What to look for in Saturday’s Green-White Spring Game
By Bill Cornwell
Final exams for the spring semester begin next Monday on Marshall University’s campus, but the final test for the football team comes Saturday afternoon as MU’s annual Green-White Spring Scrimmage takes place inside the Chris Cline Athletic Center.
The action starts at 3 pm. Tickets cost $5 and fans with tickets can watch the action inside the Cline Center or on the video boards at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, which will also have inflatables, music, and other family activities available.
Second-year Marshall Head Coach Charles Huff says the final week of spring drills has allowed his staff to test many players in new positions.
“This week, we moved some of the pieces around and we do that to find out who knows what to do,” Huff said. It produces depth and when you’re learning an offense or defense, you’ve got to learn it all.
“We’ve got to find out how to get the best 11 guys on the field.”
Positions that will be in focus Saturday include:
Quarterback–Texas Tech transfer Henry Colombi is expected to be Marshall’s starter this fall, but he hasn’t been taking part in spring practices as he finishes coursework at Tech. That has allowed redshirt freshman Cam Fancher and true freshmen Peter Zamora and Chase Harrison to get most of the practice work. Fancher had limited game experience last season as a backup, but Huff has been pleased with his spring practice. Zamora’s live arm has also caught the attention of his coaches.
Running Back–Marshall’s top returning back, Rasheen Ali, will not see action in the spring game, but Herd fans are anxious to see Florida State transfer Khalan Laborn carry the ball. Laborn was a 5-star recruit when he signed with the Seminoles and picked up 297 yards and four touchdowns in limited 2019 play at FSU. A youngster who has been impressive in spring drills is freshman A.J. Turner and Herd coaches hope to see more hard-nosed running from Poca, W.Va. sophomore Ethan Payne, who saw mop-up duty in 11 games last season, picking up 89 yards and a touchdown.
Offensive Line–Developing experience and depth is key as there were few returnees in this position group. Kendrick Sartor, Logan Osburn and Dalton Tucker had significant playing time last fall, but some linemen who will get a closer look will be East Carolina transfer Trent Holler, redshirt junior Ethan Driskell, and Purdue transfer Steven Faucheux.
Special Teams–Huff is looking for a kicker and punter to replace the departed Shane Ciucci and Robert LeFevre. Sean Meisler and Kenyon Bowyer are the lone placekickers taking part in spring practice, while Morgantown, W.Va’s John McConnell is the only punter in camp. Those positions will have more company when summer workouts begin in June. The Herd does return experience in long snapper Zach Appio and he has a talented back-up in redshirt freshman Matthew Bosset.
Huff is also hopeful that Marshall fans show up in big numbers on Saturday and set the emotional tone for the Herd’s initial season in the Sun Belt Conference.
“Spring Game events are a preview to the season, even for our fans,” Huff said. “We’ve created events to get fans back in the flow and it will be like a reunion for the Marshall family.”