HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall's offensive line suffered another departure as tackle Jordan Jeffries gave up the game for medical reasons.
Jeffries has an injured hip, which knocked him out of the Thundering Herd's game at Ohio and kept him on the sidelines in games against Virginia Tech and Texas-San Antonio. But his situation had greater implications for his long-term health.
"He has a hip [injury] that the doctors told him every time he steps back out on that practice field, it's going to affect him as far as quality of life down the road," said MU coach Doc Holliday. "He's made that decision, he made the right decision.
"He's a great kid that's going to be an engineer someday, and he'll be fine."
The 6-foot-8, 310-pound senior, who started 15 games in his Marshall career, battled junior-college import Gage Niemeyer in the spring, and Niemeyer took the upper hand in the fall. Officially, Jeffries played 87 snaps.
The announcement follows that last of Josh Lovell's decision to leave the program, and further thins out a formerly deep unit. The tackle spots will need some creativity, and a true freshman is backing up at the guard and center positions.
The good news: Right tackle Clint Van Horn should be back at full go after all but missing last week's game with concussion symptoms. The Beckley native played on the field goal/extra point unit, but didn't play a scrimmage snap.
"He's plenty good enough," Holliday said. "We can roll Garrett [Scott] back to left tackle a little bit. We'll be able to roll Gage and Van Horn and Garrett at the tackles. We were rolling Van Horn some at guard [but] that didn't need to happen anymore because [Michael] Selby is playing really well."
Selby, a 6-2, 275-pound true freshman from Sandersville, Ga., played 61 snaps with an 87 percent success rate against UTSA.
"Selby can play the amount that he played, and we can roll three guards and those three tackles," Holliday said. "You don't want to ever lose anybody, but we feel good where we are now."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.