With his size, Smith will play in the slot, though that starting role is in the firm grip of all-Conference-USA first-team selection Tommy Shuler, who broke Marshall's single-season receptions record by catching 110 passes. Smith appreciates Shuler's skill and hopes he can work himself into the rotation, and perhaps join Shuler on the field.
"He's a great player," Smith said. "You can't explain 100 catches. That's something you can't teach, route running. I learn from him. It's a pleasure to see what he can do and step on the field and try to get on the field at the same time."
Kersey, at 6-1 and 191 pounds, is attempting to become one of Marshall's starting outside receivers. Both spots are open for competition after Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson, both of whom sit among the Herd's top 11 in career catches, graduated. Even though he hasn't been around Huntington for long, Kersey said he's been able to digest Marshall's playbook and he's starting to become comfortable.
"These guys already are really good and if I work hard, I can help, possibly, and make us a little better and be another weapon for Cato to throw to," Kersey said.
"They lost a few guys last year, I figured they could use the help and that I could do it."
Thomas, who worked against both Smith and Kersey on Penn State's practice fields, said Smith isn't the only speed demon among the two. Kersey is a fast receiver himself.
"Moo-Moo is a great underneath fast threat," he said. "Shawney is a great over-the-top fast threat.
"The thing I think makes Moo-Moo the best is that, he's a little guy, but he's tough as hell. And he almost never drops the ball. Shawney is a big, physical receiver. Cato's going to put the ball right there almost every time. With Shawney having that big of a body, it's going to make it a lot easier for Cato. "
What's made it easier for all three of them, especially Kersey, is that they have each other as familiar faces on a new team. Thomas and Smith have a year of experience in Huntington, which made it much easier for Kersey to make the transition.
"I feel a lot more comfortable," Kersey said. "I've been with Moo-Moo since Day 1 in college and I've been with Derrick since Day 1 in college, too. They're comfortable here, so I'm comfortable here. It's not even a problem."
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.