Virgil Black (6-4, 318),
OL, Lexington High, Lexington, N.C. ... Black had drawn recruiting
interest from N.C. State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida and North
Carolina before attending a one-day individual camp at East Carolina in
mid-July and accepting a scholarship offer from the Pirates. ... Black
was All Central Carolina 2-A Conference as a junior. ... Black’s high
school coach, Billy Hunt, said the standout senior bench presses 440
pounds and runs a 5.4-second time for 40 yards. ... Black’s speed has
increased as he has dropped 36 pounds since April.
Tommie Bradley (5-11,
175), QB/DB/Athlete, Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood ... Qualified for the
state meet in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay in track and his speed has
translated well on the gridiron as he quarterbacked his team to a 10-3
record before losing in the third round of the 3-A state playoffs to
defending and repeating state champion, Rockledge. ... Ran for about 850
yards, according to coach Kevin McMahon and passed for 1,500 more --
with 16 TDs. ... Coach says he's "no slower" than 4.6 seconds for 40
yards. ... MVP of the Outback All-Star game in Florida. ... recruited by
South Florida and Toledo before new ECU defensive coordinator Jerry Odom
entered the picture on behalf of the Pirates. ... Odom's dad, Gerald,
coaches at Westwood opponent, Cocoa High. ... played as wide receiver as
a sophomore and junior. ... also played defensive back and that's where
he projects for the Pirates. ... also returned kicks on prep level.
Jeff Bumgarner (6-4,
285), OL, Orlando (Fla.) Olympia ... Played on the defensive front
primarily for the Titans after transferring from a private school but is
projected as an offensive lineman for the Pirates. ... Visited the
weekend of Feb. 1. ... Played tight end on the team's "jumbo package" on
offense. ... Benches 300 pounds. ... 5.2-seconds/40 yards. ... Team was
1-9 on the 6-A level in its second year of existence. ... Coach Mike
Cullison said "He'll be up to 310 (pounds) in one or two years and he
can carry that weight. Has great feet. If he had been playing in the
public school system for four years, he would have been recruited by
Florida and Florida State. He didn't get pushed at the private school
and he didn't get a lot of attention." ... Played in an All-Star game in
Kyle Chase (5-10 190, DB,
Atlanta (Ga.) Cedar Grove HS ... First team All-DeKalb County and county
MVP among defensive backs ... All-city and all-metro ... Honorable
mention all-state ... Registered 98 tackles, including 72 solos, with
five interceptions and returned four INTs for touchdowns in 2002 ...
Also scored three touchdowns rushing. [Thumbnail from ECU Media
Wendell Chavis (6-3,
245), LB, Hertford County (N.C.), ... Recruited by ECU running backs
coach Jerry McManus and the first Pirate known to commit since John
Thompson became head coach. ... Committed on Jan. 13 after a visit the
previous weekend. ... Had 153 tackles during his senior season as his
team went 6-5. ... Played in North Carolina's 28-0 Shrine Bowl win. ...
Coached by Darryl Allen. ... Bears assistant Dealton Cotton is an ECU
grad who helped in Chavis' recruiting process.
Josh Coffman (6-6 240),
TE, Palmetto ( Fla.) Palmetto HS ... All-county selection and starter on
Sarasota Manatee County All-Star Game ... Rated as the No. 67 tight end
prospect in the nation by TheInsiders.com ... Caught 19 passes for 416
yards and two touchdowns ... Also saw limited action as a linebacker ...
Clocked at 4.7 in the 40 ... Coached by Bob Bowling. [Thumbnail from ECU
Jewon Crowell (6-3, 185),
WR, Winston-Salem Carver ... Comes from a football family which includes
former Virginia standouts Germane and Angelo Crowell. Germane is now a
receiver with the Detroit Lions and Angelo, a linebacker, is expected to
be taken in the upcoming draft. ... ECU's commitment is a player in his
own right with 48 catches for 976 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.
... Caught the game winner in a 24-21 playoff win over Lawndale Burns in
the closing minutes for Carver en route to the state 3-A championship.
... Crowell had a fumble recovery for Carver's first touchdown in
Carver's state title win over Wilson Fike. ... Coached by Keith Wilkes.
