Marriott counts wins against ECU and COVID as blessings | Sports
HUNTINGTON – Imagine taking a test with four multiple choice answers and still can’t answer correctly.
That’s what football opponents at Marshall University felt during the heyday of Thundering Herd in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“We had some ball receivers,” former MU wide receiver Denero Marriott said on a recent visit here. “Any of us could have been No. 1 receiver on other teams in the (Mid-American Conference). We had four. You had to choose your poison and whatever you chose, you were wrong. “
Josh Davis, Curtis Jones and Darius Watts joined Marriott to form a receiving corps that in 2001 caught 245 passes for 3,426 yards. Marriott tallied 80 for 800 yards for a team that went 11-2 and beat East Carolina 64-61 in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Marriott caught two key passes in the tied race as Marshall made up for a 38-8 halftime deficit to win a game that has become a staple on ESPN Classic. The Martinsburg, West Virginia native ended his career with 143 catches for 1,805 yards and 17 touchdowns.
âWe were able to put a workout together and put it in and take it out,â Marriott said of the GMAC Bowl. âI just talked to Curtis Jones about it. I think it was the most physical game I’ve ever been in. I don’t know if it was more if ECU was physical and was big or did two overtime and was playing 100 – a few shots. I heard so many stories of people leaving and trying to come back. It was crazy. “
Herd’s locker room at half-time was crazy too. Coach Bobby Pruett was not at all happy with his team’s performance.
I don’t think I can repeat those words, “Marriott said of what was said at halftime.” Bobby P. kind of dug with us. We came out flat. I don’t know if it was the change of scenery. We were going to the Motor City Bowl. I do not know. Thank goodness we had the talent to turn things around in the second half. “
A senior systems engineer at Service Coordination, an internet technology company based in Frederick, Md., Marriott said he misses college football.
“With the fans (Joan C. Edwars Stadium) packed, the night games make it hard to replicate that kind of adrenaline,” Marriott said at the Thundering Lanes Bowl in Thon on April 16 at the Strike Zone. Bowling Center. âWhen I got the call about this bowling story, I thought it was another chance to build up the competitive spirit. Why not?â
Marriott made another big comeback just over a year ago. He was one of the first people in West Virginia to contract COVID-19. He said the fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath were severe.
âI have no idea where I could have gotten it,â Marriott said. âI hadn’t been anywhere.
That the former player who spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles was in excellent shape helped him against COVID.
If I hadn’t worked out and ate well, I would have been worse off, âMarriott said.
Surviving a life-threatening illness has made Marriott cherish the reunion with his teammates even more.
âIt’s great,â he said. “I’m glad the guys reached out and come back. I miss the fraternity. We were just talking about it over lunch. Those eight, nine, 10 year olds the buzz in town was incredible. We win championships and games of balls I hope (new MU coach Charles Huff) will train them. “