HUNTINGTON - The redshirt is off Marshall quarterback Blake Frohnapfel's shoulders. His surgically repaired right shoulder is feeling better and he's ready to contribute this season.
Frohnapfel eased his way into college football in 2011, as Rakeem Cato and A.J. Graham traded the starting quarterback job. When Graham went down with a shoulder injury against Tulsa, Frohnapfel had a chance at playing if Cato had gotten hurt. But then the 6-foot-6, 225 pound freshmen underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery at the end of November.
Frohnapfel said he feels the difference between practicing last year and this year.
"For the most part, during the year and during camp, it was a chance to just get acclimated to everything," he said. "Now it's really where, if something happens, I'm the guy to go in and I have to prepare differently for that and watch extra film. They always say you're one play away."
"Last year, I was just so nervous all the time, because it was my first time out there," he added. "Now, if I had to go into a game, I'd be perfectly fine and comfortable."
Quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen said Frohnapfel is coming along well, especially considering the setbacks he faced last season.
"He didn't practice very much last year," Petersen said. "He was hurt a lot. He didn't practice, so he didn't get the reps. He got reps in the spring, but his arm was still coming off surgery. But he's where he belongs right now at his level."
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MARSHALL'S split-squad practice format, with half the team practicing in the morning and the other half practicing in the afternoon, is an idea Coach Doc Holliday took from his tenure as Florida's safeties coach and recruiting coordinator. Urban Meyer ran his early camp practices that way, and Holliday saw how effective it was.
"To each his own, but why someone wouldn't take that advantage to take that many reps, I don't know," he said. "I like what we're doing and there ain't a kid on this team that won't get coached for four days.