Kevin Fain (6-0, 225), RB,
Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College ... A native of Melbourne, Fla.,
Fain visited Washington but didn't like the weather. ... He averaged 7.8
yards per carry and 108.9 yards rushing per game. ... Should give ECU an
immediate big back presence. ... Artichokes coach Ken Giovando said Fain
compares favorably with another Scottsdale CC product, Charlie Garner,
in terms of power and balance. "He's a diamond," Giovando said. "We
expect him to be playing on Sundays (NFL)."
Michael Horner (6-5,
256), DT, Williamston ... East Carolina's first commitment for the 2003
recruiting class, Horner comes from the prep program that produced
Pirates linebacker Pernell Griffin and other ECU personnel. ... Plays
for Tigers coach Harold Robinson. ... “He’s very raw at the time being,”
Robinson said. “East Carolina should be good for him. He’s the type of
kid who doesn’t need to be too far from home and I don’t mean that in a
negative way. It will be good for him to be where he can come home and
see his parents some.” ... Williamston reached the state 1-A final in
2001. ... Horner made All Conference in the Four Rivers 1-A as a junior.
... 4.7 seconds for 40 yards and 300-plus bench. ... Projects as a down
lineman at ECU with a frame that could carry 290-295, according to
Brian Howard (6-4, 170),
WR, Clinton High, Clinton, N.C. ... As a junior, Howard helped the Dark
Horses to an unbeaten season and the state 2-A championship in Bob
Lewis’ final year as Clinton head coach. ... The Clinton program has
produced Pirates greats such as Jerris McPhail and Leonard Henry. ...
Howard has worked out with McPhail. .... Former Hobbton mentor Al Britt
will coach the Horses in Howard’s senior year. ... “(ECU) was looking
for a taller receiver,” Britt said. “He’s shown a different gear in
workouts.” ... Howard runs the 40 in 4.5. ... Howard didn’t have great
receiving numbers in Clinton’s ground-oriented offense but his abilities
have been compared to former ECU star Troy Smith. ... Also played
defensive back last season. ... Accepted an ECU grant after working out
for Pirates coaches at an individual camp session in Greenville in
Erode Jean (5-11, 175),
DB, Fort Pierce, Fla. Westwood ... A versatile performer for Coach Kevin
McMahon and a teammate of Tommie Bradley, who had previously committed
to the Pirates. ... Jean played in the secondary on defense, played a
wide receiver on offense and also returned kicks. ... He was selected
the Outback All-Star game in Florida but didn't play because it
conflicted with his participation on the basketball team. ... He hasn't
run track in the past but will utilize his speed in the sport this
spring, according to McMahon. ... Visited ECU the weekend of Feb. 1.
Brandon Jones (6-6, 240),
DE, Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Fla. ... A three-year starter for coach Jeff
Rogers. ... His 4.6-second/40-yard speed helped him record a team-high
nine sacks. ... His 6-A team was 2-8 with only seven seniors. ...
Recruited by N.C. State, Miami, Auburn and Missouri. ... Wide receiver
Andy Bertrand is already in the NCSU program from his school. ...
Rogers, whose brother, Lee, played at Duke and is now an attorney in
Raleigh, said Jones liked ECU's size and the possibility of playing
early in his college career. ... Second team All State. ,,, Visited ECU
the weekend of Feb. 1.
Mark Jones (6-4, 230),
TE, Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor ... A good blocker who also caught 15
passes for Coach Hank Sawyer's 9-2 team which reached the regional
semifinals in 2002. ... Helped block for two Titans backs who totaled
2,300 yards rushing. ... First team All District on offense and defense.
... Also played outside linebacker but projects as a tight end for ECU.
... Second team All Region and second team All State on offense. ...
Averaging 19 points as a forward for a basketball team that was 12-4 as
of Feb. 3. ... Interested in studying sports medicine. ... Visited ECU
the weekend of Feb. 1 and was accompanied by his parents Arnecia (Mom)
and Leslie (Dad). ... "It was a really good visit," Jones said. "I felt
at home." ... Sawyer said Jones runs a 4.5-second/40 yards.
Emanuel Levell (6-4,
245), TE, Miami (Fla.) Edison ... Schools recruiting him included
Rutgers, Michigan State, Florida State, Eastern Kentucky and Missouri.
... Had 36 catches for 561 yards in six games as a senior before he was
sidelined by a knee injury. ... "He was one of our favorite targets
because of his speed (4.5 seconds/40 yards) and ability to get
downfield," said Edison coach Corey Bell. "He did a good job blocking.
