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MU needs to retire Moss’ No. 88

August 1, 2018

ChuckLANDON

Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are some opinions gathered during a three-week vacation.

Marshall needs to announce it is retiring Randy Moss’ number.

The timing simply couldn’t be better for hanging No. 88 alongside the late Gunner Gatski’s No. 72. That’s because Moss will join Gatski as only the second Marshall football player in history to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he is enshrined Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

Gatski, former star center for the Cleveland Browns, had his number retired Oct. 15, 2005.

So, there’s the precedent.

Moss, who starred for the Thundering Herd as a record-setting wide receiver in 1996 and ’97, obviously deserves to have his number retired. And what better time for Marshall to announce the honor than the week of his induction?

It simply makes sense.

Marshall needs to jump aboard the Randy Moss bandwagon this week.

• All these award watch lists really aren’t worth watching anymore.

Case in point?

The 2018 Butkus Award Watch List, which supposedly honors the best linebacker in collegiate football. The problem with this particular watch list is it didn’t include the right players.

Marshall’s Juwon Young, for example, was included on the Butkus Watch List despite having a so-so 2017 season. Besides that, Young was shifted to defensive end during Marshall’s spring practice and is expected to remain there.

Meanwhile, arguably the best two linebackers in the state of West Virginia – Marshall’s Chase Hancock and WVU’s David Long Jr. – were both omitted from the Butkus Watch List.

Young contributed 41 tackles, including three tackles for loss, and three pass breakups. By comparison, Hancock made 128 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss, while Young had 75 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss.

Hancock was a preseason All-Conference USA selection and Young was a preseason All-Big 12 pick.

The Butkus Award Watch List doesn’t know bupkis about linebackers.

• And while we’re on the subject of omissions ...

Marshall’s fans, along with such notable former Herd standouts as tight end Ryan Yurachek, were outraged when Marshall’s standout senior defensive lineman Ryan Bee wasn’t selected to the 2018 preseason All-Conference USA team.

Here’s what everyone needs to know.

The team was selected by C-USA’s 14 head football coaches.

So, why was Bee snubbed?

Perhaps, it was because the 6-foot-7, 285-pound senior played out of position during the 2017 season.

As most fans will remember, Bee carved his niche as a play-making defensive end in 2015. Then, because of a lack of defensive tackles, he was moved inside. That was okay when the lanky lineman was lined up in a two-technique head-up on a guard or a three-technique on a guard’s outside shoulder. Bee still could use his great first-step and his length to mount a good pass rush.

But in 2017, injuries and a lack of depth forced Marshall to play him at nose tackle. That simply isn’t Bee’s position. He’s too long and tall to play in the middle of the defensive line.

And that just might be why the C-USA coaches didn’t vote for Bee on the preseason team.

The good news is Bee won’t be playing nose tackle in 2018.

• We lost a really good one last weekend.

Rodger Monk, former Charleston AAU iconic coach passed away, leaving behind so very many players, friends and followers.

He was a very special guy.

Rest in peace, Rodger.

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

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