Loading...
Bless our stormwater system's heart (does it have one?). Seemed to hold up pretty well to me, Calvin. Stormwater is...

SMU, ECU leading AAC in recruiting

030118ECUfootball-3.jpg
1 of 2

East Carolina football coach Scottie Montgomery walks the practice fields during a spring workout Feb. 28.

062818-Jeremy Lewis
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Monday, July 9, 2018

East Carolina football hit double-digits for the month of June alone in verbal commitments from recruits.

The significance of this is magnified with most of July as a recruiting dead period enforced by the NCAA, which also typically leads to coaching staff members across the country to use vacation before football activity and obligations ramp up later in July and certainly in August.

ECU was No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings until it recently was jumped by SMU. The top-five now is SMU, ECU, Temple, Cincinnati and Houston.

Temple, SMU and Houston all had seven-win seasons in 2017. Cincinnati was 4-8, and the Pirates were 3-9 for the second straight year.

The Pirates are at 17 commits after their wave of pledges in June. Their near-full class is rooted in in-state talent, highlighted in Pitt County by South Central receiver/​defensive end Jeremy Lewis the latest to commit June 28 to join D.H. Conley receiver C.J. Johnson and Farmville Central agile 330-pound defensive lineman Keziah Everett.

They all picked the Pirates over Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

Farmville Central coach Scott Gardner said high school coaches have viewed offensive coordinator Tony Petersen as a key recruiter for East Carolina and head coach Scottie Montgomery this offseason.

“It’s nice to have a school right in your backyard that you can go to and play big-time football,” Gardner said. “The 2019 class, with Keziah and all the other ones they have recruited so far, that’s going to be a dynamic class. It’s great that coach Montgomery and coach Petersen are over there and can get them over to East Carolina to play college football.”

ECU’s highest-rated recruit, according to 247Sports.com, is 6-foot athlete Jsi Hatfield from Southern Alamance High School, where he played quarterback last season but had more rushing touchdowns than passing TDs. He also was the team’s leading rusher and is likely looking at playing receiver or another skill position in college.

Johnson is a traditional receiver who caught 31 touchdown passes for Conley as a junior in forming a great connection with now-Pirate freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers. Joining Everett and Lewis potentially on the defensive line is 6-3, 225 Hemingway, S.C., native Darius Williams, who is rated as ECU’s second-best verbal commit with scholarship offers from Marshall, UCF, Middle Tennessee State and others.

“We are going to make a big impact on ECU and we’re going to be able to turn this thing around pretty shortly,” Lewis said.

Last year was the first year for the December early signing period and it gave way to summer recruiting gaining extra importance. That proved true again this June for the Pirates and other teams.

Commitments are not binding until a recruit signs a letter of intent in December or the traditional spring period. Most of ECU’s recruits for the previous class signed in December, including Ahlers.

The Pirates secured 22 players in the Ahlers-led class that ranked eighth in the AAC and 87th nationally.

Thirteen of ECU’s 17 current verbal commits are considered three-star prospects, which has East Carolina ranked in the top-50 nationally.

No American team has received a pledge in this class from a four- or five-star prospect. SMU, which has a first-year coach in veteran Sonny Dykes, leads the conference with 14 three-star players.

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

September 18, 2018

A win at a Pac-12 opponent, a shutout and then a record-setting outing on offense.

Cincinnati is 3-0 and riding high in the American Athletic Conference football ranks, following a Week 1 upset at UCLA with a 21-0 win against Miami of Ohio and then Saturday it beat Alabama A&M 63-7 behind a…

Cincinnati UCLA Football

September 17, 2018

The use of FaceTime on phones has been invaluable for the East Carolina football team, which avoided the direct hit of Hurricane Florence when it left for Orlando, Fla., last Wednesday but in many ways still is dealing with the aftermath.

That is especially true for players who have family in…

090918ECUfootball-44.jpg

September 15, 2018

East Carolina football is under reconstruction.

For the first time last Saturday, some progress was evident on the field inside the Pirates' home stadium currently surrounded by scaffolding and temporary fencing. That is evidence of a bold $60 million upgrade in the works.

The men who wear the…

090918ECUfootball-23.jpg

September 15, 2018

East Carolina was in last place for the first two installments of the American Athletic Conference writers’ power rankings, but after the Pirates’ 41-19 rout of North Carolina they moved up to ninth.

ECU (at Virginia Tech) and league frontrunner UCF (at N.C. State) had their games…

090918ECUfootball-12.jpg

September 14, 2018

There was a play last Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when a North Carolina safety was staring at an East Carolina backfield with two guys totaling 463 pounds on a third-and-3 play near midfield.

The UNC safety keyed on the wrong player during the read option, chasing after 6-foot-3, 236-pound…

090918ECUfootball-24.jpg

September 12, 2018

East Carolina’s football team bused from Greenville to Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday and will remain there until its next game.

The Pirates’ game Saturday at Virginia Tech was canceled Tuesday because of Hurricane Florence and a release by ECU on Wednesday referenced issues of…

090918ECUfootball-30.jpg

September 11, 2018

East Carolina’s football game scheduled for Saturday at Virginia Tech will not be played because of Hurricane Florence.

ECU sent out a release Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. stating that none of its teams will travel to games because of significant and imminent safety concerns. The release also said…

092715ecuvt5_0.jpg

September 10, 2018

Like many people in North Carolina, the East Carolina football team is taking a day-to-day and even hour-to-hour approach as it transitions from Saturday’s rivalry win over North Carolina to this Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech with the threat of Hurricane Florence looming.…

030118ECUfootball-1.jpg

September 10, 2018

Just two weeks into the season, the American Athletic Conference has already done its usual by knocking off some notable Power Five opposition, including three during the weekend.

Exemplifying that trend on Saturday was Houston’s high-flying trouncing of Pac-12 member Arizona. In that game,…

Arizona Houston Football-4

September 10, 2018

As reporters waited in the postgame interview room Saturday after East Carolina’s 41-19 football win over North Carolina, walls could not block the noise coming from down the hallway of the Ward Sports Medicine Building.

It was difficult to decipher the exact words or chants, but members of…

090918ECUfootball-36.jpg
192 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»