HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – We’re now just two weeks away from the Thundering Herd’s season opener against Navy; and in our third episode of ‘Hangin’ with Huff’, we break down the defense.
“We need to be the best defense we can be for Marshall to try and win a championship,” says defensive coordinator Lance Guidry.
Winning a conference title is the goal for the Herd this 2021 season; and as they say, ‘defense wins championships’… so how is this side of the ball looking this year?
“Although we changed systems on defense, it was easy to relate some of the concepts and some of the things we’re trying to do to some of the things they’ve done in the past,” says head coach Charles Huff. “It made sense.”
Under Huff and his new defensive staff, some things have changed.
Both on the field…
“It’s a little different for the guys up front,” says Guidry. “But for the most part, just some terminology with maybe some pressures that are different.”
And off the field.
“It’s actually very different,” says senior safety Nazeeh Johnson. “Closer-knit people because with Coach Huff, he has an open door policy. So if you’re a walk-on or scholarship player, it doesn’t matter if you play or not play, you can go talk to him any time.”
“The chemistry we have starting this year has been impeccable,” says sophomore linebacker Eli Neal. “It’s crazy how fast we’ve gelled together. And had to hold each other accountable, to make sure the next man is ready.”
And speaking of the men… who are some ‘players to watch’ this fall?
“On the back end,” said Guidry. “We have some experience with Brandon Drayton, Nazeeh Johnson…”
“My goal is to be consistent,” said Johnson. “Every year you see me playing football, I’ve been consistent. to be a consistent tackle, consistent in coverage. So if I can do that one more year…”
There are a few veterans on the D-line too who we can expect to see big things from this season.
“Koby is a hard worker,” said Guidry. “Very strong kid. Really like his motor.”
“We’re gonna need all the support we can get to win every single game because we’re trying to bring that trophy home,” said Koby Cumberlander.
And the first step towards that trophy – taking down Navy and their triple-option offense on September 4th.