Herd loaded on offense

A loaded Marshall team looks to be the most talented in Mel Kiper's breakdown of the Mid-American Conference East division.

Originally Published: August 2, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Editor's note:'s Mel Kiper Jr. continues his look at the best players in each conference by examining the top five players on the rosters of teams in the Mid-America East division (schools listed in alphabetical order).

Akron Zips
1. Charlie Frye, QB, sr. -- Had a spectacular year in 2003, completing 64.8 percent of his passes while throwing 22 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Frye is one of the faster players on the team, running the 40 in around 4.58 seconds, and is a smart, dedicated player. Needs better protection from the offensive line, though.
2. Dwayne LeFall, DE, sr. -- Somewhat of an underachiever, LeFall is one of the more talented ends in the conference but has been an up-and-down performer. If he can sustain his intensity level, his raw ability should help him improve on the 6 sacks he recorded last season, perhaps getting him 10-12 this year.
3. Domenik Hixon, WR, jr. -- Converted from free safety to receiver in the spring and will be key for a team that lost its top five receivers from a year ago. Hixon was excellent in spring practice and should provide a boost.
4. Chase Blackburn, DE, sr. -- At 6-3, 245 he is a linebacker-end combination. Will team with LeFall to put some heat on opposing passers off the edge.
5. Dennis Basch, TE, jr. -- Had only two catches last season but possesses a ton of talent in his 6-3, 250-pound frame. Basch has the hands to go from two receptions to 25.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.