-best talent … Also had offers from Charlotte and Yale … Committed to the Thundering Herd all the way back in October of 2017 … Played baseball at George Washington as well.

Cedrick Wilcox
Position, Height, Weight: RB, 5-11, 185
School: Centennial
Hometown: Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Recruited by: Pepe Pearson/Dallas Baker

Will be a summer enrollee for the Thundering Herd … Also had offers from Charleston Southern, Jacksonville, Samford and Stetson … Rushed for 926 yards (6.4 per carry) at Centennial with 16 total touchdowns as a senior … Had three 100-yard games and a career-best four touchdowns in the regional quarterfinal against Dr. Phillips.

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