Yet Dobson could tell in 2011 that, even with limited opportunities, Shuler had the tools to be an integral part of Marshall's offense.
"He's shifty, really shifty," Dobson said. "He won't kill you with blazing speed, but he knows what he can do. And he uses that to get open. He knows what his ability is and he uses it to his advantage."
Shuler knows what he is and what he isn't. He's not a supersonic downfield threat in the college game. But he knows he's a hard worker - Cato considers him one of the hardest workers on the team - who doesn't mind doing the little things to keep the offense moving. Those 51 catches have gone for 531 yards, but just one touchdown.
That doesn't bother Shuler, though. He's ready to juke and shake his way to tough yards when Tulsa (4-1, 2-0) visits Marshall (2-3, 1-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network telecast).
"They come to me and say, 'You take all the dirty work,'" Shuler said. "I want to be that possession receiver, the one that's going to move the chains, the one that, on third down, everyone's looking for and they know can catch the ball. "
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SHULER WASN'T the Herd's only award-winner this week. Gator Hoskins was named tight end performer of the week by the College Football Performance Awards. Hoskins, a junior, caught four passes against Purdue and three went for touchdowns of 12, 28 and 1 yards. He now has six touchdowns on 14 catches this season.
Hoskins said a renewed devotion to perfecting his route running and watching game film has allowed him to become such a dangerous target.
"I understand the game more," he said. "It's a big leap. I think I just got a lot better understanding the game."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.