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Herd has 8 players get preseason honors

Jason Corriher
Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Athlon Sports has released its 2020 Preseason All-Conference USA team and the Marshall Thundering Herd boasts eight representatives.
Linebacker Tavante Beckett, punt returner Talik Keaton, running back Brenden Knox and offensive lineman Cain Madden were picked for the first team.
Tight end Xavier Gaines and defensive lineman Darius Hodge made the second team, while offensive lineman Alex Mollette and safety Nazeeh Johnson were fourth-team selections.
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.
Gaines piled up 27 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns a year ago and Hodge was an honorable mention all-conference pick, pacing the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
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.
Johnson was also an honorable mention all-league honoree, racking up 88 tackles and seven passes defended in 2019.
Marshall football will kick off its 2020 season with an August 29 matchup at East Carolina.
The two schools have been forever linked since the tragic crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 on Nov. 14, 1970, which claimed the lives of all 75 aboard following ECU’s 17-14 home victory earlier that afternoon.
The events of the day were depicted in the 2006 Warner Bros. motion picture We Are Marshall starring Matthew McConaughey.