"Just changed, something a little different," said Taliaferro, a senior who had worn only 42 for his MU career. "Nothing much to it. High school I had 8, I guess two times eight is 16."
Roberts did have an underlying reason.
"I just felt it was a time for a new start and everything," he said. "Since one of my good pals, Travon Van, he went to another school [Montana], I told him I'd represent his number for him. No. 7, it's like a really trendy, popular number because of Byron Leftwich and those guys who did a lot of good things for this team."
Holliday gets a chuckle out of all that. This didn't happen way back when he played.
"Back then we weren't worried about numbers. You were just happy to get a number," he said. "Hell, I wasn't very good - I was happy to get a number, it didn't matter what number it was. I got whatever was left.
"Kids are funny these days. A lot of them do it for different reasons. As long as they play hard and live right, I give them what they want. If they don't live right or play hard, we give them what we give them. Or they don't get one."
Several walk-ons took the field for the first time, including quarterback Spencer Iacovone, who came to Marshall on a baseball scholarship.
Iacovone, listed at 6-2, 215, is an infielder/outfielder who starred last season at Cincinnati's Moeller High. He also was the starting quarterback last fall for the football team - and the Crusaders won state titles in both sports.
Other walk-ons are quarterback Adam Weeks from Shady Spring, offensive lineman Josh Baisden from Cabell Midland, safety Mark Shaver from Huntington and two kickers, Nicholas Smith from Plain City, Ohio, and Amoreto Curaj from Tampa, Fla.
Another Cabell Midland grad, wide receiver Cody Carter, transferred from the University of Charleston and will have to sit out a season.
Receiver Tommy Shuler was perhaps the only player to take it easy during the first day. All others were healthy and full go.
There was one injury during the morning workout, to the arm of receiver Jack Gammon. Holliday expects him out two to three weeks.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.