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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Marshall
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  10/24/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  Brenden Knox rushed for 101 yards and caught one of redshirt freshman Grant Wells' two touchdown passes to lead No. 22 Marshall to a 20-9 victory over pandemic-depleted Florida Atlantic 20-9 on Saturday. Marshall (5-0, 3-0 Conference USA) managed enough offense to hold off the pesky Owls (1-1, 1-1). FAU brought 57 players on its first trip of the season, just above the mandated minimum of 53 available scholarship players during the pandemic. The Owls even held a third-quarter lead before Marshall scored the final 13 points. With FAU missing both of its starting offensive tackles due to the virus, the Owls were limited to 234 yards of offense. Marshall came up with another solid performance in stopping the run. FAU quarterback Nick Tronti, who ran for 94 yards in the Owls' only other game on Oct. 3, was held to minus-45 yards on 11 rushes and was sacked five times. The Thundering Herd entered Saturday third in the nation in rush defense at 68.5 yards per game. Marshall trailed in a game for the first time this season after Vladimir Rivas kicked a 43-yard field goal to put FAU ahead 9-7 midway through the third quarter. - AP College Football

(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: AP College Football
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  10/23/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  FAU (1-0) knows from firsthand experience how dangerous Brenden Knox can be. In the Owls' lone conference loss last year, Marshall's redshirt junior running back ran for a career-high 220 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts. And that performance wasn't an aberration. Knox received first-team All-Conference USA recognition for the 2019 season after recording 1,387 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 270 attempts (5.1 yards per attempt). He already has seven rushing touchdowns (tied for third-best in the nation) in addition to 455 yards on the ground on 93 attempts (4.9 yards per attempts) this season entering FAU's matchup with Marshall (4-0, 2-0) on Saturday in Huntington, W.Va. "He's as good of a back we'll see this year," FAU defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt said about Knox. "He's got great vision, balance and explosion. He's one of the better backs I've seen in a long time. And then you got the big offensive line - they're big, strong and [Knox] finds those creases. It's a challenge." With Marshall's offense being built around its rushing attack, the Owls have emphasized the importance of tackling to slow down Knox, who easily breaks through tackles with his 6-foot, 223-pound frame. "You're not going to have arm-tackles bring [Knox] down," Leavitt said. "He's just too big, strong and explosive. You're going to have to get a number of people to him and keep him from hitting creases. He gets through them so fast. You're going to have to wrap him up." - Sun-Sentinel

(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: Sun-Sentinel
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  10/19/20 - Eli NealSo/2023, Marshall, 6-1, 240 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  OCT 19 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marshall sophomore LB Eli Neal was huge for the Thundering Herd in a 35-17 win at Louisiana Tech Saturday, as he helped pace a defensive effort that limited the host Bulldogs to just seven yards rushing on 24 carries to go with a 1-for-10 clip on third down attempts. He recorded seven tackles (three solo) with his first interception and a tackle for loss. The interception came on Tech's first play from scrimmage and his 11-yard return set up the Thundering Herd's first touchdown of the evening. The Memphis native also combined with Jamare Edwards to make the game's biggest defensive play and the duo stuffed Tech running back Justin Henderson on the goal line as time expired to end the first half. On the season, Neal is Marshall's second-leading tackler with 24 stops (nine solo). A Thundering Herd linebacker has now been named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week following three of their four victories. - Conference USA Football

(DS#999 OLB) So/2023 OLB Eli NealMarshall
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  10/19/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  Marshall head coach Doc Holliday always says that road games in conference require teams to pack their toughness with them. On Saturday afternoon, Holliday watched his Thundering Herd team get tough in big situations, using a goal-line stand at the end of the first half and registering six sacks to help propel a 35-17 win over Louisiana Tech at Joe Aillet Stadium. "When you hold somebody to 7 yards rushing, you played great defense," Holliday said. "Obviously we did that, and offensively we had some guys that stepped up there and played - they probably didn't think they were going to play, but they played extremely well."

