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Marshall has positioned itself well in the recruiting competition for Justin Holman.
The Thundering Herd gave Holman his first and only scholarship offer two weeks ago.
"It was a blessing to get an offer from Marshall," said Holman, a 6-foot-4, 194-pound, pro-style quarterback from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. "They stuck their neck out for me, and they won't regret it."
Holman's offer from Marshall came one day after he was named the quarterback MVP at the Rivals/VTO Sports Georgia Elite 100 camp in Marietta.
"I was very excited," Holman told Rivals recruiting analyst Keith Niebuhr on March 26, the day he got the offer. "They say the first school that offers you really wants you. They went out on the limb for you."
Missouri, Purdue, Troy and Wake Forest also are interested in Holman, who plans to participate in Nike and Elite 11 camps this month.
"The process is picking up for me and my teammates," said Holman, who has visited Alabama State, South Carolina, Troy and Vanderbilt. "After the VTO camp, schools have been contacting me and expressing the fact that they want to see me and some of my teammates in the spring."
Marshall is the early but definitive frontrunner for Holman, who plans to visit the Conference USA school in the summer or fall.
"Marshall is most important," he said. "They were the first to ever send mail. Next to that, they were the first to offer. Some ACC schools have shown major interest, and I feel that more offers are coming in the near future. Marshall is currently my leader. After that, I wouldn't say that I have a top five, just schools I have interest in, such as Wake Forest and North Carolina State."
Holman's lead recruiter for the Thundering Herd is offensive line coach Geep Wade.
"Coach Wade is a great guy," Holman said. "He has been genuine every time we speak. We talk from time to time about how the program is looking and the direction it is heading."
Holman is most impressed by the football history and tradition at Marshall, which has a Stephenson graduate, sophomore defensive lineman Malcolm Strong, on its roster.
"Marshall is a great program," Holman said. "They have an outstanding tradition, especially when it comes to the quarterback position. A lot of great names have come through there, such as Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich and Randy Moss. Also, they play in the Conference USA, in which they have shown flashes of dominance."
Holman wants to make his decision before his senior season.
"I would like to make a commitment by the beginning or the middle of summer, so I can focus solely on school, building camaraderie with my team and winning a state title," he said.
Asked to identify his strengths, Holman said: "I see myself as a leader, which you have to be at my position. I have great pocket awareness that allows me to make plays while on the run or with pressure in my face. My feet can be another weapon. Overall, I emphasize ball security and not making costly decisions."
Asked to identify his weaknesses, Holman said: "I wouldn't necessarily call this a weakness because it is something you can always work on, but my footwork and field vision. Those things come with more film study, practice and patience."
Holman also enjoys basketball.
"It's a good workout, and it's an escape from football every once in a while," he said.
Holman's grade point average is well above NCAA standards. He will take the ACT for the first time on Saturday. He wants to major in biology in college, with the intent of entering medical school afterward.
"Overall, I just like to relax and have fun," Holman said when asked to describe himself. "On the field and in the classroom, I like to have an immense amount of focus. I'm just a team guy who enjoys watching others improve along with myself."
Jacob Messer is the managing editor for HerdNation.com. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. All comments and feedback are welcome.