Conference USA Preview: Houston and Marshall

Houston Cougars head coach Kevin Sumlin has had an offseason filled with tough decisions in regards to current players running into off-the-field problems. Sumlin dismissed sophomore OL Ari Tatum, freshman KR A.J. Dugat, and senior RT Jarve Dean all within in a month’s time this past February and March.

Out of the 3 players, Dean is thought to have the biggest impact in terms of what Houston loses with the dismissals. Dean had started all 14 games for a Houston team which won the West division of Conference USA before losing to E. Carolina in the Conference USA Championship Game.

Marshall: Marshall’s new head coach, John “Doc” Holliday, arrives on campus as a much ballyhooed hire that could provide huge dividends in the long run for the Marshall football program. Holliday has most recently served as the recruiting coordinator first at Florida under Urban Meyer and then under Bill Stewart (for the past 2 seasons) at West Virginia.

Holliday has also coached everything from fullbacks to safeties, and he was the associate head coach during his stints at both Florida and West Virginia.
The Marshall Thundering Herd was yet another football program that relied heavily on South Florida talent to fill out their recruiting class. Guys like WR Fred Pickett, QB Eddie Sullivan, and S Brian Robinson are all expected to come in and contribute immediately for head coach Doc Holliday. Holliday is considered to be one of the nation’s best recruiters, so classes like this year’s are to be expected for Thundering Herd fans as the program continues to develop.

Holliday also recently received good news when former Clemson QB Willy Korn (who was highly regarded coming out of high school) announced that he would be transferring to Marshall.

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