While the defense continued its strong play that has led the team early in the season, the Marshall offense featured a balanced attack with quarterback Grant Wells and running back Brenden Knox each seeing success. Wells finished the game 19 of 24 for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while Knox carried the ball 32 times for 125 yards and two scores - his second straight multi-score game. Knox said the key to Marshall's offensive success was being patient and taking what was given. The Herd parlayed that into a 13-of-16 performance on third down. "There were a lot of jabs, a lot of jabs," Knox said. "We just kept it going like it was supposed to." - Charleston Gazette


(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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  10/17/20 - Grant WellsrFr/2024, Marshall, 6-2, 210 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  Grant Wells accounted for three touchdowns, Brenden Knox ran for two scores, and Marshall cruised to a 35-17 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night. Wells was 19-of-24 passing for 227 yards and two TDs and his 1-yard scoring run gave the Thundering Herd (4-0) the lead for good at 7-0 with 5:36 left in the first quarter. Knox finished with 32 carries for 125 yards. Knox capped a 12-play, 85-yard drive with a 1-yard TD late in the second quarter and his 7-yard scoring run midway through the third made it 21-3.

Louisiana Tech (3-2) answered when Luke Anthony hit Adrian Hardy for a 12-yard TD less than two minutes later but Wells threw touchdown passes of 46 yards to Artie Henry and 26 yards to Corey Gammage give Marshall a 35-10 lead with 11:03 to play. Hardy led the Bulldogs with nine receptions for 102 yards. The capacity at Louisiana Tech's Joe Aillet Stadium was limited to 25% (or 7,140 available seats, including the allowance of 1,000 students per game) due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. All fans and patrons attending the game will be required to wear a face covering in order to comply with the State of Louisiana Mask Mandate. - AP College/Marshall Football


(DS#10 QB) rFr/2024 QB Grant WellsMarshall
News Source: AP College/Marshall Football
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  10/16/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  While Knox enjoyed the weekend festivities, he's much more focused on the future. He feels his best days are ahead of him. "It was pretty cool, I can't lie, but there's so much room for much more," Knox said. "I'm definitely grateful - you know, a great thing - but when you know there's room for much more, that's all you can really think about." Part of those plans for Knox include helping the Herd in its work for a Conference USA title, which takes the next step at 6 p.m. Saturday, when the team heads to Ruston, Louisiana, to take on Louisiana Tech in a battle of undefeated cross-divisional opponents. The game will be aired on CBS Sports Network. Knox said celebrations from last week are over. Now it's time to get back to work preparing for an opponent that he said will challenge the Herd. To get a second road win in league play, Knox said the Herd must continue the efforts from last week. "Take in your fundamentals, carry that in every week," Knox said. "Take your toughness, which is something you probably hear with everyone in our program. Just remember what you're fighting for. It's going to be four quarters." - Charleston Gazette

(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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  10/12/20 - Tavante BeckettrSr/2021, Marshall, 5-10, 215 (DS#15 OLB) + More +

  OCT 12 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marshall redshirt senior LB Tavante Beckett tied a school record with three fumble recoveries in just over two and one-third quarters in Marshall's 38-14 win at WKU on Saturday, the final resulting in a 38-yard touchdown return at the 9:20 mark of the third quarter. All three turnovers led directly to Thundering Herd touchdowns. He also posted two tackles as the Thundering Herd held the Hilltoppers scoreless until the final drive of the third quarter. For the game, WKU converted just two of 12 times on third down. Not only did his three fumble recoveries against the Hilltoppers tie the Marshall single-game record, but he now has five career fumble recoveries in 16 games. This is Beckett's second Defensive Player of the Week award in three games played. - Conference USA Football

