HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - It's a guarantee that the Marshall football team's Senior Day ceremony this November will last a bit longer than last year's.
That one could have been handled through a commercial break, which happens when just nine seniors populate your roster.
"You never want to get into the situation we were in a year ago," Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said Tuesday.
That shouldn't happen in 2013, now that there's more than double last year's senior total. According to Marshall's latest roster, there are 20 players listed as seniors or redshirt seniors. That's not just going to force Senior Day festivities to start a little earlier. Holliday said it's a boon for the team, ramping up its experience level.
And it's not just experience added to Marshall's roster. Holliday said there's talent there, too. That's not to say there wasn't talent among last year's seniors - receivers Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson, safeties Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha and linebacker Devin Arrington among them. This year's senior class includes Hendricks Award watch list member Jeremiah Taylor and Alex Bazzie at defensive end, Jordan Jeffries and Gage Niemeyer on the offensive line and Derrick Thomas at corner.
"It's a whole heck of a lot easier to be a leader and be well respected when you're also a heck of a player," Holliday said. "And for the first time we've got a group of them that are not only good leaders, but they're also good players, and that helps."
Niemeyer said the bigger group of experienced players leads to more veteran eyes surveying the landscape from different angles. Those angles include just about every position group, too. Last year's senior class was focused mostly on the receivers and the secondary. Not the case this year.
"The biggest thing is just the eyes on the field," Niemeyer said. "We've played a lot of football as a group and that helps a lot with just unity and everything."