Herd lands 6 on preseason All-SBC team

Published 1:41 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Football tied for the most Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team selections with four, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

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Center Logan Osburn represented the Marshall offense on the Preseason All-SBC First Team while defensive end Owen Porter, linebacker Eli Neal and defensive back Micah Abraham represented the Marshall defense.

Marshall was also selected to finish fourth in the Sun Belt’s East Division despite tying Coastal Carolina for the most Preseason All-SBC selections among teams from the East.

“I’m excited any time our guys get recognized for the hard work they’ve put in, and their on-field consistency,” Marshall head coach Charles Huff said. “With TEAM success comes individual accolades.”

The three Marshall defensive players matched Troy’s three defensive selections and Coastal Carolina’s three offensive selections for the most from one unit on the Preseason All-SBC First Team.

Porter was the energy leader among Marshall’s defense while becoming a force off the edge for the Thundering Herd. The Huntington, W.Va., native finished with 60 tackles and team-highs in tackles for loss (15), sacks (9.5), quarterback hurries (9) and forced fumbles (2).

Neal led Marshall’s defense with 98 tackles in 2022 while contributing 9.5 tackles for loss and three sacks to go with nine quarterback hurries, which matched Porter for top honors on the team.

Abraham was named as an All-Sun Belt First Team selection in 2022 after a year in which he finished tied for 3rd in FBS in interceptions with six. Abraham finished with 36 tackles and 10 pass breakups on the season as well. The 10 pass breakups and six interceptions marked the second consecutive season he had at least 15 passes defended. He was also selected as a Preseason All-American Fourth Team cornerback by Phil Steele Publications.

Osburn started in all 13 games last season and served as the leader of a Marshall offensive front that produced 205.9 yards per game, which was in the top-20 nationally.

In addition to those four players, Marshall running back Rasheen Ali and offensive lineman Ethan Driskell were each named to the Preseason All-SBC Second Team.

Ali missed much of the 2022 season due to injury, but he returned for the final three games to rush for 273 yards and a touchdown while earning MVP honors in the Myrtle Beach Bowl win over UConn.

Driskell started all 13 games at left tackle for the Herd, teaming with Osburn to forge a stout offensive line that consistently pushed Marshall’s offense forward.

Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall was chosen as the SBC’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Old Dominion linebacker Jason Henderson was chosen as the SBC’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

James Madison was chosen to win the SBC East Division, receiving four first-place votes. App State was selected to finish second and Coastal Carolina was chosen third while Marshall was fourth, followed by Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Old Dominion.

Five of the seven East Division teams received at least one first-place vote with Marshall getting two first-place votes.

“This goes to show how deep our league is and definitely how strong the East Division is,” Huff said. “I look forward to competing against all the team in our conference.”

Troy received 10 first-place votes and was selected to win the West Division ahead of South Alabama, who garnered the other four first-place votes. Louisiana was selected to finish third and Southern Miss was selected fourth, followed by Texas State, Arkansas State and ULM.

Monday’s announcement comes as teams are preparing for this week’s 2023 Sun Belt Football Media Days, which will take place at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.

West Division teams will take part in media festivities on Tuesday while East Division teams take center stage on Wednesday in an event that will be broadcast on ESPN+. Marshall is scheduled to be on the SBC Main Stage at 11:30 a.m. ET/10:30 a.m. CT.

Marshall finished the 2022 season on a five-game winning streak, which they will carry into the 2023 season opener against Albany, which will be a 6 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 2.

Season-Ticket Packages, Mini-Plans and Away Game Tickets are on sale HERE while Single-Game tickets are set to go on sale soon – July 28 for Big Green members and August 3 for the general public.