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Snead described as efficient, hard-working

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East Carolina's Tyler Snead heads to the end zone for a touchdown against Connecticut on Nov. 17, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It is a question to which only people deeply rooted in the East Carolina football program can provide the best answers: Who is Tyler Snead?

“Obviously he is not the biggest kid, but he is going to work hard,” ECU starting quarterback Holton Ahlers said.

Snead is a Pirate freshman receiver listed at 5-foot-7 and 166 pounds. He joined the Pirates as a walk-on during preseason camp but didn’t see the field for the first half of the season.

That changed a few weeks ago, but even when starting lineups were announced before last Saturday’s game against Connecticut at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, there was no picture of Snead displayed on the video board.

The undersized slot receiver then caught three touchdown passes from Ahlers in a 55-21 win. He earned a scholarship Monday.

“He’s become that great player that nobody knows of,” leading receiver Trevon Brown said. “It doesn’t surprise me a bit, just because of how much he comes out here and practices. He was on scout team and works hard every day and does the little things right.

“He blocks bigger people and he’s a small guy, but it’s just about the heart he has.”

As a freshman who has only played in three games, Snead has not been made available yet for interviews.

The win over UConn stopped ECU’s five-game losing streak. The Pirates (3-7) play at Cincinnati on Friday and close the season Dec. 1 at N.C. State.

Now the question surrounding Snead, who went to Millbrook High in Raleigh, is should he redshirt?

Having already played in three games, being inactive for one of the remaining two contests would allow him to remain within the four-game limit for the season and redshirt so that he can be a redshirt freshman next season.

“You almost have to fight him to have the conversation with him right now about not playing in a game,” head coach Scottie Montgomery said. “I think our freshmen have really rallied around the thought of playing for the seniors. I’m thinking about it always because I know who has played three (games) and played two.

“I’ll lean on Snead and some of his teammates, because he really thinks that he is starting to put together a really good career and doesn’t want to put a stoppage in that. This is about trying to win as many games as we can with our seniors.”

Snead’s debut came after the Pirates’ bye week when his four receptions for 50 yards against Memphis on Nov. 3 included a 13-yard touchdown. Then he had five catches for 124 yards versus Tulane, and against UConn he totaled six receptions for 62 yards and three scores.

He has proved more and more reliable with each passing week.

Ahlers also said Snead’s playmaking ability dates back to early in the season, even though he wasn’t contributing during games at that point.

“It’s been there,” said Ahlers, who himself is an oversized quarterback at 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds. “He’s worked his tail off and I respect guys like that who come out here and work hard every single day. He’s done that since he got here, and it didn’t just happen now.

“He’s been doing it and that connection has been there really with all the quarterbacks.”

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

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