If there's one thing the Herd doesn't have to worry about, it's Shuler working on his game. It's normal to see him watching film or calling quarterback Rakeem Cato to run pass patterns. Furrey said he's enjoyed watching Shuler this spring and helping him eliminate the negatives of his size and speed.
"The cool thing about Tommy is that Tommy's so competitive, when you tell him he can't do something, he's going to go behind closed doors and he's going to work on what people think he can't do," Furrey said. "He's been working."
Cato, Shuler's teammate since high school, said it doesn't matter whether they're home in Miami or at school in Huntington. He knows Shuler is hard at work.
"When we're home, he doesn't even have to call me," Cato said. "I'll call him. 'Where you at?' 'Oh, I'm working out.' He'll work out by himself. He'll go out, run stadiums. Shu just works. He wants it."
Furrey said the neatest thing about Shuler is that he hasn't had to teach the 5-foot-8, 190-pound receiver how to perfect the craft of catching passes. That motivation already is there. And Furrey, an eight-year NFL receiver who led the NFC in receptions in 2006 with the Detroit Lions, said it's not often that a player that young has that level of aptitude.
"You're going to get a lot of guys where you have to teach them. You have to educate them on the game. He's got a long way to go, but you don't come around guys who have the knowledge of the game like that and understand when to sit, how to break across people, what the defenses are doing, how to get open. It's pretty special to have."
Even those who know Shuler best - his teammates - have a tough time stopping him. In Marshall's first scrimmage of the spring he led 13 receivers with six catches for 72 yards. The Herd's receiving corps is trying to replace a pair of decorated receivers in Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson, but Shuler feels his offseason work, and a talented group of wideouts still on the roster, will help Marshall's offense to similar numbers in 2013.
"I feel like everything is coming into place," he said. "I'm reading the defenses better this year. I'm sitting in the right holes. Cato's finding me and me and Cato have watched extra film. I feel like we're going to do something special this year."
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.