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Watch for Al Myatt's profile of new ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in this summer's Bonesville Magazine.

View from the East
Monday, July 19, 2004

By Al Myatt

Summer football marked by comings, goings


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 schedule.

"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 program.

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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02/23/2007 12:46:03 AM

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