There are new faces pushing themselves up the depth chart. Johannson, a native of Sweden who played one year at Raceland High School in Kentucky, was a bit player last season who came on strong in the spring and maintained his spot this preseason. Selby walked right into the mix fresh out of Washington County High in Sandersville, Ga.
The growth of the Herd's backup linemen has energized the starters, Jasperse said. They know there are teammates who can legitimately contend for their first-team roles.
"Everybody's trying to be a one, so now we're closing the gap between the ones and the twos," he said. "It's not even a two anymore. It's a one-and-a-half, so you're not dropping off anymore as you have in the past."
Marshall's entire offensive line contingent is battling for a spot on the game-day roster. Mirabal said 10 linemen get picked each week, so the race is on to own one of those jobs.
"I told them, the issue is not who's going to start," Mirabal said. "The issue is who's going to be on the bus. Who's going to get on the bus on Friday to go to that hotel to play here Aug. 31?"
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THE HERD will be down one safety headed into the season, as Marshall University confirmed Thursday night that redshirt sophomore Shawn Samuels has decided to leave the team. Samuels, a 5-foot-10, 200-pounder from Bainbridge, Ga., made an appearance in seven games during the 2012 season, recording three solo tackles and one assisted tackle.
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HOLLIDAY ANNOUNCED Marshall will not feature names on the back of the Herd uniforms this season during Thursday's Paint the Capital City Green event.
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.