HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall's depth on the offensive line took a substantial hit with the departure of guard Josh Lovell.Thundering Herd coach Doc Holliday confirmed Tuesday that Lovell has left the program. "He's decided for personal reasons he wants to focus on getting his degree," Holliday said Tuesday at his weekly press conference.Lovell, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound junior from Gloucester, Va., had seven career starts but had toiled behind Sebastian Johansson at left guard throughout the spring and this season. Lovell confirmed he had landed in the coaches' doghouse in the spring, but did not elaborate.Offensive line coach Alex Mirabal said in August that the gap between the two had narrowed considerably."We feel right now we have two left guards," Mirabal said. "Well, a lot of people say if you have two left guards, you have none, and that's not true. We have two and we think we have two good ones, and there's a great competition and respect between Josh and Sebastian."Lovell played the Herd's first two games, taking 91 snaps and grading out at 71 percent - much lower than Johansson's four-game grade of 84 percent. True freshman Michael Selby, who remains listed at second-team center, has slid over to left guard and played 27 snaps two weekends ago at Virginia Tech.
Eight linemen have taken at least 80 snaps this season, and only seven played at Virginia Tech. Jordan Jeffries missed that game.Lovell is the second scholarship player who has left the program this season. Defensive tackle Ken Smith, buried in the depth chart at tackle, was the first.Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.