Marshall Football Announces 2009 Signing Class

Feb. 4, 2009

Huntington, W.Va. -

Marshall University Head Football Coach Mark Snyder announced Wednesday that the Thundering Herd signed 21 players to National Letters of Intent. Marshall already has three mid-year enrollees on campus that bring the 2009 class total to 24 student-athletes.

“This is a great group and I am confident that these young men will add a great deal to our program on and off the field,” Snyder said. “In addition to their God-given talent and football abilities, these young men have great character and will represent Marshall University well. One common denominator for this class is the speed factor. We recruited great athletes with excellent speed at all positions.”

Marshall’s recruiting class includes players from 10 different states, including two Mountain State products. Speed is a common thread throughout the class. Six of the signees have sub-4.5 second times in the 40-meter dash; among them are Huntington High product C.J. Crawford and South Charleston standout Aaron Dobson.

“I cannot say enough about our coaching staff and the great job they did in recruiting these young men. This is a dynamic class,” Snyder said. “We sought out athletes that were the right fit for our program in terms of character and accomplishment and I am proud that we were able to bring in several local products that will help us continue to move the program in a positive direction.”

The Thundering Herd met its needs with the class, targeting offensive linemen, receivers and quarterbacks on the offensive side of the ball and focusing mostly on linebackers and linemen on defense.

“On the offensive side of the ball, we addressed our needs along the line by signing four quality young men up front,” Snyder said. “We also met our need at wide receiver and quarterback.”

“Defensively, we signed a good group of linemen and linebackers that have good size and great speed off the ball,” Snyder said. “We also went out at brought in a pair of safeties and a cornerback to bolster those spots.”



Biographical Information on Each Signee Follows:

Marques Aiken

DE - 6’4” 230 - Boyd Anderson HS - Lauderhill, FL

Recruited by: Mark Gale

Recorded 64 tackles, 12 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and forced two fumbles as a senior…First-Team All-District, All-State Honorable Mention, and Nike All-Star Game Participant…has been timed with a 4.6 40 yard dash…Coached by Mark James at Boyd Anderson.. Chose Marshall over Colorado State and North Carolina.

Cartavious Baldwin

S - 6’1” 182 - Glades Central HS - Belle Glade, FL

Recruited by: Mike Cassity

Recorded 48 Tackles, 7 interceptions, 12 pass breakups and had two fumble returns as a senior at Glades Central where he was coached by Jessie Hester... a first Team All-Area and All-Conference selection…also recruited by Troy.

Zakee Bashir

LB-6’1” 209 - Walnut Ridge HS - Blacklick, OH

Recruited by: Rick Minter

Recorded 73 Tackles, 4.5 Sacks, 8 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble returns, 8 pass breakups, and 2 blocked kicks last season...A first-team Columbus City League and honorable mention all-district pick…an Army All-American Finalist...recorded 56 tackles and nine sacks as a junior…coached by Byron Mattox at Walnut Ridge.

Trevor Black

LB-6’2” 200 - West Mecklenburg HS - Charlotte, NC

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

Credited with 121 Tackles, two interception (including one returned for a touchdown) and four forced fumbles last season…Named the Queen City Conference Defensive Player of the Year…A two-time first-team All-Queen City Conference selection and two-time team MVP…A second-team All-Mecklenburg County selection…has been timed with a 4.6 40-yard dash…coached by Mark Harmon...also recruited by Duke, North Carolina, NC State, and Appalachian State.

Wayne Bonner

WR -6’4” 210 - East Mississippi C.C. - Milledgeville, GA

Recruited by: Jared Smith

Recorded 23 Catches for 457 yards and seven touchdowns at East Mississippi Community College… Played with fellow signee Press Taylor at Butler County C.C. his freshman season and signed with Marshall during the JUCO signing period and is already enrolled…Coached by Buddy Stevens…recruited by South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, and Western Michigan out of high school.

