College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Thursday, April 18, 2002
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer
Trimmer Garrard confident about
East Carolina quarterback David Garrard will spend the
weekend in Greenville with family and friends as he waits to learn his fate
in the NFL draft, which will be taking place at Madison Square Garden in New
York City this weekend.
“We’ll probably be grilling some and throwing the
ball,” said Garrard, who finished his ECU career with 28 school records.
“I’d like to be playing some golf but I need to stay close to the
Draft analyst Mel Kiper has rated Garrard No. 7 among
“Some people have said I may go in the second or third
round but it may be the fourth or fifth,” Garrard said. “The draft is
unpredictable. The important thing is just to be going somewhere, getting
there and making an impact.”
Since his senior season ended, Garrard has learned more
about his particular nutrition needs. He spent about six weeks in New
Orleans at a fitness clinic.
“I’m eating a lot of grilled chicken, peanut butter on
crackers, and the leaner cuts of beef — the good cuts, like filet mignon,”
Garrard said. “I’ve cut out a lot of starches and carbohydrates. I’m eating
about six times a day but I’m eating right.”
He said Wednesday night that his weight is 234 pounds.
“I’d like to be at 230,” Garrard said. “I think once I
get through training camps I’ll be 225 or 230. I played at 240. That’s what
I played at and my weight wasn’t out of control.”
If players drafted teams rather than vice-versa,
Garrard’s top choice would be the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It’s warm there and they’ve got a good coaching
staff,” he said. “Mark Brunell would be a good guy to learn behind and I
think I would have a chance to play in a year or two. My second choice would
be Baltimore. It’s even closer and I like the area. They have a good
coaching staff and they win.”
Garrard ran a 40-yard time of 4.72 seconds at the NFL
combine in Indianapolis. His vertical jump was measured at 33.5 inches.
David Carr, the quarterback from Fresno State who is
expected to go as the first pick to the new Houston Texans had a vertical
jump of 35 inches. The speculation on Carr’s contract is that it will be in
the neighborhood of $60 million, about what the 20-year old girl in Georgia
got for her share in the big lottery drawing on Tuesday night.
“If they’re going to pay him $60 million, I need to be
getting $85 million,” Garrard said. “I honestly feel I have the best tools
in the draft, the best potential. I’m not being boastful. That’s just how I
see it. If I’d thrown for 4,000 yards or even 3,000, I’d be the No. 1
quarterback. I’ve been told that by different teams.”
Injuries to the ECU receiving corps last season, an
inordinate number of dropped passes and the emergence of the running game
meant that Garrard threw for 2,247 yards during the 2001 regular season with
Pro scouts measure potential in many ways other than
college statistics. Garrard will find out how he measured up this weekend.
“Grip it and rip
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John Daly’s golf mantra would seem to apply to
Garrard’s ability to throw deep on the gridiron. The former ECU quarterback
said he has started enjoying some time on golf courses in the last 18
“I had some friends who were going to play golf and
I’ve started playing, too,” he said. “I used to think it was for old people,
guys who had retired. But after playing it, I’m in love with it. It’s very
challenging. It doesn’t take the same skills as basketball or football but
it’s a sport that’s really hard to master.”
Garrard has played once with Pirates kicker Kevin
Miller, who came to ECU on a golf grant.
“He’s way too good,” Garrard said. “That’s almost like
me playing with Tiger Woods.”
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I’ve never been to the Taj Mahal but I did get a tour
of the soon-to-be-opened strength and conditioning center between
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Its two stories
have about 52,000 feet of floor space and every square inch is spectacular.
“Apart from being sexy and dramatic, it’s very
functional,” said ECU football coach Steve Logan. “I was talking with Jim
Whitten (ECU strength coach) and we were looking at the number of weight
stations. We figured we can take the entire football team in there on a
Sunday afternoon during the season and get a full workout in 40 minutes.
“It’s big enough that we could probably have the
basketball and baseball teams in there, too.”
Logan said ECU’s existing weight facility in the Ward
Sports Medicine Building is about 6,800 square feet.
“In 1990 the current weight room was adequate for our
needs,” Logan said. “But at that time football players were about the only
ones lifting weights. Now every team lifts weights and the old room can get
kind of crowded. One good thing about it is that we will keep the old room
which will give us about 29,000 square feet.”
The new facility’s strength and conditioning area is
just under 22,000 square feet. It has a four-lane running track that is 56
yards long so that 40-yard dashes may be timed indoors. It has an area of
synthetic field turf for agility workouts. It has a specially carpeted area
for plyometric (jumping drills). The York barbells, weight-lifting platforms
and weight machines are all emblazoned with ECU logos.
The glass-walled east end of the weight room looks out
onto field level of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Former Pirate running back Earnest Byner said the
weight training and conditioning area is as nice as any in the NFL. Byner,
now an official with the Baltimore Ravens, will have a kiosk at the
recruits’ entrance at the west end of the building. The display will feature
Byner’s pro helmets with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.
Former ECU standout and Green Bay Packer George Koonce
will also be honored with a kiosk.
Special lighting will be directed on murals and
displays along the staircase that will take recruits to an upstairs
gathering area that will double as a tutoring facility during the week. That
second floor meeting room opens onto a terrace overlooking the east end
“We used to have our recruits under a tent,” Logan
The new building is a huge step up. You figure a high
school prospect can’t help but be impressed.
“We have something we can show recruits that will
hopefully bring them to East Carolina,” said athletic director Mike Hamrick.
“It’s also something that will help them develop as athletes when they’re
A walkway connects the basketball arena to the hallway
leading to a huge second floor banquet area where high-dollar Pirate Club
supporters will convene on football game days. It’s about 100 paces from the
interior of Minges Coliseum to the view overlooking the football field.
Perhaps there is some symbolism there as basketball at ECU seeks to join
football in terms of national recognition.
The Pirates will use the new building as their halftime
headquarters in football.
“It’s big enough that we can have our offensive and
defensive meetings,” Logan said. “We’ll just bring two greaseboards in there
for our chalktalks. It’ll will save us from having to jog back to Kinston.”
The Pirates’ regular football locker room is on the
south end of the first floor of the Ward Sports Medicine Building, a pretty
good hike from the north sideline.
The area around the new building is in the process of
being landscaped, and bricks with the names of contributors to the facility
are being arranged around the 36-foot statue of the Pirate on the south
gates to the stadium will flank the new structure. The Pirates will
dramatically emerge from the new building prior to football games.
Cherry paneling, plush carpeting, high ceilings,
skylights and stone walks are just some of the accents. You can bet there’s
plenty of purple in the $13 million building, too.
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Three ex-Pirates are on rosters of NFL-Europe teams.
Punter Andrew Bayes is with the Amsterdam Admirals. Defensive tackle Devone
Claybrooks is playing for the Rhein Fire and defensive tackle Norris
McCleary is playing for the Frankfort Galaxy.
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02/23/2007 12:57:28 AM