HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Boston College transfer Dominick LeGrande and Penn State transfer Derrick Thomas had never met each other until Thomas arrived this August on Marshall University's campus.
Yet, thanks to fellow BC transfer Okechukwu Okoroha, LeGrande felt he knew Thomas before they ever shook hands.
"I heard a lot about him all the time," LeGrande said. "Now the funny thing is, we're all on the same team."
It's not just that they're all members of the Thundering Herd. If Saturday's scrimmage is any indication, they all could be starters in the secondary - LeGrande and Okoroha at safety and Thomas at corner. All three worked with the first team Saturday.
And all three say it's their familiarity that has made their transition to Marshall, and their vaults up the depth chart, easier.
Okoroha has been the linchpin in all of this. He and LeGrande have been roommates since the two first met at Boston College and have been close friends ever since. Okoroha and Thomas were teammates at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland.
"I've been telling (LeGrande) about my guys, what different schools they went to," Okoroha said. "I've been bragging about these guys. It's all meshing together."
None of the three had much time to get used to their new surroundings. Okoroha and LeGrande arrived in the summer, while Thomas' first practice was Aug. 9. Yet, Thomas said, knowing Okoroha and knowing about LeGrande made him a little more comfortable than if the had to enter Marshall flying blind.
"Me coming up here, they weren't brand new to me," Thomas said. "So it wasn't like I was trying to meet new friends. And they knew most of the guys on the team, because they've been here and it's really made the defense move faster for me. They were able to teach it to me.
"Dom and O have been friends for a long time and I've known O for a long time," he added. "It's all just meshed good and made everyone fit in together."