Marshall signs 16 on first day of early signing period

As the Marshall Thundering Herd football teams prepares to take on South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, the Herd signed 16 newcomers to the 2019 recruiting class Wednesday. (WCHS/WVAH)

As the Marshall Thundering Herd football team prepares to take on South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, the Herd signed 16 newcomers to the 2019 recruiting class Wednesday.

Marshall coaches took advantage of the new early signing period, which happened to start the day before the Herd's bowl game.

The first National Letter of Intent came from Florida running back Cedrick Wilcox at 7:09 am.

Throughout the day, the Herd received letters of intent from 15 other recruits from seven states.

During his time in Huntington, head coach Doc Holliday has built a reputation for being a strong recruiter in the state of Florida and on Wednesday, five players from the Sunshine State signed with Marshall. Marshall currently has 30 players from Florida on its roster.

Marshall also signed three West Virginia players.

The first West Virginia native to sign Wednesday was Wheeling Park offensive lineman Tristen Bittner. Bittner also played on the defensive line at Wheeling Park.

Just before 10 a.m., Marshall received a National Letter of Intent from George Washington quarterback Grant Wells.

Wells had a prolific career at George Washington and is rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports and ESPN. Wells verbally committed to Marshall in October 2017.

The third West Virginian to sign with Marshall was University High School wide receiver and safety Amir Richardson.

At 6 feet 2 inches, 205 pounds, Richardson is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN. Richardson was verbally committed to West Virginia since last summer, but decommitted just eight days before signing with Marshall. He also received offers from Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Air Force, Army, Cincinnati, Nevada, Temple, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale.

All three West Virginia signees were Class AAA First-Team All State selections in 2018.

One of the most notable Marshall signees was offensive lineman Josh Ball.

The 6 foot 8 inch, 350 pound lineman was a four-star recruit coming out of high school when he signed with Florida State. He started nine games in 2017 for the Seminoles. After being suspended from the school, Ball attended Butler Community College in El Dorado, Ks.

Coming out of high school, Ball was ranked the 19th-best offensive tackle in the nation and fifth-best overall prospect in the state of Virginia. The Fredericksburg, Va. native has two years of eligibility remaining.

Marshall will be losing four of its top linebackers to graduation, so coaches made it a point to reload at the position. Five of Marshall's 16 signees play linebacker.

Among the linebackers that signed with the Herd is Deshawn Page out of Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tn.

After racking up 76 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions, Page was named Tennessee's 5A Mr. Football. He also received offers from Missouri, WVU, FIU, Kent State, Liberty, Middle Tennessee, Toledo, Tulane, UAB, UTSA, Western Kentucky, Austin Peay, and Eastern Kentucky. He is rated a three-star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports.

Marshall also signed Page's high school teammate and fellow linebacker J'Coryan Anderson.

Anderson is also a three-star prospect.

To see more on all of Marshall's signees, click here.

Just one day after the Herd signed 16 new players, Marshall's seniors will play their final game. The Herd takes on South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

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