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Marshall’s Thomson getting closer to playing

October 3, 2018

Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

These opinions are like sunshine. ... always on the beam.

• The question needed asking. So, I did.

Hey, Doc, is Alex Thomson 100 percent healthy?

“He’s getting close,” replied Marshall veteran head coach Doc Holliday, during his weekly press conference Monday in the Ernie Salvatore Press Box at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Now, we’re getting somewhere.

During both the fourth quarter of Marshall’s 37-20 loss to N.C. State on Sept. 22 and the second quarter of the Herd’s eventual 20-17 win Saturday at Western Kentucky, Marshall’s fans wondered both openly and online why the graduate transfer quarterback didn’t relieve struggling redshirt freshman Isaiah Green.

That’s why this particular question needed to be asked and answered.

“I think the answer to your question,” continued Holliday, “is we are going to play the best players we can possibly play to give us the best chance to win. If Alex gets to the point that we feel that, then Alex will be the first one to run out there on Saturday.

“But he’s getting close.”

Close is a relative term. What Holliday considers close might be a little more stringent than what our judgment would be. But that’s why he gets paid to be the head coach.

It is Doc’s call.

Now, if Green would happen to get hurt — which hopefully won’t happen — in the second quarter of Marshall’s game against Middle Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Edwards Stadium, would Thomson probably replace him at quarterback?

I’d like to think so.

But other than that worst-case scenario I really don’t believe Marshall fans will get the opportunity to watch Thomson perform on Friday night.

Remember Doc’s words.

“He’s getting close.”

That works in horse shoes, hand grenades and dancing, but football?

Ah, not so much.

But at least now everyone has a better idea of Thomson’s forecast. It was cloudy before, but now it’s just overcast.

• Whatever became of the idea to erect a statue of Hal Greer?

Marshall’s president, Jerry Gilbert, was very keen on the idea shortly after the legendary Douglass High School, Marshall University and Philadelphia 76ers legend passed away last April. But since then there has been very little conversation about a statue for Greer.

This isn’t a project that should be forgotten. Greer is very deserving of this honor and either Marshall or Huntington or a combination of the two needs to make this happen.

In fact, there’s a local sculptor that would love to have the project. He’s Frederick Hightower, who is a Huntington resident. But there’s another reason this project is important to Hightower. It’s because his father was also an all-state athlete at old Douglass High.

Hightower, who sculpted an impressive statue of Katherine Johnson for West Virginia State University, obviously is gifted and motivated.

He reportedly would like to create the statue of Greer on Marshall’s campus, performing the creative work at the MU Sculpture Warehouse off of 20th Street. That way, students could watch and/or video Hightower’s creative process and learn from it.

The statue of Greer needs to happen.

• Wouldn’t the Flint Group Pigments property provide a great home for a Marshall baseball stadium?

I certainly believe so.

Now that the city of Huntington has purchased the property on 5th Avenue for $1.2 million, it actually sounds like this long, long, long awaited facility actually could happen.

Don’t forget to exhale.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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