Andre Booker

RB-5’10” 172 - Riverview HS - Sarasota, FL

Recruited by: Todd Goebbel

Rushed for 1,480 Yards and 23 touchdowns last season…a second-team All-State, first-team All-District, first-team All-Area and four-time Sarasota Tribune Player of the Week…standout athletes who qualified for state track meet in four events, placed 3rd in the 4X100 m relay and 200 m individual, also participated in high and intermediate hurdles… has been timed with a 4.4 40-yard dash…Coached by John Sprague…Also recruited by UCF, West Virginia and South Florida.

Donald Brown

S-6’1” 190 - Frostproof HS - Frostproof, FL

Recruited by: Mike Cassity

Credited with more than 100 tackles as a junior and senior at Frostproof…A Second-team all-state and first team all-county pick as a junior and senior…helped his basketball team to two consecutive Final Fours and also lettered in track…Coached by Brad McThenney…Also recruited by West Virginia, South Florida and Arkansas.

C.J. Crawford

WR-6’2” 200 - Huntington HS - Huntington, WV

Recruited by: John Shannon

An All-State selection that recorded more than 3,200 all-purpose yards and more than 25 touchdowns in his last two prep seasons …rated as the top prospect in West Virginia by several recruiting services…has been timed with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash…coached by Zack Wilson…chose Marshall over Purdue, Wake Forest and Arkansas.

Aaron Dobson

WR-6’3” 185 - South Charleston HS - Dunbar, WV

Recruited by: John Shannon

A standout performer at South Charleston…recorded 45 receptions for 1298 yards and 17 touchdowns last season and added seven interceptions on defense…A first-team all-state selection in football and basketball…has been timed with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash…Coached by John Messinger…also recruited by Hofstra, Delaware, West Virginia and Wake Forest.

Troy Evans

WR -5’9” 205 - Laney College - Oakland, CA

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

Recorded 72 Carries for 586 yards and 12 TDs in 2008...added 32 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns with 1056 Return yards… A first-team All- Golden Gate Conference selection... Tallied 49 Carries for 500 yards and eight rushing touchdowns and was named a first-team JC All-American as a kick returner in 2007…has been timed with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash…Coached by Jay Uchiumi…also recruited by Arizona, Washington State, Utah, Utah State, Hawaii, Houston.

Quanthony Fletcher

LB-6’1” 245 - Dr. Krop - HS Miami, FL

Recruited by: Mark Gale

Rated as the No. 9 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPNU, and among the top linebackers in the country by several recruiting services…Recorded 148 Tackles, seven sacks, 36 tackles for loss and forced seven fumbles as a senior... First-Team All-Dade County, second-team all-state, pre-season All-American…selected to play in the Dade vs. Broward County All-Star Game…coached by David Hudson. ...also recruited by Colorado State, UCF, Tennessee and Purdue.

A.J. Graham

QB - 6’4” 194 - Goby HS - Tallahassee, FL

Recruited by: Mike Cummings

Completed 244 of 396 (61.6%) passes for 3,870 yards and 38 touchdowns passing with a school record in completions, attempts, yards passing and touchdowns. … also added 564 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing…the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football Player of the Year and the Florida Class 3A Player of the Year…A Class 3-A First-Team All-State selection…Big Bend District Player of the Year and first-team All-Big Bend District…Led his team to the Class 3A State Championship game…coached by Shelton Crews…chose Marshall over Clemson, Illinois and Kansas State.

Colton Griffis

DT - 6’4” 300 - Big Walnut HS - Sunbury, OH

Recruited by: Rick Minter

Registered more than 100 tackles, double-digit sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception as a prep senior…. led his team to the Division 2 State Title and was selected as a first-team All-Ohio Capital Conference player as a junior...coached by Scott Wetzel at Big Walnut High School.

Jordan Jeffries

OL - 6’7” 298 - Oswego HS - Oswego, IL

Recruited by: Mike Cummings

Anchored the offensive line for a very productive offense at Oswego…An all-state honorable mention selection and Illinois East-West Shrine Game Participant…coached by David Keely…also recruited by Arizona, Purdue, Illinois State, Harvard, Princeton and Penn.

