ONE WEEK OF so-called two-a-days are left at Marshall before the semester starts, but it will be more like part one of a long game week.
When the Thundering Herd football squad convenes for its first closed practice today, one can reasonably expect the scout teams to be formed - and therefore, the first decisions on who will prepare to play, to ride the bus to Morgantown.
Coaches will say all positions are still up for grabs, but many first-string spots are settled. I mean, Rakeem Cato is the starting quarterback, Aaron Dobson is the top "X" receiver, Jermaine Holmes is the "Mike" linebacker and so forth, right?
Experience tells me to expect a little of the unexpected.
Most years, a top player is more injured than we knew, perhaps out for the season. Every few years, a player on the three-deep jumps ship and transfers to another school, just in time for classes there.
Certainly, we'll see position shifts and departures from the practice depth charts, whether subtle or jarring. One observation from Saturday: Late in the scrimmage, Gage Niemeyer moved over to right tackle and Jordan Jeffries played at left tackle. The two were competing on the left side, but what if both win?
That's one of my questions that may well be answered this week, maybe even today. Others include:
If you are a Marshall fan or alumnus here in the Kanawha Valley, you should be cheering over your team's slide up the radio dial. If so, you likely are pleased over the Herd's departure from the West Virginia Radio Corp. umbrella.
For the last few years, Herd football and basketball has aired on WKAZ, 107.3-FM (K-Rock). Good signal, good coverage for those in Kanawha, Putnam and Boone counties.
But the Herd sat under the long shadow of West Virginia University, and I found promotion of games lacking. The statewide Morning News program, one of West Virginia Radio's very best offerings, interviewed Herd network play-by-play man Steve Cotton at 8:14 a.m. or thereabouts on Friday, but that was about it.