8 Thundering Herd players get C-USA preseason honors
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall Football had eight players recognized by Phil Steele in his 2020 preseason All-Conference USA team.
Linebacker Tavante Beckett, offensive lineman Cain Madden, punt returner Talik Keaton and running back Brenden Knox were selected to the first team, while defensive lineman Darius Hodge was named to the second team.
Tight end Xavier Gaines and defensive back Steven Gilmore were picked for the third team and offensive lineman Alex Mollette made the fourth team.
Beckett, Keaton and Knox all earned postseason first-team all-league honors last season, with Knox garnering C-USA’s Most Valuable Player distinction and Beckett amassing a league-high 121 tackles.
Madden was a second-team pick by the C-USA coaches. All four were also first-team preseason all-conference picks, according to Athlon.
Hodge and Gaines were second-team Athlon preseason all-league picks. Hodge paced the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2019, while Gaines piled up 27 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
Gilmore became a mainstay in the secondary for the Thundering Herd, racking up 50 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions and four pass breakups with one forced fumble.
Mollette started all 13 games last season, helping to power a rushing attack that finished second in Conference USA in rushing yards and rushing yards per game. He was also a fourth-team preseason Athlon selection.