mike treier

Marshall cornerbacks coach Mike Treier

HUNTINGTON — Normally, most coaches are worried about coaching up new players during the opening weeks of preseason camp.

While Marshall cornerbacks coach Mike Treier is doing his share of coaching, he’s also keeping close tabs on his phone, as well.

Treier, who likely has invested in a phone case that charges as you go, just laughs when trying to find the right words to describe what his days are like during camp.

“Chaos. That’s what it’s like,” Treier said with a smile. “It’s kind of fun because the times in between meetings or practice, you’re always on your phone still, trying to find the next guy that maybe can help you. If we have depth issues somewhere, you’re always looking to find someone who can help you, plus you had guys that you were talking to all summer that, for whatever reason, their decision gets pushed back — can’t get into certain schools or can’t make a decision or something happens. There’s always different scenarios. You’ve got to be ready.”

As he’s discussing the trend, the beep of a phone — his phone — sounds repeatedly, and he glances at it before continuing on with the conversation.

There is no ignoring a call or text because ignoring one could be the difference between getting a new prospect or not getting them to Huntington.

For Treier and head coach Doc Holliday, not getting them to Huntington simply isn’t an option. It’s Treier’s charge to make sure that the team is as strong as possible from top to bottom.

“We’re never done recruiting and we’re never done making the roster better,” Treier said. “I told the team this on special teams. This roster we have now from 80 to 110, I’m not sure we’ve ever had it as talented on that end as what we have it. You’re always trying to make the whole roster more talented and Doc is really good at pushing that.”

That philosophy has proven itself over the last few weeks.

Not only has Marshall added several pieces during the late spring and summer through the transfer portal, but the Herd has also added pieces since camp started — transfer wide receiver Keyshawn “Pie” Young from USC, who will sit out 2019, and defensive back E.J. Jackson, who was announced as a late addition to the 2019 class earlier this week.

Jackson was on the field Thursday going through workouts in shorts in his first action for Marshall, and Young is expected in soon.

Treier said that just like being on the field, recruiting is all about the game plan.

For Marshall, the arrival of the transfer portal changed the game plan a bit, which was seen when Marshall signed only 19 players to national letters of intent in December and February as part of the 2019 class.

That allowed some leeway to take players such as wide receivers Tavin Richardson and Joey Fields, linebacker Quinlen Dean and former WVU defensive back Derrek Pitts, in addition to Young and Jackson.

“Doc’s quote to me when I came back was never turn down a good player, so we’re always trying to keep spots available for if that player pops up,” Treier said. “You never want to put yourself in position — which a lot of schools do — to where you don’t have room. We are always going to keep spots for guys who pop up. Always.”

Holliday’s plan of attack for 2019 recruiting has worked so far because, as other teams have exhausted their allotted number of initials — set at 25 by the NCAA — the Herd has been able to continue evaluating those who are still available.

“It’s craziness, but we see how it shakes out,” Holliday said. “If we have the opportunity to grab a good player and have the offer or initial to make that happen, we’re going to continue to work.”

While availability is one key, Treier said that patience is also crucial. With so many players in the transfer portal, it’s important to not just find the most talented, but the one that fits a need the best.

“I thought we did a great job this offseason,” Treier said. “If we had a position of need and a guy popped up — big school, big name, big stats — we didn’t jump and say, ‘Oh that’s the guy we need.’ You have to find the right fit. We’re very conscious of not disrupting the chemistry of the roster.

“You take Tavin Richardson, Joey Fields, Quinlen Dean — you know all those guys are good players, but more importantly, those guys keep their mouths shut and they just fit in. They aren’t trying to come in and disrupt anything. They are just going to fit in and try to help us win a championship.”

Next week will be Marshall’s final week of camp, which means recruiting may slow as preparation for the Aug. 31 VMI game accelerates.

But Treier again smiled as he looked at his phone when asked if Marshall was done adding players for 2019.

“C’mon, man,” Treier said. “We talked about this. Recruiting never stops.”