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Snyder leads first practice at Marshall



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The new head coach will be more of a spectator today at the spring game.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Mark Snyder led his first practice as Marshall's new football coach Friday and immediately saw some bright spots in the lineup.

Snyder was most impressed with safeties Curtis Keyes and Chris Royal.

"I'm going to tell you, they're as good as the guys we have at Ohio State, based on what I saw today," Snyder said. "They move around well. They understand what we're doing."

Royal said the players are eager to prove themselves, although he has little to worry about. Royal intercepted two passes in Marshall's 24-21 loss at Ohio State in September.

Was named Thursday

Snyder was Ohio State's defensive coordinator last season and served as linebackers' coach for three years before that. He was named Thursday to replace the retired Bob Pruett.

"It's kind of like we're turning over a new leaf," Royal said. "If you're a guy that hasn't been up there in the starting first two rotations and you want to prove yourself, this is a chance to do it."

Snyder said he also was pleased with sophomore-to-be running back Ahmad Bradshaw and liked what he saw in a trio of quarterbacks fighting for the starting job: Jimmy Skinner, Bernard Morris and junior college transfer Derek Devine.

"I thought they threw the ball well today. They've all got good arms," Snyder said.

Snyder will attend today annual Green-White scrimmage to end spring practice. He plans to spend much of his time mingling with the crowd while the assistant coaches will run the scrimmage.

"I might have a little hand in there. We'll see," Snyder said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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