Marshall football: Herd lands two more verbal commitments from Georgia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall University football team picked up two more verbal commitments from Georgia this weekend, both showing the strength of the Thundering Herd's connections in the Peach State.
Both Sandy Creek High quarterback Cole Garvin and Valdosta High wide receiver Alex Cason announced via their Twitter feeds their intention to join Marshall in 2014. They are the fourth and fifth verbal commitments for the Herd this offseason, all coming since May 31.
Marshall also has verbal commitments from Cairo (Ga.) receiver Reese Wooten, LaBelle (Fla.) offensive lineman Josh Rimes and Gaffney (S.C.) athlete Hyleck Foster.
Garvin was considered one of Marshall's top targets for the 2014 class. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound signal caller is rated three stars by Rivals and 247Sports.
In two seasons as Sandy Creek's starting quarterback, he's led the team to a 27-1 record, including a 15-0 mark and a Class 4A state title in 2012 and has completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 4,385 yards, 45 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
The Thundering Herd was the first to offer Garvin, he said, so there always was a loyalty there. As his relationship with Coach Doc Holliday, offensive coordinator Bill Legg and recruiting coordinator/ tight ends coach Todd Hartley grew, he realized Marshall was a perfect fit.
"I love the offense," said Garvin, who is taking online classes to graduate high school in December and enroll at Marshall for spring 2014.
"Hopefully, it can showcase the ability I hope to bring.
"I can't wait," he added. "I'll be there this spring and be able to go through spring practice. I'm really excited to jump into that offense and get started."
Garvin was a highly coveted quarterback, especially among Conference USA schools. Including Marshall, a half-dozen schools either in or entering the conference offered him.
Cason is a 6-3, 185-pounder who fits the mold of the outside receivers the Herd continues to seek. He also holds scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Charlotte and South Alabama. Rivals rates him as a two-star prospect. Cason, along with Garvin, was named to the RisingSeniors.com Georgia Junior Bowl this past December.
By adding Garvin and Cason to its list, three of the Herd's first five verbal commitments for 2014 are from Georgia. The Georgia connections run deep on Marshall's coaching staff. Hartley is a Gray, Ga., native who graduated from the University of Georgia and served as both an undergraduate assistant and graduate assistant with the Bulldogs' football team. Running backs coach Thomas Brown, a Tucker, Ga., native also is a Georgia graduate and was a freshman all-SEC pick for the Bulldogs who rushed for 2,646 yards and 23 touchdowns in his four-year career.
And Georgia is a state with an abundance of football talent. The 247Sports website uses a composite rating system that takes into account the ratings from all major recruiting sites. Using that formula, Georgia has eight prospects in its top 100, 12 in its top 150 and 16 in its top 200.
"With Coach Hartley and Coach Brown's ties to Georgia, I think they're really trying to establish a really strong pipeline from Georgia to West Virginia," Garvin said.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.