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Marshall Football Announces 2012 Recruiting Class

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday

Jan. 31, 2012

Signing Day Central!

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Head Coach Doc Holliday has announced the Thundering Herd's 2012 recruiting class. The class features 30 student-athletes and includes 15 individuals that are already enrolled.

"Our coaching staff and support personnel deserve a lot of the credit for the work that they put in to make this happen," Holliday said. "This is another outstanding recruiting class and I look forward to welcoming these young men into the Marshall Football program."

Marshall's recruiting class has being rated as one of the top two classes in Conference USA and features 12 players from the state of Florida. From a position perspective, Marshall's tight ends are ranked 16th nationally, the defensive backs 30th, the linebackers 32nd and the offensive linemen 47th.

Below are biographical capsules on each Marshall newcomer:

Chris Alston-WR
5'11", 185
Fairfield Central High School (South Carolina)
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Coached By: Reggie Kennedy
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Senior Stats: 33 receptions, 1,154 all-purpose yards, 14 total touchdowns (27.5 yards per touchdown).

Accolades: Class 3A Offensive Back of the Year...Two-time all-region...Shrine Bowl selection.

Eric Ansley-OL
6'6", 280
Riverdale, Georgia
Charles Drew High School (Georgia)
Coached By: Jarrett Laws
Recruited By: Fred Tate

Career Stats: Graded out over 88% in blocking efficiency with 50+ pancake blocks.

Accolades: Selected as Most Outstanding OL at Clayton County Senior Bowl, honorable mention all-state, honorable mention all-county.

Other Offers: Troy, Western Kentucky and Ohio.

Steward Butler-RB
5'10", 170
Lakeland High School (Florida)
Lakeland, Florida
Coached By: William Castle
Recruited By: Todd Hartley & Mike Waugh

Senior Stats: 294 carries, 2,934 yards rushing, 30 touchdowns.

Accolades: Third on the all-time single-season rushing list in Florida state history...Broke numerous Lakeland High School rushing records previously held by Florida's Chris Rainey.

Other Offers: Arizona State, West Virginia, Boston College, South Florida, Cincinnati, Rutgers and UCF.

Matt Cincotta-LS
6'0", 220
Charlotte Catholic High School (North Carolina)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Coached By: Jim Oddo
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Career Stats: 213 Tackles, 6.5 Sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two blocked punts, one interception.

Other Accolades: NC/SC Shrine Bowl All-Star participant...Two-time first-team all-conference.

Tyler Combs-OL
6'5", 275
Lawrence County High School (Kentucky)
Louisa, Kentucky
Coached By: Joey Cecil
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Career Stats: Blocked for an offense averaging over 450 yards per game...Amassed 100+ pancake Blocks.

Accolades: Four-year starter, two-time all-state, three-time all-county.

Cameron Dees-OL
6'2", 280
Armwood High School (Florida)
Seffner, Florida
Coached By: Sean Callahan
Recruited By: Bill Legg

Career Stats: Graded out at 90% blocking efficiency as a three-year starter, while tallying 40+ pancakes as a senior.

Accolades: Led team as captain to perfect 15-0 record and #9 Ranking in Final USA Today Poll...First-team all-county, second-team all-state & two-time all-conference.

Other Offers: Florida International, New Mexico, Ohio, Western Michigan and Ball State.

Steve Dillon-DL
6'3", 275
Palmdale High School (California)
Palmdale, California
Coached By: Jeff Williams
Recruited By: Mike Waugh

Stats: 74 Tackles, 9 Sacks, 20 TFLs, 3 FFs, 1 FR, 6 PBUs.

Accolades: First-team all-conference and all-region.

Other Offers: USC, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, Iowa State, Utah, Colorado State and New Mexico.

Marcus Gilchrist-DL
6'4", 240
Port Charlotte High School (Florida)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Coached By: David Hoffer
Recruited By: Bill Legg

Senior Stats: 63 Tackles, 10 TFLs, 9 Sacks, 9 QB Pressures, 7 PBUs, 3 FFs & 2 FR.

Accolades: First-team all-conference and all-county.

Other Offers: Kentucky, Purdue, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.

Stefone Grace-SAF
6'3", 200
Milford Academy (Connecticut) via North College Hill High School (Ohio)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Coached By: Bill Chaplick & Bruce Baarendse
Recruited By: Mike Waugh

Senior Stats: 51 tackles, 20 TFL, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 3 FFs, 1 FR, 1 DEF TD, 1 KR TD.

