Four seniors across the defensive line.
I'm not sure when the last time the Herd played an all-senior D-line, or when it was even possible. It might have happened a time or two during the Bob Pruett era, but it surely wasn't possible under Mark Snyder. (I think I referred to Snyder's team as "youthful" at least four of his five seasons.)
All four of those seniors should contribute on the field, maybe in a huge way. But I'm even more confident these guys will leave their imprint on younger talent.
And boy, has the Herd assembled a stable of young linemen!
Let's put it this way: Give me Gary Thompson and Arnold Blackman at the ends with Steve Dillon and Josh Brown at the tackles - one sophomore, a junior-college import, a 2012 "prop" and a redshirt freshman - and I'd go into battle with them. They need seasoning, yes, but it would be fun to watch.
And that leaves out Jarquez Samuel and several other contenders the defensive coaches will have to sort out in the next couple of weeks. And apparently, all are looking to the aforementioned seniors for guidance.
"I feel sorry for the coaches when it comes down to picking who's on the field at first," Bazzie said. "It's just good to know you've got a lot of guys with talent, a lot of guys who are willing to learn from their older classmen. Most time when you're a freshman, it's kind of harder to tell them things, because they don't want to hear it from anybody older - they think they're older because they're in college.
"But these guys, they come in there and they want to learn. The want to know the littlest things, and they want to know all the moves - 'How did you make that play?'"
Here's a blast from the past for Herd fans: Phillip Gamble is playing professional football in Germany.
You may remember Gamble, the four-year letterman from 2005-08 who played mostly linebacker and special teams. He now plays for Bielefield of Germany's second division of the American game, teaching business English as a side job.
He is playing tailback, and has 371 rushing yards and 216 receiving yards with six touchdowns. There are playing-time issues - his team includes five Americans, but only two can be on the field at the same time.
Gamble hopes to get into coaching when his playing days are over, according to The Post-Standard of Bainbridge, Ga. He has a sports management degree and a master's in business management, both from Marshall.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.