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Marshall football: Frohnapfel changes commitment from WVU to Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A coveted high school tight end prospect has changed his commitment from West Virginia to Marshall.

Eric Frohnapfel, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder from Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Va., took his official visit to Marshall this weekend and Sunday made both coaching staffs aware of his decision to switch to the Thundering Herd.

Frohnapfel's twin brother, Blake Frohnapfel, is a quarterback who committed to Marshall in July.

Eric Frohnapfel pledged to the Mountaineers in July, but Marshall tight ends coach Phil Ratliff continued to recruit him. Frohnapfel received a visit from Ratliff and Herd Coach Doc Holliday on Tuesday, and West Virginia offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen on Thursday.

"I really had my mind and heart set on WVU," Eric Frohnapfel said. "Just talking to Coach Holgorsen, he was honest and all that, but I felt like my future at West Virginia there were some questions. At Marshall I felt like I knew what I was going into.

"I'm supposed to talk to Coach Holgorsen this week, but he's not going to tell me anything that's going to be any better than Marshall."

Eric Frohnapfel called Holgorsen on Sunday to tell him he was switching his verbal to Marshall.

Commitments are non-binding until letters-of-intent are inked on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

After Holgorsen's visit Thursday, Frohnapfel told his hometown newspaper, The Free Lance-Star, that he planned to fulfill his commitment to WVU. Holgorsen and Frohnapfel discussed using the player as an inside receiver and tight end and Holgorsen wanted to review Frohnapfel's senior highlight film, according to the story. 

Frohnapfel caught 58 passes for 1,377 yards and 19 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Colonial Forge.

Also committing to the Herd this weekend was Ohio tight end Rakim Reed, who will grayshirt and be a member of the Class of 2012.

Reed is a 6-4, 210-pounder from Canton's Timken Senior High School. Rivals.com rated Reed a 3-star prospect.

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SPEAKING OF Ratliff, he is committed to Marshall too.

The Herd assistant coach pulled out of the running for the vacant head football coach position at Gardner-Webb on Friday.

Ratliff interviewed for the opening at the Football Championship Subdivision program Tuesday and was considered a finalist, but the former Thundering Herd All-America offensive lineman wants to remain at his alma mater.

"I believe in everything we are doing right now," Ratliff said.

"I have unfinished business here. We are going after some of the biggest recruits in Marshall history."

Gardner-Webb is searching for a new coach after firing Steve Patton in December. Patton went 87-66 in 14 seasons. 

Ratliff is a native of Louisa, Ky., and has been an assistant coach at Marshall for five seasons - four under former Coach Mark Snyder and one under Holliday. Ratliff was one of two assistants retained by Holliday when he took over the program in 2009.

In addition to coaching tight ends like Kansas City Chiefs rookie Cody Slate, Ratliff is one of Marshall's top recruiters.

"I love the Herd," Ratliff said. "I want to be with the Thundering Herd for the rest of my life. Being a head coach will happen someday; I'm a young man.

"I just love Coach Holliday and I love what we're doing here. I want to be a part of this."


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