Accolades: First-team all-city, all-state honorable mention, East vs. West Ohio All-Star Game participant.

Other Offers: Toledo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Ball State, Eastern Michigan.

Kevin Grooms-RB
5'10", 165
South Broward High School (Florida)
Hollywood, Florida
Coached By: Allen Held
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider & Mike Waugh

Career Stats: 2,909 yards rushing, 36 rushing TDs, 6 PR TDs, 316 receiving yards, 4 TDs receiving.

Accolades: Two-time All-State...ESPN 150 Recruit...Ranked as a Top RB in the nation.

Other Offers: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Louisville and Rutgers

Chris Hall-TE
6'4", 230
Fork Union Military Academy (Virginia)
Fork Union, Virginia
Coached By: Billy Mills
Recruited By: Mike Waugh

Career Stats: 4,849 yards passing, 2,023 Yards rushing & 75 total TDs.

Accolades: Two-time all-district, second-team All-State, District Player of the Year.

Other Offers: Virginia Tech & Virginia.

Deyonte Henderson-LB
6'0", 215
Oak Ridge High School (Florida)
Orlando, Florida
Coached By: Eli Williams
Recruited By: Todd Hartley

Career Stats: 397 tackles, 29 sacks, 7 INTs

Accolades: Second-team all-state & four-time Central Florida Defensive Player of the Week

Other Offers: Washington State, Temple, New Mexico, Florida Atlantic

Gunnar Holcombe-QB
6'2", 185
University School (Florida)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Coached By: Roger Harriott
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Senior Stats: 66% completion rate, 2,305 yards passing, 29 TDs, 126.5 QB Rating.

Accolades: First-team all-area, second-team all-state, Nike Dade vs Miami All-Star Game.

Other Offers: South Florida, Indiana, Western Michigan and Buffalo.

Devon Johnson-LB
6'2", 209
Richlands High School (Virginia)
Richlands, Virginia
Coached By: Greg Mance
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Career Stats: 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.

Accolades: Three-time first-team all-district and all-region, two-time first-team all-state, two-time BDT/Pocahontas Coal Association Player of the Year, MVP of Virginia/Tennessee All-Star Game.

Other Offers: Virginia, Kentucky & Louisville.

AJ Leggett-CB
6'0", 175
South Miami High School (Florida)
Miami, Florida
Coached By: Lamont Green
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Senior Stats: 68 tackles, 4 INTs, 1,600 all-purpose yards and 15 total TDs.

Accolades: Rated #9 CB in the country, Super 75 selection in state of Florida, first-team all-county, Nike South Florida All-Star Game participant, Nike Miami-Dade vs. South Florida All-Star Game participant.

Other Offers: Alabama, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee and UCF.

Joe Massaquoi-DL
6'5", 230
T.C. Williams High School (Virginia)
Alexandria, Virginia
Coached By: Dennis Randolph
Recruited By: Gerad Parker & Mike Waugh

Stats: 20 tackles and four sacks in four games as a senior due to minor knee injury.

Accolades: Regional Rumble All-Star Game participant.

Josh Murriel-OL
6'5", 302
Port St. Lucie High School (Florida)
Port St. Lucie, Florida
Coached By: Hilary Poole
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Senior Stats: Led an offensive line that blocked for a unit averaging 376 passing yards and 258 rushing yards per game.

Accolades: First-team all-area and first-team all-county.

Other Offers: Florida Atlantic, Memphis and New Mexico State.

Gage Niemeyer-OL
6'6", 305
Mount San Jacinto C.C. (California)
San Jacinto, California
Coached By: Casey Mazzotta
Recruited By: Fred Tate & Gerad Parker

Junior College Stats: 92% grade in blocking efficiency and no sacks allowed.

Accolades: CCCAA All-Conference and Team MVP.

Other Offers: Nevada and New Mexico State.

DeAndre Reaves-WR
5'10", 180
Dominion High School (Virginia)
Sterling, Virginia
Coached By: Kyle Buckwalter
Recruited By: Gerad Parker & Mike Waugh

Senior Stats: 1,780 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns.

Accolades: Second-team All-Metro.

Other Offers: West Virginia and Maryland.

