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Tigers' Musil cleared for one more season

2/6/2014

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University tight end Marshall Musil enjoyed a standout career at La Crosse High School before he played for University of Oklahoma for four years. Musil took a normal redshirt year as a true freshman. He played in seven contests as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and 10 games as a sophomore in 2011, mainly on special teams and fullback.

In 2012, Musil played in two contests before he suffered a season-ending knee injury and transferred to Fort Hays.

Before 2013 started, Musil believed it was his final season on the gridiron. However, Musil, after playing in all 11 games, recently received a medical redshirt for one season, and clearance to play a sixth season next fall. Fourth-year coach Chris Brown confirmed the clearance in his National Signing Day news conference Wednesday.

"We did all the paperwork with the NCAA and through our compliance here and through the MIAA as well," Brown said. "He is good to go for this next year."

Musil, used primarily as the No. 2 tight end, helped form one of the MIAA's stronger tight end combinations with Zack Gaughan, a Hays High graduate. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Musil caught 12 passes for 131 yards and a TD, and had eight special teams tackles for the 6-5 Tigers.

"I think towards the end of the season, you kind of saw who Marshall Musil was, and I think now he is going to be a standout player for us," Brown said.

Musil has one semester of eligibility remaining, and will not be able to participate in spring practice. The one semester remaining scenario recently happened with quarterback Mike Garrison before the 2010 season, who missed the spring, returned in the fall and broke multiple FHSU passing marks.

"Kind of hurts him a little bit, but hopefully he stays in tune enough and works at it enough on his own to keep himself in shape and understanding what we are doing on offense to make himself a great player," Brown said.

Tigers sign several without Watkins

Tiger assistant coach/defensive line Zach Watkins, a former All-American linebacker at Washburn University, returned to the Ichabod program as co-defensive coordinator in mid-January. Watkins was a strong recruiter who mainly covered Colorado and the Kansas City areas. FHSU has not yet filled Watkins' position, but Brown said, with Signing Day complete, he looked to interview next week.

Even without Watkins, Brown said the Tigers still signed three to four players who Watkins had recruited.

"Our coaches, once he left, did a great job of taking over his areas and talking to those kids," Brown said.

Outside linebacker Austin Bohl is from Colorado Springs, while linebacker Brandon Halperin and defensive end Grant McConnell come from Thornton, Colo., and Doyin Jibowu from Denver. Wide receiver/safety A.J. Roper is from Aurora. FHSU picked up two players from the Kansas City area.

"About three of the five Colorado kids are his that he started out with," Brown said.

Extra Points

Brown said even with the inroads into Wichita and Salina, he still wants to continue to heavily recruit the surrounding states: "Next year's class, hopefully we get some more Wichita kids and some more Salina kids and some more western Kansas kids as well. We are still going to go out and hit Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma pretty hard." ... Brown said the new indoor facility, a rarity at the NCAA Division II level, impressed many families. Brown said many parents said, "this is the nicest facility that we have seen, especially at this level."... Brown said the Tigers signed "most of the kids" they recruited, but are still waiting on around four or five others, including a quarterback, a defensive tackle, a cornerback and a running back.