BYH, overheard Barack saying to Don the Con: 'A copy of my birth certificate is stapled to your indictment'....

Jones, ECU still motivated


East Carolina University wide receiver Zay Jones. (File photo/The Daily Reflector)


By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Zay Jones possesses some remarkable gifts as an athlete, but perhaps his greatest trait is his uncanny ability to take everything and turn it into motivation and renewed energy.

Admittedly feeling some of the wear of being nine games into his already record-setting senior season, the East Carolina wide receiver is still pushing.

Faced with needing three wins and his team’s last three games in order to play in a bowl, Jones sees the tall odds as the potential catalyst for an unforgettable finish. Under the shadow of potentially breaking multiple NCAA top-division receiving records and most of the ECU pass-catching marks held by former teammate Justin Hardy, Jones thinks it is just another reason to play even better.

If that is even possible.

“The stakes are high and I’m really motivated still. We still have a lot to play for,” said Jones, whose remarkable swan song season already features a school-record 127 receptions for an even 1,300 yards and five touchdowns. “A bowl game is still intact. This is like the playoffs ... we have to win if we want that extended game, and I want that extended game and I’m sure the rest of the team does. That’s what’s on the line right now.”

Jones needs just 19 more catches to tie Hardy’s all-time FBS career mark of 387, and he is also on track to set a new NCAA standard for receptions per game (14.11).

With games of 22 (one shy of the NCAA single-game record), 17, 18 and 19 catches already, it is possible Jones will set the new standard for career receptions this Saturday at home against SMU.

“I wouldn’t say it’s distracting, I would say it’s more added motivation that things are out there that are attainable and you can achieve them,” Jones said of the potential records. “I feel as though my play has been very consistent, but there is a lot more that I can do, that I want to do. I’m just going to keep pressing through.”

Nelson or Minshew?

ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery said senior starting quarterback Philip Nelson put in a full practice on Tuesday night after being pulled for backup Garnder Minshew during the second quarter of last Saturday’s loss at Tulsa. After the game, the coach said Nelson was dealing with a shoulder injury.

On Monday, Montgomery said Nelson would have to practice this week in order to prevent Minshew from getting his first career start for the Pirates (3-6, 1-4 American Athletic Conference) against the Mustangs (4-5, 2-3).

“He tends to play a lot better when he practices better, so we wanted to make sure he got some work, a lot of the work, and he came out and was able to get it all,” said Montgomery, adding that Nelson looked sharp on Tuesday. “Last week, we wanted to see him be accurate (against the Golden Hurricane). I think a lot of it had to do with (the injury) and he just wasn’t as accurate. I thought today he was much better.”

Nelson threw for an even 100 yards and a touchdown on 9-of-13 passing in limited action at Tulsa. In the third injury relief appearance of his sophomore season, Minshew, a junior college transfer, rolled up a career-best 336 yards and a TD despite the Pirates’ 45-24 loss.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 or follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


January 16, 2019

East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston and his family are closing on a house this week and making the full move to Greenville next week.

Houston has made Greenville home basically since he was officially hired from James Madison on Dec. 3 to be the 22nd coach of the Pirates. He has been…


January 16, 2019

East Carolina football has started its winter workouts with a heavy focus on the weight room under guidance from director of strength and conditioning John Williams Jr., but first-year head coach Mike Houston also has other plans for the Pirates as they continue to stride toward beginning spring…


January 15, 2019

Shawn Williams was the 2018 American Athletic Conference basketball rookie of the year, and this season he has seen East Carolina teammate and freshman Jayden Gardner firmly put himself in position for a Pirate to potentially win the award for the second straight year.

Gardner’s outstanding…


January 14, 2019

Jayden Gardner continues to thrive as a freshman basketball player for East Carolina, including recently taking over as the American Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, and his praise continued Monday when he was lauded again by the AAC.

Gardner was named the league’s co-freshman of…


January 14, 2019

Ryan Robinson had a family member at the 2014 North Carolina-East Carolina football game, when the Pirates beat UNC 70-41 in front of an ECU record crowd of 51,082 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, and he received rave reviews about that afternoon in Greenville.

As Robinson is entering Week 2 in his role…


January 14, 2019

College baseball banter picked up Monday morning with the release of the D1baseball.com preseason Top 25 rankings, which had East Carolina at No. 11.

ECU, which was already picked as the preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference and also last week was ranked No. 11 by Perfect Game, was…


January 13, 2019

Jayden Gardner’s massive game for the East Carolina basketball team was not enough for the Pirates in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

The freshman post player posted an incredible double-double of 35 points and 20 rebounds while his team surged to outscore Central Florida 39-38 in the second half,…


January 13, 2019

Jayden Gardner’s free throw routine begins pretty basic. He dribbles a few times, mixed in with a couple of spins of the basketball.

Then he goes off script.

One dribble to the far right is followed by Gardner’s body regrouping to the center, and he rises up to shoot as his feet leave…


January 12, 2019

The East Carolina women’s basketball team tip-toed out of the gate against Tulsa on Saturday afternoon.

The visiting Golden Hurricane roared out, taking a 14-0 lead and never relenting in an easy 75-55 victory in American Athletic Conference action in Minges Coliseum.

The loss for the Pirates…


January 12, 2019

East Carolina and Tulsa occupy two of the top five spots in the American Athletic Conference women’s basketball standings heading into their matchup today in Minges Coliseum.

The game will provide a solid opportunity for ECU (10-5, 1-1) to record a quality win and to add to its 8-1 home…

291 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»