Rakim Reed-TE
6'4", 210
Fork Union Military Academy (Virginia) via Canton Timken High School (Ohio)
Canton, Ohio
Coached By: John Shuman & Kevin Henderson
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Senior Stats: 42 catches, 657 yards receiving, 8 TDs receiving, 1 rush TD.

Accolades: First-team all-conference and honorable mention all-county.

Other Offers: Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Ryan Riedel-LB
6'0", 230
Cabell Midland High School (West Virginia)
Huntington, West Virginia
Coached By: Luke Salmons
Recruited By: Bill Legg

Career Stats: 305 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, 15 sacks.

Accolades: Led the state of West Virginia in tackles as a senior...First-team all-state and all-conference.

Billy Rone-OL
6'4", 290
Glendale C.C. (Arizona)
Glendale, Arizona
Coached By: John Rome
Recruited By: Gerad Parker

Junior College Stats: Blocked for a unit that amassed 5,000+ total yards and ranked 15th nationally in the NJCAA.

Accolades: First-team All-Conference.

Other Offers: Mississippi State, Purdue, Indiana, East Carolina, SMU, Utah State, Western Kentucky and Akron.

Shawn Samuels-SAF
6'1", 180
Bainbridge High School (Georgia)
Bainbridge, Georgia
Coached By: Ed Pilcher
Recruited By: Mike Waugh

Stats: 54 tackles, 7 INTs, 12 PBUs, 2 PR TDs & 3 KR TDs.

Accolades: First-team all-state and all-conference.

Other Offers: Arkansas, UCF & UAB.

Andre Scott-SAF
5'11", 175
Oak Ridge High School (Florida)
Orlando, Florida
Coached By: Eli Williams
Recruited By: Todd Hartley

Career Stats: 93 tackles, 7 INTs, 7 sacks, 2,972 yards passing, 1,600 yards rushing, 851 yards receiving, 28 Total TDs.

Accolades: Central Florida Athlete of the Year, second-team all-state, seven-Time Central Florida Player of the Week

Other Offers: Arkansas, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Washington State, Florida International, UCF, Memphis, Temple and Ball State.

Ken Smith-DL
6'4", 285
Blinn C.C. (Texas)
Copperas Cove, Texas
Coached By: Ronnie Feldman
Recruited By: Fred Tate

Junior College Stats: 32 Tackles, 11 Sacks, 12 TFLs

Accolades: SWJCFC All-Conference

Other Offers: Colorado State, Ohio & Buffalo

Gary Thompson-LB
6'3", 206
Helix High School (California)
La Mesa, California
Coached By: Troy Starr
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider & Gerad Parker

Senior Stats: 55 Tackles, 18 TFLs, 14 Sacks, 23 QB Hurries & 3 FFs

Accolades: All-City, All-Conference, All-County, Prepstar California Classic All-Star Game Participant

Corey Tindal-DB
5'10", 175
Atlanta Sports Academy (Georgia) via Boyd Anderson High School (Florida)
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
Coached By: Damon Dawson & Mark James
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Senior Stats: 20 Tackles, 2 INTs, 187 Carries for 1,300 Yards and 15 Total TDs.

Accolades: 1st Team All-County, UnderArmour Dade vs Broward All-Star Game Participant

Other Offers: Maryland, Minnesota, Florida International, Western Kentucky, Toledo & Bowling Green

Kent Turene-LB
6'3", 230
Atlanta Sports Academy (Georgia) via Boyd Anderson High School (Florida)
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Coached By: Damon Dawson & Mark James
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Career Stats: 230 Tackles, 20 sacks, 4 INTs, 8 FFs

Accolades: PrepStar All-American, 1st Team All-State

Other Offers: Amassed over 50 offers including Georgia, LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio State, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Clint Van Horn-OL
6'5", 305
Woodrow Wilson High School
Beckley, West Virginia
Coached By: John Lilly
Recruited By: Bill Legg

Senior Stats: 87% Blocking Efficiency and 32 Pancakes

Accolades: 1st Team All-State

Deontae West-CB
5'10", 170
Hialeah High School (Florida)
Hollywood, Florida
Coached By: Mark Berman
Recruited By: JaJuan Seider

Career Stats: 91 tackles and 11 interceptions.

Accolades: Miami-Dale all-county, Miami-Dade North/South All-Star Game.

Other Offers: Texas Tech, Duke, Florida Atlantic, Toledo and Western Michigan.