Jake Laudenslayer

QB - 6’3” 225 - Mendocino College - Modesto, CA

Recruited by: Mark Gale

Passed for 2,880 yards and 30 touchdowns last season and rushed for 294 yards and a score...a first-team all-conference selection... Earned first-team all-state and was the conference MVP in 2007…coached by Thomas Gang at Mendocino College…signed with Marshall in the JUCO signing period and is already enrolled.

Monterius Lovette

CB - 5’10” 168 - Rickards HS - Tallahassee, FL

Recruited by: Mike Cassity

Recorded 160+ tackles and six interceptions at Rickards High…a 4-year starter for coach Rudy Hubbard…also recruited by Florida, Florida State, UCF and USF.

Darrell Martin

OL - 6’5” 305 - Martin Luther King, Jr. HS - Lithonia, GA

Recruited by: Todd Goebbel

A mainstay on the offensive line that led the way for an offense that rushed for more than 2,700 yards last season…a Georgia Region 2-AAAAA selection and a Dekalb County All-Star Game Captain…coached by Corey Jarvis.

Matt Pickett

LB - 6’2” 215 - Providence HS - Charlotte, NC

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

Recorded 115 Tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and returned an interception for a touchdown last season...maintains a 3.8 GPA and is coached by Randy Long…picked Marshall over Air Force and Elon.

Michael Rhynes

WR - 6’5” 205 - Independence HS - Charlotte, NC

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

Caught 22 passes for 427 yards and nine touchdowns for head coach Tommy Knotts at Independence High last season…also recruited by Clemson, NC State, and Appalachian State.

James Rouse

DE - 6’5” 235 - Harrisonburg HS - Harrisonburg, VA

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

Credited with 75 tackles, nine sacks, eight hurries, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and broke up three passes last season… a first-team All-State selection and 46.5 foot triple jumper for his prep track team…coached by Tim Sarver…also recruited by Virginia, Virginia Tech and Duke.

Alex Schooler

OL - 6’6” 261 - Collegiate HS - Wichita, KS

Recruited by: Mike Cummings

Caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown and registered 45 Tackles (10 Solo), nine tackles for loss, four PBUs on defense2007...also blocked two point after tries…a first-team all-league, All-Metro Offense, Wichita Eagle 3A 1st Team All-State selection…also a Topeka Capital Journal 3A 1st Team All-State selection on defense…coached by Bill Messamore…also recruited by Army, Air Force, North Texas.

Press Taylor

QB - 6’2” 205 - Butler County CC - Norman, OK

Recruited by: Mark Gale

Completed 166 of 273 (60.8%) passes for 2,294 yards and 22 touchdowns, while accumulating 304 YDs and three touchdowns rushing…compiled a record of 17-1 as a starter…2007 and 2008 team captain that led his school to back-to-back Junior College National Championships…coached by Troy Morrell… also recruited by Louisville, Arizona State, Colorado State…signed with Marshall in the JUCO signing period and is already enrolled.

Corey Tenney

OL - 6’7” 265 - Craig County HS - New Castle, VA

Recruited by: Phil Ratliff

A First-Team All-Pioneer District and All-Region C selection…a second-team Class A All-State and All-Roanoke Timesland pick…Set school records in receptions, receptions in a game, career receptions, yardage in a season, TD receptions in a season, and career TD receptions….Selected First-Team All-Pioneer District and First-Team All-Region C as a junior…also played basketball…coached by Mark McPherson…also recruited by Virginia and Virginia Tech among others.

Phil Walker

LB - 6’2” 210 Cypress Bay HS - Weston, FL

Recruited by: Mark Gale

Recorded 80 Tackles, 14 Sacks, 14 TFL, five forced fumbles as a senior….a First-Team All-Broward County and Second-Team All-State selection…a Hawaii vs. Mainland Bowl Game and Dade vs. Broward County All-Star Participant…coached by Mark Guandolo…also recruited by Kansas State, Iowa, Tulsa, Syracuse.