NEW DEFENSIVE ENDS coach Sean Cronin has liked what he's seen from rising senior Jeremiah Taylor, who came to Marshall as a walk-on center.
But if Cronin had his way during his first tour of duty as a Herd coach in 2010, Taylor would have been a defensive lineman from the beginning.
"For the record, I was at that walk-on tryout with JT, and I wanted him on the d-line," he said, before adding with a smile, "(former Marshall assistant) Phil Ratliff was the guy in charge of walk-ons and he stole him from me."
Cronin got his wish and eventually got Taylor on the defensive line.
Back then, he already considered Taylor a solid backup defensive end. This time around, he said Taylor is blossoming into a good starter.
"The time he's spent with Coach (J.C.) Price, he's really developed into a pretty damn good player," Cronin said. "I think he's really going to have a good year."
Cronin also had good things to say about Alex Bazzie, who started opposite Taylor at end. He's impressed with Bazzie's growth as an end and said his relentlessness has a lot to do with it.
"To come back and see how far he's come, it's just shocking," Cronin said.
"His time with J.C. on the defensive line, he's really blossomed into a big-time player. He's a high-motor guy who's tough as hell. He just goes, man. He's not always perfect with his technique, but he just goes."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.