December 14, 2011

California JUCO OL discusses his visit to Huntington

It looks like Marshall could land one, two or three junior college offensive linemen in its 2012 recruiting class.

Thundering Herd fans and Old Fairfield subscribers already know Glendale (Ariz.) Community College offensive tackles Billy Rone and Patrick Ward are extremely interested in the Conference USA program.

In fact, Rone has Marshall in his top three with Indiana and Mississippi State, while Ward has Marshall in front of Florida International and Indiana. The teammates visited two weeks ago.

Equally impressed with the Thundering Herd is Bryan Oldenkamp, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive guard from Chaffey (Calif.) Community College.

Oldenkamp visited Marshall on Friday and Saturday, then returned to California on Sunday.

"It was a great experience," Oldenkamp said of his visit. "It was one of the favorite things I have ever gotten to do. I loved it."

Oldenkamp said he had other offers, but he did not name the other schools.

"From where I stand right now, Marshall is at the top of my list," Oldenkamp said. "I can't say when I'll make my final decision. I just have to weigh all of my options. I can definitely say Marshall is at the top of my list, though."

Wherever he goes, Oldenkamp will arrive in January.

"That is my plan," he said. "I want to get in there for spring practice and fight for a starting spot and try to get some playing time for next year."

Marshall was his first official visit.

"I plan on making more official visits," Oldenkamp said. "I have to make the best decision for myself. I really don't know where to go from here. I only have a few weeks to make up my mind, so this process will go quickly."

Oldenkamp, a California native who was academically eligible after graduating from Hesperia High School, said he has four years to play three seasons.

Oldenkamp arrived in Huntington on Friday.

"I got to experience the whole school and see everything," said Oldenkamp, whose host player was redshirt freshman center Chris Jasperse.

Mike Waugh, the director of high school relations for the football program, took Oldenkamp on a campus tour.

"I got a feel for what Marshall is," Oldenkamp said.

He also watched the Thundering Herd practice for its upcoming appearance in the Beef O' Brady's Bowl.

"That was a good experience," he said.

Asked to name his favorite part of his visit, Oldenkamp said: "The most memorable part was when Coach Waugh took me to the (plane crash) memorial at the cemetery. It just really showed me that as long ago as it happened, it is still part of the town and the university.

It shows me how much the town cares about the program. It seems like the town is chanting, 'Go Herd' at the same time. It is a different experience than anything I have ever seen. That makes Marshall's program that much better."

Asked if his visit made him think better or worse about Marshall, Oldenkamp said:

"Obviously a lot better. I wasn't even that familiar with the whole history of it. Everybody has seen the movie (We Are Marshall). But I didn't know how much it affected the town and how much it has helped form the Marshall perspective on the town. It was an eye opener and made me respect the school and the town that much more."

Jacob Messer is the managing editor for He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] All comments and feedback are welcome.

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