BYH to the one responding to my plea for beef ribs, saying I had to leave eastern NC or even 'cross the border' to get...

ECU draft prospect hits diamond

1 of 3

Football receiver Zay Jones smiles as he waits in the home dugout Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium before throwing a first pitch at an ECU baseball game.

NFL Combine Football

The Daily Reflector

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Zay Jones is confident enough in his unique ability to catch footballs that he isn’t concerned about his apparent lack of prowess in throwing a baseball.

On Friday night, the former ECU star receiver was a little out of his element when he was part of the baseball festivities at Clark-LeClair Stadium during a doubleheader. First, he was presented plaques for leading the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision last season in receptions per game and receiving yards per game, and then he took to the pitcher’s mound for a ceremonial first pitch.

The NFL draft prospect had imperfect form in his toss, but the key was he got the ball in the air to a crouching Bryce Harman behind home plate.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking and definitely not a strike,” said Jones, who as a senior made 158 receptions for 1,746 yards. “The practice didn’t really pay off that much, but it was fun. It was just good to be back out here and support ECU baseball.”

Jones’ weekend also included doing an autograph signing event for Aces For Autism at Sup Dogs restaurant in downtown Greenville.

The Austin, Texas, native tops the NCAA list in single-season and all-time receptions, accomplishments acquired in 2016 that helped put him prominently on NFL radars. He also helped himself a few weeks ago with strong showings in the 40-yard dash and other drills at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

When asked about the possibility of being a first-round selection, Jones was aware that his father, former ECU star linebacker Robert Jones, was the 24th pick in the 1992 draft.

“I’m trying to beat my dad, so hopefully I can get 23rd or below,” Jones said. “I’m excited about that.”

Whether or not that happens will be determined when the draft begins April 27, so for now Jones is still focused on trying to improve his stock and enjoying the process.

ECU will hold its annual pro day event for NFL scouts Thursday. After his productive showing at the NFL combine, Jones might be a limited participant for the Pirates on Thursday. He said he plans to at least run routes and catch some passes.

With the Carolina Panthers holding the No. 8 pick in both the first and second rounds, Jones remaining a football player in Carolina is a possibility as he is mainly projected anywhere from a late first-rounder to somewhere in the second. He also understands the fluidity of thinking by NFL teams during this time of year and is keeping an open mind as April approaches.

“The Panthers have shown great interest and I had the opportunity to work out for them and hopefully hear great things for them,” he said. “Other than that, I’m just going to keep doing what I do best and go out here on this pro day and perform well and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


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


April 25, 2018

As a former N.C. State assistant coach, third-year East Carolina softball head coach Courtney Oliver is plenty familiar with the rivalry in all sports between the Pirates and Wolfpack.

California native and ECU shortstop Ashleigh Inae got quite the introduction to it Wednesday when she chopped a…


April 25, 2018

Trey Benton and Jake Agnos were East Carolina baseball’s top two starting pitchers heading into the season back in mid-February.

They both are bullpen pitchers for this weekend when No. 7 ECU hosts Houston with first place in the American Athletic Conference at stake.

Coach Cliff Godwin said…


April 24, 2018

East Carolina officials announced Wednesday afternoon that any Pirate fan who bought a ticket to the cancelled ECU-N.C. State game, originally scheduled for Tuesday night in Raleigh, can exchange it for a general admission single-game ticket to any of ECU’s three games this weekend…


April 23, 2018

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: East Carolina’s baseball game against N.C. State is cancelled because of inclement weather and will not be made up. 


Previous story

East Carolina moved back into the top-10 of the two major college baseball polls Monday, one day before traveling to…


April 21, 2018

East Carolina had an inauspicious beginning to Saturday’s doubleheader at Memphis, falling being by a couple of runs in the opening inning of the first game, but the Pirates pounded home four runs in the fifth for for a 4-2 win, then took a 4-0 lead in the series finale and held on for…


April 20, 2018

East Carolina’s Kathryn Car­son is the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence women’s golf fresh­man of the year, giv­ing the Pi­rates that honor for the first time since they joined the league in 2014.

The Pi­rates also took the AAC team aca­demic…


April 20, 2018

Ken Niumatalolo is on Paul Johnson’s side when it comes to the new NCAA rule in football that bans blocking below the waist that occurs five yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Niumatalolo is the veteran coach at Navy, which runs the triple-option rushing scheme maybe better than any other…

Military Bowl Virginia Navy Football

April 20, 2018

After dropping a traditional weekend series for the first time this season last week against South Florida in Greenville, the East Carolina baseball team traveled to Durham on Tuesday and beat Duke 9-2 for another key resume-building victory.

The Pirates cruised in Durham thanks to a few things…


April 19, 2018

No. 7 seed East Carolina cruised into the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference men’s tennis championships with a 4-0 victory over No. 10 seed Connecticut in Dallas on Thursday.

ECU (22-4) swept the doubles point and then got three singles victories in straight sets…

April 19, 2018

An unexpected infusion of cash from the American Athletic Conference will help offset other losses and keep East Carolina athletics within negative budget projections for the current fiscal year — an expected loss of about $979,000 to bring the department’s running deficit to $3.2…

East Carolina UCF Football
218 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 22
        Next Page»   Last Page»