Suddenly WR a position of need for Herd Football

By JPrince83
Jan. 14, 2017

For the second time in as many weeks, a Marshall wide receiver has declared for the NFL Draft

6-7 redshirt sophomore Michael Clark told the Herald-Dispatch's Grant Traylor via email that he had decided to forgo his remaining two years of eligibility and test the professional market. 

Clark caught 37 passes in his first year with the Thundering Herd which was good for a team-leading 632 yards and 5 touchdowns. The St. Petersburg Florida native will join teammate Deon-Tay McManus who declared last week, in the NFL draft. The early departure of Clark and McManus coupled with the graduation of Josh Knight, who led the team in receptions in 2016 leaves a major void at the wide receiver position for the Herd. 

Marshall also loses veteran pass catcher Justin Hunt, who tied Clark and Knight for the team lead in touchdown receptions. On top of the losses at wide receiver, the Herd also lost another potential element in its passing game when highly rated tight end recruit Pro Wells de-committed from the school. 

Ryan Yurachek does return for the Herd and will be the primary target for whoever wins the quarterback battle this spring. Yurachek caught 28 passes for 298 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Myrtle Beach product was severely underutilized a season ago as his numbers dipped from 44 grabs and 417 yards in 2015. 

Marshall's season ended 49 days ago on November 26, in a 60-6 loss to rival Western Kentucky. Many questions swirled around the program as the team dropped from three straight seasons of 10 or more wins to a miserable 3-9 year where it was rated 118th out 128 Division 1 football programs. Herd fans were hoping many of those questions would be answered by now, but instead they've been met with more questions. The latest being who will feel the void left in the receiving core after departures, graduations and de-committments have left it devoid of much or any proven talent outside of the aforementioned Yurachek.