November 2, 2010

2012 OL checks out Herd

Richlands mammoth offensive lineman Josh Hess finished up throttling the Carroll County Cavaliers on Friday night as Richlands rolled 63-0.

On Saturday morning, he made up his way to Marshall University for a visit with teammate and fellow class of 2012 prospect Devon Johnson.

Both players figure to be highly recruited members of the 2012 class and Marshall University has offered both prospects.

Hess, towering at 6'7, 285 pounds, is blessed with tremendous size that college coaches covet at the Division I-A level.

HerdNation got the opportunity to catch up with the talented Southwestern Virginia high school star a few nights ago.

We discussed his visit to Marshall University, the recruiting process, and what his team needs to focus on to win a state championship, among other topics.

Below is the interview.

Interview with OL Josh Hess

HerdNation: First off, Josh, why don't you talk about how your visit to Marshall University went?

Josh Hess: "It went good. We got there, I mean they treated me like they've known me all my life. Walked in, Coach Ratliff was there, talked to me and Devon (Johnson). We go down and took a little tour of the campus, go see the weight room, and we go out on the field. I mean everybody was nice. I was thrilled with the people. I mean, I just really liked it up there. I think Marshall moved up big-time on my list this weekend."

HerdNation: They jumped up on your list?

Josh Hess: "Yes sir."

HerdNation: Where would you say Marshall stands for your services in relation to the other schools, Josh?

Josh Hess: "I mean, they're up there now, I don't really have a certain place for all of them. I always wanted to go to a bigger place, but I mean Marshall's right up there with them--the great football atmosphere, the fans get into it. They're classified with the rest of them."

HerdNation: You were telling me earlier about Coach Ratliff hugging your mom and dad. (Laughs) Talk about Coach Ratliff a little bit, Josh.

Josh Hess: "He was there waiting on us after the game was over. He went in the locker room and told us to wait there. He came back out and we talked for like 20 minutes--just talked about our football season, how the big the win meant to them to try and get the kids excited again. He's just a great guy."

HerdNation: What was your favorite part of the visit, Josh?

Josh Hess: "Uhhh...(pause) ahh I liked everything really. The game itself was crazy. I mean, Marshall had the lead the whole game and then UTEP comes back with about 5:30 left and puts one on 'em. There was a lot of action."

HerdNation: You were telling me you got to talk to Tron Martinez a little bit before the game, Josh. Talk about that experience a little bit.

Josh Hess: "He was just talking about he's a Virginia boy and kind of like how he came up from nothing, which is what Coach Ratliff was telling me. That and keep working hard and work on your grades, and choose Marshall (laughs) pretty much."

HerdNation: You were telling me you got to talk to the offensive line coach a little bit, Josh, Bill Legg. Talk about that experience a little bit.

Josh Hess: "Coach Legg--he got my highlight film before I came. But he got it, he watched it, and said I've improved a lot from last year. He was just telling me how I fit into their offense and all that stuff. Coach Legg is just a real nice guy. He's a great offensive coordinator and I think he'd be a good offensive line coach."

HerdNation: Who were the other prospects you got to talk to on your visit, Josh?

Josh Hess: "There was a kid from Kentucky--offensive lineman (Tyler Combs). You just said his name and I can't think of it. We talked for a little bit. He was at the camp that I was at when we were up there. A quarterback--(Adam Wing)--he was up there, can't think of his name, he was a big tall kid."

HerdNation: You were up there with teammate, Devon Johnson. We all know that Devon's gonna be one of the more highly recruited members of the 2012 recruiting class. Do you think Devon enjoyed his experience up there at Marshall?

Josh Hess: "He loved it. He said, 'Marshall's number one!' He's a West Virginia boy--he's from Big Creek. He liked it up there. Him and Coach Ratliff are close. He really liked it."

HerdNation: Talk about what you did on your visit, Josh. Like what kinds of stuff you did, overall.

Josh Hess: "We went--when we got there we signed in and the academic lady--she came down and talked to us for a little bit. Then we went over, took a tour on campus, we went over to the new faciility--the student facility. Then we went over to the weight room--hung around there for about 20 minutes--just looked around. Then we went back in, went down on the field, then we went up in the stands. After the game, me and the other offensive lineman went back down on the field, because Coach Ratliff told us too. Talked to him for a little bit. Then we met Ahmad Bradshaw. He was walking out of the locker room--I guess he talked to them after the game or something. He was walking out and I talked to him. He came up and hugged my Dad--because he played at Graham when we were at Richlands. He knew where the area was at and stuff."

HerdNation: Talk about meeting Ahmad Bradshaw a little bit more Josh.

Josh Hess: He walked out--we were standing there waiting on Coach Ratliff to come back out, Ahmad looked out, and I said a choice word, 'Oh s***, there's Ahmad Bradshaw.' Because we saw him on the field during halftime or something because they brought him back because it was Homecoming and everything. Then he spoke to us, told us to keep working hard. It was great meeting him."

HerdNation: Do you have any plans in the future to get back up to Huntington, Josh?

Josh Hess: "I think I am. I'm not for sure, when though, but I want to go back up and see Coach Ratliff and Coach Legg again.

HerdNation: Talk about your guys' game against Carroll County. I know you guys really cruised in that one (63-0) Josh. Tell us what the score of that one was and how you played and everything.

Josh Hess: "It was 63-0. We were up big at half. Everybody did good--the offensive line, the whole offensive unit, defense, special teams. I mean we were all fundamentally sound. I mean, we were expecting it to be one of our toughest district games and we came in and we did everything we were supposed to. Took care of business."

HerdNation: What do you think is the biggest thing you guys need to focus on at Richlands in order to catch that coveted prize that is a state championship?

Josh Hess: "We just gotta keep working hard--working hard at practice and keep focusing on our goal. I mean, we talk about it everyday, staying focused and don't lose sight of it. That's what we're gonna keep doing."

As always, remember that HerdNation is your premiere source for Marshall football recruiting coverage! Wade Peery is the publisher of and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] All comments and feedback are welcome.

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