(DS#15 OLB) rSr/2021 OLB Tavante BeckettMarshall
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  10/10/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  Brenden Knox ran for three touchdowns and Marshall's defense stifled Western Kentucky in a 38-14 win on Saturday night. Knox's 45-yard touchdown run within the first minute of the game set the tone. He added two more scores - on runs of 1 and 9 yards in the last 2:14 of the first half - and the Thundering Herd (3-0, 1-0 Conference USA) led 28-0 at intermission. Defensively, Marshall stuffed the Hilltoppers by holding them to 294 yards of offense and 2 of 12 on third down conversions. Despite not committing a penalty, the Hilltoppers (1-3, 1-1) lost three fumbles. Kevaris Thomas had a 2-yard touchdown run and 148 yards passing, including a 26-yard touchdown to Dalvin Smith with six seconds left. - AP College Football

(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: AP College Football
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  09/21/20 - Tavante BeckettrSr/2021, Marshall, 5-10, 215 (DS#15 OLB) + More +

  SEPT 21 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marshall redshirt senior LB Tavante Beckett was all over the field Saturday for the Thundering Herd, amassing a career-high 16 tackles (eight solo) with one forced fumble in the 17-7 home win over 23rd-ranked Appalachian State. The 16 stops are the most by a Marshall man since Chase Hancock made 18 tackles against Southern Miss in 2017. Last season, App State averaged 231 rush yards per game, which ranked No. 16 in the country, and in the season opener the Mountaineers ran for 308 yards against Charlotte. On Saturday the Herd, led by co-captain Beckett, held them to 96 yards on 33 carries Saturday, their lowest total in a game since 2014. Beckett's 24 tackles in two games ranks second among all FBS players this season. - Conference USA Football

(DS#15 OLB) rSr/2021 OLB Tavante BeckettMarshall
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  09/21/20 - Tavante BeckettrSr/2021, Marshall, 5-10, 215 (DS#15 OLB) + More +

  Marshall Football found itself ranked 25th nationally Sunday afternoon when the Associated Press released its weekly Top 25 rankings. This is the first time that the Thundering Herd has reached the AP Poll since the 2014 season. That year, Marshall climbed as high as 18th before finishing 23rd in the final rankings, following its 52-23 victory over Northern Illinois in the inaugural Boca Raton Bowl. On Saturday, the Thundering Herd knocked off Appalachian State 17-7, who came into the contest ranked 23rd. The game was carried to a national audience, courtesy of CBS. Running back Brenden Knox ran for 138 yards and a touchdown, while linebacker Tavante Beckett posted a career-high 16 tackles and added one forced fumble to help secure the win. The Thundering Herd also received points in the Amway Coaches Poll on Sunday, along with Louisiana Tech. UAB and UTSA were among the schools receiving votes in the AP poll. - Conference USA Football

(DS#15 OLB) rSr/2021 OLB Tavante BeckettMarshall
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  09/19/20 - Brenden KnoxrJr/2022, Marshall, 5-11, 223 (DS#10 RB) + More +

  Marshall coach Doc Holliday and his young quarterback saw the two injured Appalachian State players on the ground after a collision. So they knew what to do next. Holliday called for redshirt freshman Grant Wells to run toward the side of safety Ryan Huff's replacement. Wells scored on a 12-yard run late in the third quarter, Marshall's defense came up with stop after stop and the Thundering Herd beat No. 23 Appalachian State 17-7 on Saturday. Marshall (2-0) defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since winning at No. 6 Kansas State in 2003. It also was the Thundering Herd's first victory over a ranked opponent at home since 1976. Appalachian State (1-1) squandered a couple of late opportunities and was held scoreless in the second half. "For our program, it's huge," Holliday said. "I thought our guys accepted that challenge. I thought the defensive play was special."

Wells had a lackluster game but put together consecutive big plays that made the difference late in the third quarter. He threw a 67-yard pass down the middle to a wide open Xavier Gaines to the Appalachian State 12. Huff and Mountaineers cornerback Shaun Jolly were shaken up on the tackle. Holliday told Wells to keep the ball on the next play, and Wells trotted into the end zone untouched. "We called that play knowing they had a new safety in the game," Holliday said. Wells finished 11 of 25 for 163 yards after throwing four TD passes in his debut two weeks ago, a 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky. - Marshall/AP College Football


