HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Four players formally joined the Marshall football program today, including a transfer from Miami (Fla.), but it could turn out that none will play.
The transfer from Miami is Ricardo Williams, a 6-foot-5, 251-pound redshirt sophomore from Homestead, Fla. Williams played one game for the Hurricanes last fall, and will sit out as a transfer.
He had dozens of sacks for Homestead High, and was ranked the No. 102 defensive end by ESPNU.
"Ricardo is a technician with a great frame," Homestead coach Bobby McCray said in December 2010. "Normally, taller guys have a problem playing with leverage but not Ricardo. I have been coaching a long time and he's the best I have ever had."
Three other prospects began practice Monday, though they may eventually be declared nonqualifiers: wide receiver Rodney Allen of Dallas, defensive lineman Jalen Stevenson from Lakeland, Fla., and linebacker Raheim Huskey of Gaffney, S.C.
Stevenson, who had an offer from Indiana but signed with a Florida junior college, hails from the alma mater of Herd cornerback Darryl Roberts and running back Steward Butler, Lakeland High. He had 25 sacks as a junior.
"To come from a great program like that and have those kinds of numbers, he's a tremendous football player. I'm glad he's here," said MU coach Doc Holliday.
From the February list of signees, six have been declared nonqualifiers, but are expected to enroll at MU: running backs Brandon Byrd and Tony Pittman, wide receivers Angelo Jean-Louis and Deontay McManus and defensive back Shykeem Pitts and De'Andre "Chocolate" Wilson.
The newest growing ritual in college football, especially in the Herd camp? The incredible shrinking jersey numbers.
Eight different players, all starters or those with potential to be, have switched to numbers below 20. The list:
So was this a rash of sentimental attachment, players jumping to claim their high school or midget league numbers? Not always, it seems.