Loading...
BYH. Asking Trump to eradicate corruption is like asking a pig to eradicate mud....

From redshirt to game-ready

040817ECUpractice-9

Tahj Deans looks to run after making a reception during an East Carolina spring scrimmage at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Loading…

By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Spring practices certainly don’t tell the whole story of college football teams, but they surely can be a fair snapshot of the core of a team.

One of the universal trends of East Carolina’s second spring under head coach Scottie Montgomery was the rise of some of the young players he helped to sign shortly after his December 2015 hire. While some of them played as freshmen, others waited in the wings and have now proven the worth of a season spent on the scout team and in the weight room as a redshirt.

Redshirt linebacker Aaron Ramseur, quarterback Reid Herring, wide receiver Tahj Deans, defensive back Kayshawn Canady and a handful of others spent the spring defining themselves as the potential future of the Pirates.

Montgomery lends a good deal of the credit to his strength and conditioning team, led by Jeff Connors, for such players showing up ready to make big plays in spring practice.

“If we get the right type of person, the right type of body and the right type of student, we're going to be able to develop them pretty quickly. Coach C. can develop them pretty quickly,” Montgomery said.

One intangible, the coach said, is having great players already in that position when an incoming freshman arrives.

The impact of the high standard already set can be substantial, and it is one of the reasons Montgomery is happy to have three graduate transfers on campus this summer. The Pirates also added the commitment of another grad transfer this week in the form of safety Korrin Wiggins, a Durham native, from Clemson.

“That's why we worked so hard this offseason to put great players in certain roles,” the coach said. “Our kids see what they're supposed to look like at 22 and at 23. The vision of what they are going to turn into makes it a lot easier to come in and do your job every day.”

Montgomery also lauds ECU's commitment to paying the full cost of attendance for its student-athletes, which includes what he said are vital healthy snacks and protein shakes on a daily basis, helping them to maintain good habits as they pursue becoming the athletes in their visions.

By about seven or eight games into last season, Ramseur, then on the scout team, was ready to make the leap to the real thing, Montgomery said.

“By the time this spring came, none of us were really shocked about (Ramseur), but some of us were shocked about some of the other people and their bodies,” Montgomery said, adding that offensive linemen D’Ante Smith and Cortez Herrin, who played as true freshmen, also showed rapid development as rookies. “Now there is no question they are ready.”

Having a full 12 months to recruit, Montgomery said, has meant zeroing in even more on the specific body types the staff is seeking to play its schemes.

“Here at East Carolina, we've got to understand that we are not an acquisition program, we are a developmental program, and development is what is going to make us a great program and not just have a great season,” he said. “Now, we've put ourselves in a situation to start growing versus just trying fix little issues here and there.”

Recruiting for ‘18

Montgomery, a former standout wide receiver at Duke who went on to sustain an NFL career, will see if his read-and-react skills as a coach are as sharp as when he played.

The coach has had plenty of time to dissect last season’s disappointing performances following a promising 2-0 start, and understandably his recruiting strategy has been tailored at least somewhat to focus on what his team often lacked last season.

“We wanted to attack the idea of having more length,” Montgomery said of his recruiting approach following a 3-9 inaugural season. “If we can reduce the space on the field with a little bit more length, that's very, very important. Everybody that we played, at least in our conference, the space on the field was critical. Everyone is trying to get you in space, and everyone knows if you can get into less space with some of these players, then we have a better chance.”

The aim is to decrease that space, but also to find players with a strong history of playing the positions they are likely to play in Greenville, the coach said.

Like always, there is also the competition inside the competition that Montgomery relishes.

“We wanted guys that were being recruited at a really high level,” he said. “We wanted to win some battles, be in the battles, and we lost some of those battles and we were OK with it, but we wanted to compete for the best talent in the country.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

April 26, 2018

The East Carolina women’s golf team is one of 18 teams headed to the Austin Regional for the NCAA postseason, marking the 12th at-large bid in the program’s 18-year history.

The Pirates were chosen as the No. 12 seed in the regional, which will be played at the University of Texas…

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…

042618ECUSoftball-1.jpg

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…

041418ECUBaseball-1.jpg

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…

041518ECUbaseball-10.jpg

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…

031418ECUbaseball-1.jpg

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…

041418ECUBaseball-11.jpg

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…

CarsonKathryn2017RTs.jpg

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…

033018ECUBaseball-2.jpg

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…

219 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 22
        Next Page»   Last Page»