(DS#10 RB) rJr/2022 RB Brenden KnoxMarshall
News Source: Marshall/AP College Football
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  09/18/20 - Tavante BeckettrSr/2021, Marshall, 5-10, 215 (DS#15 OLB) + More +

  Tavante Beckett caused a lot of issues in Conference USA during his first Marshall season. Beckett, whose college career started at Virginia Tech, led the conference with 121 total tackles. A senior this season, he also had seven tackles for a loss, four pass breakups, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and one interception in 2019. - Winston-Salem Journal

(DS#15 OLB) rSr/2021 OLB Tavante BeckettMarshall
News Source: Winston-Salem Journal
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  09/12/20 - Eli NealSo/2023, Marshall, 6-1, 240 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  With Marshall signing several graduate transfer and junior college players in its 2020 recruiting class, linebackers whose names were thrown out included Brian Cavicante, Abraham Beauplan and Charlie Gray. During Saturday's 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky, however, it was Neal who matched a team-high with eight tackles in his first career start to help lead the Thundering Herd defense in its shutout. For Neal, it was a chance to make a statement, and he took advantage. "It was no secret," Neal said. "Everybody reads articles. Everybody said that we were the question mark on defense coming back. I wasn't too worried about it because I had guys like Omari Cobb in front of me that I was able to sit down and watch. When I did come in, I got to come in when the tone was already set."

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said that Neal's ability to grow into a role behind Cobb last year was valuable as he made the transition to starting middle linebacker this season. "There's no question that him playing as a freshman has helped him," Holliday said. Neal said it was just about making the mental change from maintaining the tone that was set by Cobb and other linebackers to being the guy who sets the tone for the defense now. "That was the only change coming into this year," Neal said. "I tried not to put too much on myself - just know that coming in, we've got to set the tone and get it rolling." - Charleston Gazette


(DS#999 OLB) So/2023 OLB Eli NealMarshall
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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  09/09/20 - Grant WellsrFr/2024, Marshall, 6-2, 210 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  Wells showed on Saturday that he could make all collegiate throws, grabbing touchdown tosses on a post route to Xavier Gaines, a corner route to Talik Keaton and a deep ball to Jaron Woodyard. Wells also got all of Marshall's receiving corps active, joining with backup Luke Zban to connect with 13 different receivers, including five tight ends. "One stat that stood out was just how many receivers got a touch," Wells said. "That was something that really stood out to me and was very impressive. That's the one thing about this offense and I've said this before - I don't care who is out there with me. Every receiver is going to make a play for me, and that's one thing that's huge, going into each game."

While the Herd's 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky was memorable, Wells said that the performance - and, effectively, the honor - is in the past and the focus is forward. When asked how he planned to spend the rest of a scheduled day off for the team during a bye week prior to the Sept. 19 contest against Appalachian State, Wells answered quickly. "Get back to work," Wells said. "I know it sounds weird to say, coming off the high we're on right now, but we've got to get back to the feeling we had before this game - that's just get back to work. We'll start preparing for App State today." - Charleston Gazette


(DS#10 QB) rFr/2024 QB Grant WellsMarshall
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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  09/07/20 - Grant WellsrFr/2024, Marshall, 6-2, 210 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  SEPT 7 CONFERENCE USA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marshall redshirt freshman QB Grant Wells completed 16-of-23 passes for 307 yards, four touchdown passes and no interceptions in just two and a half quarters of action in a 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky. He also rushed for 30 yards on six carries. Wells, who completed his first eight passes, became the first Marshall quarterback with 300-plus passing yards in a debut, exceeding the previous record of 292 by Stan Hill vs Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 11, 2002. Wells tied the school record for most passing touchdowns in a debut with four, equaling the mark set by Hill vs. Miami and Chase Litton vs. Norfolk State in 2015. The Charleston, West Virginia native helped lead an offensive attack that generated 627 yards of total offense, 34 first downs and did not punt in a game for the first time since October 21, 2006 vs. UAB. - Conference USA Football

(DS#10 QB) rFr/2024 QB Grant WellsMarshall
News Source: Conference USA Football
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