HUNTINGTON — Marshall football seniors Devin Arrington, John Bruhin, Aaron Dobson and Andre Snipes-Booker, along with junior Jeremiah Taylor, have been selected as Captains for the 2012 football season, in a vote by the team on Sunday night at the Shewey Athletic Center.
Arrington, a native of Portsmouth, Va. who played at Deep Creek High School, is a redshirt senior linebacker who played safety last season for the Thundering Herd.
He is the leading returning tackler with 77 stops (41 solo, 36 assists), four pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles last season.
Arrington has three letters at Marshall, and has started 24 games in his career, 13 at safety in 2011 and 11 more at outside linebacker.
Devin Arrington (wearing 2011 #25, this year #11)
Bruhin, from Powell, Tenn., High School, is a sixth-year starter at guard in the program and will anchor a much deeper offensive line this season.
Bruhin, who missed most of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with back-to-back years of back surgeries, started 12 games in 2011 and is slotted as the starter at right guard for this week’s opener.
His father, John, played in the National Football League for the Tampa Bay Bucs for six seasons after being a four-year letter winner at Tennessee.
His late brother, Zane, also was on the Marshall roster in 2005-06.
Dobson is from Dunbar, W.Va., and has been named to the Biletnikoff, Senior Bowl and College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists this preseason.
He was selected as a preseason first team All-Conference USA pick by Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Athlon 2012 Preseason magazine, Lindy’s 2012 Preseason magazine and Phil Steele 2012 Preseason magazine/website, as well as being named on the Conference USA First Team Preseason team as chosen by league coaches.
He tied for second in the league with 12 touchdown catches last season as an Honorable Mention All-C-USA selection, had 49 receptions for 668 yards in 2011 in 12 starts and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Herd's 20-10 victory over FIU in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl.
He led South Charleston High School to a state AAA football title, then helped USA Football to a U-19 world championship the summer before attending Marshall.
Dobson is a three-year letter winner who has caught 108 passes over those seasons, with 27 career starts, and is ninth all-time for the Herd in touchdown catches (21), 13th in receiving yards (1,719) and 18th in catches (108).
Snipes-Booker, a slot receiver and return specialist from Sarasota, Fla. and Riverview H.S., has been named to the Jet Award (Johnny Rogers College FB Most Exciting Player) and CFPA Special Teams Award Watch Lists this preseason for his 2011 performances in Marshall’s return game.
Last season, he was 20th nationally in punt return average (10.89 yards per attempt), which put him third in Conference USA behind SMU’s Richard Crawford (14th, 11.81) and Tracy Lampley of Southern Miss (15th, 11.48).
He also averaged 24.8 yards per kick return on 33 attempts to go with his six catches for 116 yards from his wide receiver spot.
Snipes-Booker, who recently joined his sister — Marshall volleyball senior Andrea — in adding their grandfather’s name to their last name, has lettered three seasons and had two starts at receiver and 13 starts on special teams.
Taylor, a junior from nearby South Point (Ohio) High School (No. 58 in top photo, recovering a fumble), picked up 45 tackles (17 solo, 28 assists) from his defensive end spot last season, with 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
He started 10 games last year opposite of Marshall All-American end, current Philadelphia Eagles defender Vinny Curry, and has 11 starts in his career, which began as a walk-on in the Marshall program.
Taylor, who is 24-years old and has two children, worked for a telemarketing company for two years after graduating from high school before enrolling at Marshall in January of 2010 and walking on that spring for first-year Coach Doc Holliday.
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Holliday’s captains in his first two seasons were Omar Brown, Vinny Curry, Tyson Gale and Ryan Tillman in 2011 and Lee Smith and Mario Harvey (both captains in 2009 as well), Brian Anderson and Brown in 2010.
Marshall first named a football captain when quarterback Roy Grass was tabbed for the honor on Coach George Ford’s two seasons, captain for both the 1903 season as a junior and the 1904 season as a senior.
Frank “Red” Crist was the next multi-year captain, serving first in 1920 and again in 1925 as an eight-year player as a student being taught in, and then a college student learing, in the Lab School at Marshall for the Normal School, then attending Marshall as a four-year degree institution begining in 1920.
In 1928, the Thundering Herd had two captains for the first time, as tackle Ralph Young (also captain in ’27) and Frank Porter were selected.
Young was the second multi-year captain named at Marshall, and Tom Stark was the next in 1929-30, followed by John Zontini in 1934-35.
Then there was no repeat captains until 1974-75, when offensive guard Jesse Smith pulled the double-honor when he was granted a fifth-year of eligibility by the NCAA due to a heart condition that prevented his playing in 1974.
Corner Derek Grier was a captain in both 1990 and 1991, as was running back Chris Parker in 1994 and 1995 and receiver Tim Martin and defensive tackle Billy Lyon were captains in 1995 and 1996.
Four players were captains on the 1998 and 1999 teams — running back Doug Chapman, linebacker Andre O’Neil, defensive back Rogers Beckett and center Jason Starkey.
The only three time selections have been quarterback Chad Pennington in 1997-98-99, quarterback Byron Leftwich in 2000-01-02 and receiver Darius Watts in 2001-02-03.
Three captains were first named at Marshall in 1975, when offensive tackle Mark Brookover, defensive end Steve Morton and Smith were selected for Ellwood’s first team.
Four captains were selected in 1990 when guard Don Mahoney, tight end Eric Ihnat, linebacker Eric Gates and Grier were named
That number of captains took a giant leap next when seven players were selected in 1992 — tight end Mike Bartrum, defensive linemen Jim Durning, Bob Lane and Byran Litton, quarterback Michael Payton, guard Phil Ratliff and linebacker Donahue Stephenson.
Marshall has had as many as eight captains in 1999 (Beckett, Chapman, John Grace, Mike Guilliams, Giradie Mercer, O’Neil, Pennington and Starkey);
In 2002 (Leftwich, Steve Scuillo, Watts, Chris Crocker, Yancey Satterwhite, Curtis Head, Orlando Washington and Jeff Edwards);
And in 2003 (Stan Hill, Charlie Tynes, J.T. Rembert, Toriano Brown, Joey Stepp, Nate McPeek, Roberto Terrell and Watts).
In 2008, Coach Mark Snyder named his entire senior class as captains, meaning a record 15 players were honored on the 4-8 team — receiver Darius Passmore, Emmanuel Spann and E.J. Wynn, defensive back Phillip Gamble, C.J. Spillman and Aaron Johnson, defensive linemen Joe Bragg, Ian Hoskins and Montel Glaxco, running back Chubb Small and Cody Tominack, linebacker Mo Kitchens, offensive lineman Matt Altobello and Brian Leggett and tight end Matt Parkhurst.
Some coaches have chosen over the years to have game captains instead of season captains, as Pete Pedersen did first in 1951, then Herb Royer in 1956, Perry Moss in 1968, Rick Tolley in 1969, Frank Ellwood in 1978, Sonny Randle did in all five seasons he was head coach, 1979-83, and George Chaump had in 1989.
Since 1903’s first captain, Marshall is only 30-83-3 when playing a season with no captain or game captains.
Marshall will open the 2012 season with a noon ET kickoff at 11th-ranked West Virginia on Saturday in a game that will be televised nationally on FX.