College Sports in the Carolinas
Watch for Al Myatt's
profile of new ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in this summer's
from the East
Monday, July 19, 2004
By Al Myatt
Summer football marked by
There have been some significant arrivals and departures relating to the
East Carolina football program this summer.
ECU has landed North Carolina signee Marcus Hands, a big time defensive
lineman who will enroll as an academic non-qualifier. Hands starred on the
high school level at Wilmington Laney and played last season on the
post-graduate team at Hargrave Military Academy In Chatham, Va.
Hands was the subject of a recruiting battle between UNC-CH and N.C. State
before selecting the Tar Heels.
One source indicated that if Hands takes care of his academic situation
there is little doubt he can be an impact player for the Pirates in 2005.
According to the 2004 roster on UNC's official website on Saturday, Hands is
6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. Another source indicates that coming out of Laney,
he had 4.6-second speed for 40 yards, bench pressed 295 pounds and had a
squat max of 610.
Hands was in Greenville this weekend. He is projected on the defensive side
although he also was used as blocking tight end on offense in high school.
The incoming — albeit on a temporary
basis — also included roughly 100 rising
high school seniors who were on campus Saturday for a camp. The ECU coaching
staff was able to time them for 40 yards, test them on a pro agility drill,
measure their standing broad jump and work with them one-on-one in an
outdoor practice setting.
It's more than coincidence that the degree of participation in the camp
follows Harold Robinson's arrival as ECU's new director of high school
relations after 26 years as head football coach at Williamston High. He
guided the Tigers to two state championships, improved the Shrine Bowl
selection process with a series of combines across the state and coached
North Carolina to a 28-0 Shrine Bowl win in 2002. He is a past president of
two coaching organizations in the state.
"Harold has great contacts, relations and respect in this area," said ECU
head football coach John Thompson. "His success at Williamston and the
Shrine Bowl adds an awful lot. We want to continue building relationships
with high school coaches through clinics and camps and Harold will help us
with that as well as our goal of getting new prospects on campus. Harold has
long term relationships with so many guys."
Robinson arrives as Mike Ritchie leaves as director of football operations
at ECU. Ritchie was an academic counselor for football at Arkansas from 1999
to 2002 and plans to return to the Razorbacks in an academic capacity,
according to Thompson. Ritchie was Thompson's right hand man in many regards
last season. The two were at preseason breakfast checks together last August
and often went jogging together when Thompson could fit a workout into his
"He's been a good friend and did a great job here," said Thompson, who knew
Ritchie at Arkansas when Thompson was defensive coordinator for the
Razorbacks in 2000 and 2001.
Thompson indicated that various staff members, including Robinson, would
pitch in to handle Ritchie's former responsibilities at ECU this season.
"Then we'll do something on a permanent basis," Thompson said.
Several players have indicated that they will leave the program. Defensive
back Jared Brogden has transferred to Liberty, the program that former ECU
quarterback Paul Troth joined after the 2003 season. Brogden and Troth won't
have to sit out this season because they are transferring to a Division I-AA
Brogden, from Apex, has two years of eligibility remaining. He played in
nine games as a true freshman in 2002, made 11 tackles and had a pass
break-up. He also played in nine games in 2003, was in on three tackles and
was credited with forcing a fumble.
Tutu Moye and Jeff Bumgarner have each left the program for what Thompson
said were "personal reasons."
Moye, a flex end in the 2002 offensive system, saw action in six games in
2003. His only catch resulted in a 3-yard touchdown from Desmond Robinson
late in the first half of the North Carolina game. Moye lined up on the left
side, fell down at the line of scrimmage to deceive the defense, got up and
drifted to the right side where he was open in the end zone. Moye was a
multi-sport standout at Greenville Rose, helping the Rampants to a state 4-A
baseball championship in 1997. He played three years of minor league
baseball after being a 21st round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks
in the 1997 draft.
Moye played primarily on special teams as a freshman in 2001. He started the
first seven games in 2003 and finished with 16 catches for 185 yards,
including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Troth against South Florida. He
started one game — against Houston
— in 2003. Moye was not the prototypical
tight end the Pirates were looking for in their revised offensive scheme in
the spring of 2004 and moved to linebacker.
Bumgarner, an offensive lineman from Orlando, redshirted as a freshman last
season. ECU changed offensive line coaches in the offseason with Robert
McFarland coming from Central Florida to replace J.B. Grimes, who left to
join the staff at Mississippi State.
All three of the players who are leaving were listed as third teamers on the
post spring depth chart — Brogden at
rover, Moye at middle linebacker and Bumgarner at left guard.
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