After attending four high schools in four years and having left the University of Miami by mutual accord, wide receiver Tyre Brady is putting up huge numbers for Randy Moss’ alma mater.
Brady, a 6-3, 210-pound redshirt junior for Marshall University, caught 11 passes for 248 yards and one touchdown against a very good North Carolina State team earlier this season.
Even Moss, who went on to superstardom in the NFL, had only one game at Marshall in which he had more yards. He set the school receiving record with 288 yards in 1996, albeit against a lesser opponent in Delaware.
Brady, meanwhile, has 38 catches for 15.6 yards per reception and six touchdowns this year. He ranks third in Conference USA in receiving yards per game (84.7).
“He’s been a monster,” said South Dade coach Nate Hudson, who coached Brady in 2013, when the Bucs won their only state title in school history.
Brady would love to be similarly monstrous on Saturday, when his Thundering Herd (6-1, 3-0) hosts the FIU Panthers (4-2, 2-1) in a C-USA battle. FIU is tied for third in the East Division, trailing Marshall and Florida Atlantic.
Marshall, which is on a five-game win streak, is 3-0 at home. The Herd’s only loss was 37-20 to N.C. State, which is now ranked 14th in the nation.
FIU, coming off a bye week, hasn’t played since a 23-10 win over Tulane on Oct. 14. Tulane was a 13 1/2-point favorite, making that game FIU’s most impressive of the season.
But Marshall, which also starts former Miami Hurricane Juwon Young at middle linebacker, will be an even bigger favorite (17 points) this Saturday.
FIU coach Butch Davis said the biggest difference in Marshall this year is its defensive front seven, which includes Young, who missed the first four games of the year due to a suspension.
On offense, Davis said, Marshall is dangerous at all skill positions.
“They are having an excellent year,” Davis said. “They are explosive on offense, and [Brady] is an excellent player. To be recruited by Miami is a statement in and of itself.”
Brady played his freshman year at Miami Columbus but then had to sit out as a sophomore due to academic ineligibility. He briefly attended Homestead High before moving with his mother to Texas.
His fortunes changed during his dream senior season back home at South Dade. He caught 39 passes for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns, ran back kicks, and played defensive end and defensive back.
His hero in those days was former Hurricanes safety Sean Taylor, and Brady got to meet the NFL star before Taylor was murdered in 2007.
When it came time to choose a college, it was an easy call for Brady, whose grandfather, Horace Cox, was a huge Canes fan.
“Miami was my dream school,” Brady said. “I wanted to be part of the legacy of Miami.”
Brady’s dream came true, but it didn’t last long — just two years. He made three starts in 2015 and had some good moments for the Canes.
In his first career start, which came against Nebraska, Brady’s first career reception went for a touchdown. He was also one of the Canes involved in the eight-lateral, last-second, game-winning kickoff return that beat Duke 30-27.
But after coach Al Golden was fired and Mark Richt was brought in, Brady transferred to Marshall.
“It was real hard leaving Miami,” said Brady, who has worked hard to earn a 2.8 grade-point average as a health and science major at Marshall. “My family is in Homestead, but I had to do what was best for me.”
Brady said he’s happy the Canes are off to a 6-0 start.
“We started something there,” he said of his recruiting class. “Those guys are still family. I’m excited to see them having fun.”
Brady will try to have his own fun on Saturday against FIU.
Saturday: FIU at Marshall
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.; Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, W.V.
TV/radio: No TV; WAXY 790.
Favorite: Marshall by 17.
Records: FIU 4-2 (2-1 C-USA); Marshall 6-1 (3-0 C-USA).
Series: Marshall leads 4-1.
FIU injuries: Out — RB Anthony Jones (knee).
Marshall injuries: Questionable — DL Nyquan Harris (undisclosed); DL Aaron Dopson (undisclosed); DB Jaylon McClain-Sapp (ankle). Out — DL Damien Dozier (undisclosed); LB Donyae Moody (knee).