Student-athletes and coaches who earned all-league honors in 2014-15
Marshall caps championship season with 52-23 win over NIU
Marshall 52, Northern Illinois 23
The Thundering Herd win their first ever C-USA championship.
Western Kentucky 67, Marshall 66 (OT)
A versatile performer, moved from tight end to running back at start of August 2014 camp and not only won the starting job but became one of the nation’s top rushers after being switched primarily as a trusted backfield blocker against the blitz … His 1,767 rushing yards (on 206 carries) ranked No. 2 in MU single-season history, despite Johnson missing most of three games late in the season … Set the MU single-game rushing record with 272 yards in a win over Florida Atlantic … Ranked fifth nationally in rushing (135.9 yards per game) and yards per rush (8.58) … Is playing his third position for the Herd; was a tight end to start MU career, then moved to linebacker for the spring of 2013 before moving back to TE in August camp of 2013 … Nicknamed “Rockhead” for his bruising style of play and blocking ability … Had six career touchdowns in first two seasons, playing as a backup tight end and a fullback in goal-line packages … Has 25 career TDs … Current 8.0 career rushing average is Herd record.
JUNIOR SEASON (2014): A Doak Walker Award semifinalist and All-Conference USA first team selection, Johnson posted 10 rushing games of 100 or more yards, the Marshall record for a major-college season (1953-81 and 1997-present). He tied the school mark set three times by Chris Parker (1993-95) … In addition to his record 272 yards against FAU (Oct. 25), he ran for 198 in a win at Old Dominion (Oct. 4) and 199 in a victory over Rice (Nov. 15) … Had nine 100-yard games in his first 10 before injuries limited his play … Scored 17 rushing TDs, the most for a Herd back since Ahmad Bradshaw’s 19 in 2006 … Was named the Team Offensive MVP … His 1,767 yards ranked second in an MU single season to Parker’s 1,833 in 1995 … Also scored four TDs in his 272-yard game against FAU … Had 19 carries for 20 or more yards, topped by a career-long 75-yarder in a win at UAB. Also had a 71-yard run in a victory at FIU … Averaged at least 7.4 yards per carry in 11 of his 13 games (missed win at Southern Miss with knee injury) … Also caught six passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns and made three tackles … His 19 TDs in 2014 rank in a tie for seventh in a Marshall single season.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2013): Played in all 14 games as a backup tight end, catching 12 passes for 218 yards (18.2 ypc) with two touchdowns, including a 52-yarder in a Conference USA East Division-clinching victory over East Carolina … Played running back in the Herd’s “Cheese” goal-line package, getting five carries for 13 yards and three touchdowns, two of those in the win over ECU and another in the C-USA Championship Game loss at Rice … also made 13 tackles in special teams play.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2012): Made an appearance in 11 games (missed West Virginia game) … Caught three passes for 21 yards, including one for a touchdown against Conference USA foe Memphis (Nov. 3) ... Recorded 11 special teams tackles ... Forced fumble against Tulsa (Oct. 6) ... Moved to linebacker for 2013 preseason camp, but went back to tight end prior to start of season.
HERD FILE: Born July 28, 1993 … Majoring in Sports Management … Favorite all-time football player: Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders ... Also had offer from Virginia … Committed to Herd in late January 2011…. Starred at Richlands (Va.) High School, where as 2011 senior was named the Virginia High School Coaches Association’s Group AA state Offensive Player of the Year. He also made the Group AA All-State first team defense at linebacker, and was the Bristol Herald-Courier’s Defensive Player of the Year and Bluefield Daily Telegraph’s Player of the Year … All-State by Virginia Preps.com … MVP of Virginia-Tennessee All-Star Game … three-time all-region and all-district selection … As a Blue Tornado senior, rushed for 1,376 yards and 23 touchdowns and had 85 solo tackles … For Richlands career, had 216 tackles, 47 TFLs, 16 sacks, 10 FFs, 1 INT, 457 carries, 4,340 yards rushing, 63 rushing TDs, 23 receptions, 399 yards receiving, 6 receiving TDs … As junior in 2010, helped Richlands to Group AA, Division 3 state title game appearance, a 23-17 loss to Poquoson … As a junior, Johnson ran for 1,436 yards and 22 touchdowns despite a pair of early season injuries (dislocated thumb and high ankle sprain).