College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Monday, April 26, 2004
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
Ravens come through in clutch
Brian Rimpf had to be feeling a little like the East Carolina baseball team
on Sunday — trailing in the bottom of the ninth. Fortunately, there was a
happy ending for both.
Rimpf, an All Conference USA offensive lineman at East Carolina for the last
three seasons, was in Raleigh at the home of his parents, Cindy and Anton
Rimpf, watching the NFL draft on ESPN2.
There had been 44 picks in the seventh and final round late Sunday
afternoon. There were 10 compensatory selections remaining and the Baltimore
Ravens were on the clock. Suddenly, Rimpf’s afternoon became a lot sunnier.
His name flashed on the screen, making him the 246th pick overall in 2004
and the only player from ECU to be selected this year.
“I felt a lot better after that,” said Rimpf, who was projected to go any
time on the second day.
Rimpf was looking at free agency if he had not been among the second day’s
bottom 10. Ravens offensive line coach Jim Costello, who met Rimpf at the
Pirates’ pro day, called to offer congratulations. So did a Baltimore
publicist. Rimpf is scheduled to report for a mini-camp next weekend.
His signing bonus will probably be in the neighborhood of $25,000 to
$30,000, according to a knowledgeable source. The Ravens paid a signing
bonus of $24,125 to safety Antoine Sanders of Utah, the 44th pick in the
seventh round last year.
Rimpf’s agent is New York-based Joel Sigal. League minimum for a 3-year deal
is $230,000 the first year, $305,000 the second year and $380,000 the third
Rimpf is happy to get a chance with the Ravens.
“They’re a winning team,” Rimpf said. “They won the Super Bowl a few years
ago (2001). They’re a team that knows how to win. They’ve got a lot of good
players and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Rimpf put in a lot of effort to prepare for the draft. He went to New
Orleans to work with fitness trainer Tom Shaw before the Senior Bowl. He was
invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, where he was measured at
6-feet-5 and five-eighths inches and 318 pounds.
One informed source said the concern with Rimpf was whether he could match
up with athletic NFL rush ends as a left tackle, a concern that might
ultimately mean a switch to right guard.
Several ECU players will probably get shots at the NFL as free agents.
Versatile Vonta Leach will likely sign with Green Bay. His agent sorted
through 11 teams expressing interest in the linebacker turned fullback and
the Packers were deemed his best opportunity. A source had Pirates receiver
Terrance Copper signing with the Dallas Cowboys. Defensive tackle Damane
Duckett is also expected to hook up quickly with an NFL team.
Brindise close to draft’s stars
Eli Manning of Ole Miss and
Bonesville.net’s Carolinas Player of the Year
Philip Rivers of N.C. State were part of a trade that was the
big news of the draft. New ECU offensive coordinator Noah Brindise worked
with both at the Manning Quarterback Academy at Southeastern Louisiana last
Manning reminds Brindise of Rex Grossman, who he coached at Florida, and
Rivers reminds him of Patrick Ramsey, who Brindise worked with as
quarterbacks coach of the Washington Redskins.
“(Eli) is like his brother in that both have the personalities of winners,”
Brindise said. “Eli is a little quieter. Peyton is a little more outgoing
and vocal. ... (Eli) He has a quiet confidence. Physically, he has all the
tools. He may throw a better ball than Peyton. He’s a franchise-type player.
I’d hate to be the team that passed on him.”
No one, of course, passed on Manning. The San Diego Chargers took him first
overall and then traded him to the New York Giants for Rivers, who was taken
“Great personality,” Brindise said of Rivers. “Physically, he looks like he
could play tight end. He throws a good, catchable ball. There’s some debate
on his mechanics. He might need a little tweaking, but I don’t think he
needs a major overhaul like some people are saying.
"He’s the kind of guy you want in your huddle because guys are going to
listen to him and respect him. And you know he’s going to be the kind of guy
you want off the field because he’s going to put in the time studying film
and learning your system. ... He’s got all the tools, a huge upside.”
Former Indiana head coach Cam Cameron is San Diego’s offensive coordinator.
“He’s widely regarded as a good offensive coordinator and a good developer
of young quarterbacks,” Brindise said. “San Diego is a great situation for a
young quarterback. They’ve got a great young running back, LaDanian
Tomlinson. They use him a lot in the passing game coming out of the
“The fact that they have a back like Tomlinson can take a lot of pressure
off a quarterback with Tomlinson’s ability to run. Defenses have to respect
the play action dimension.
“One big thing for Philip is to get more production from wide receivers,
which is an area that has been a struggle and they lost David Boston to
Miami. They might address that need later in this draft.
Protection-wise, they were really a little thin last year on the offensive
line. I think they’ve tried to address that through free agency.
“Brian Schottenheimer [son of Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer] is
the quarterbacks coach. He was a year ahead of me in the program at Florida.
He’s been at Southern Cal on the college level. He’ll do a good job with
East Carolina’s baseball season is becoming storybook stuff. Down a run in
the bottom of the ninth on Sunday to Louisville, which was seeking to avoid
a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates, ECU got a 2-run homer from
Trevor Lawhorn to win a school-record 16th straight game. ... I don’t
understand German but I can make out on the Berlin Thunder’s web site that
the team for which Steve Logan is quarterbacks coach is now 4-0 after its
14-10 win over the Rhein Fire. The Thunder scored two touchdowns in the
fourth quarter to overcome a 10-0 Fire lead, the first TD coming on a 1-yard
scoring pass by Rohan Davey. ... Allegany College men’s basketball coach Bob
Kirk was vacationing in Florida last week, which delayed the signing of
scoring guard Dwayne Shackleford, who is being recruited by ECU. Shackleford
will likely make his choice known by midweek.
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