He has the all-around package, a great upside." ... Edison was 5-0
before his injury and finished 9-2 on the 5-A level. ... Bell said
Levell's rehabilitation has gone well. ... Recruited by tight ends coach
Steve Janski and defensive coordinator Jerry Odom of the Pirates staff.
... Known as "Manny."
Pierre Parker (6-2, 195),
QB, Wilson Beddingfield, Wilson, N.C. ... Parker became the sixth
commitment to the Pirates following a workout at ECU on July 22. ... Arm
and mobility have drawn comparisons to slippery former ECU slinger
Marcus Crandell. ... Parker threw for 2,082 yards and 22 touchdowns as a
junior. He ran for over 500 more yards in 2001 when the Bruins were
coached by Bennett Jones. ... ECU walk-on receiver Jamaal Dickens teamed
with Parker last season and had 59 receptions for 1,133 yards with 15
scores. ... Beddingfield will be coached by former Wilson Hunt assistant
Tom Nelson during Parker’s senior season. ... Parker begins the 2002
prep season with 29 starts dating back to his freshman season. The
future Pirate has added 30 pounds during his high school career.
Steven Rogers (6-2, 170),
WR, Evans, Ga. ... Visited East Carolina and committed on Super Bowl
Sunday. He was initially contacted by new head coach John Thompson. Then
former Pirates star receiver Larry Shannon, now an ECU offensive
graduate assistant, became integral in Rogers' recruiting process. ...
Played one season at Evans after transferring from nearby Lakeside. ...
Caught 59 passes for Coach Lee Chomskis' 2-8 team in 2002 for 800 yards
and six TDs. ... Evans plays on the 5-A level, the highest in Georgia.
... Rogers benches 235 pounds, and runs a "legit" 4.5-second/40 yards,
according to Chomskis. Rogers will send his grant in early Feb. 5 to ECU
via fax and have a signing ceremony in the Evans library at 3:15 p.m.
that day. ... Received honorable mention All State and made the All Area
first team for Augusta, Ga. for two straight years. ... Played some
safety on defense and had two interceptions but projects as a receiver
at ECU. ... Received offers from Liberty, Furman and Valdosta State. ...
Was impressed with the strength and conditioning facilities at the
Murphy Center and degree of community support for the Pirates during his
visit. Attended ECU's 68-62 double-overtime win over South Florida on
his trip to Greenville. ... Starts in basketball and averages about 10
points per game.
Kasey Ross (6-1, 190), QB/DB,
Gainesville, Fla. ... Visited ECU on Jan. 17. ... Was recruited by Jerry
Odom, ECU's new defensive coordinator and former Florida linebackers
coach. ... Impressed by a presentation of ECU highlights and an
assertion from new coach John Thompson that the Pirates could win
Conference USA and play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. ... Gainesville
area offensive player of the year and second team all state as a senior
when he threw for 1,565 yards and ran for 985. ... An uncle, Keith Ross,
played at Florida State. ... Played corner on defense and could see
early playing time at ECU as a nickel back. ... Central Florida, Florida
and Iowa State showed interest but ECU made the first offer.
Todd Springfield (6-4,
285), DL, Lovejoy, Ga. ... Runs a 4.7-second/40 yards, according to
coach Al Hughes, who coached former Pirate great Emmanuel McDaniel at
Jonesboro, Ga. ... Started at Lovejoy just one season after playing
sparingly as a junior and made 75 tackles with two sacks as a senior in
earning all area, all region and All Clayton County, which is in
metropolitan Atlanta. ... Team was 9-3, losing in the second round of
the state playoffs. ... Had scholarship offers from Clemson, Florida,
LSU and Ole Miss. ... New ECU defensive line coach Fred Tate was
instrumental in his recruitment.
Robert Tillman (6-0,
175), RB, South Robeson, Rowland, N.C. ... Tillman has sprinter’s speed
(10.7 seconds/100 meters) and ran for over 700 yards for the Mustangs
last season before breaking his collarbone in the sixth game of the
season. ... Tillman won the state 1-A long jump as a sophomore and the
state 2-A title as a junior. ... South Robeson assistant Barry Leonard
said Tillman has been clocked in 4.3 seconds for 40 yards. ... Tillman
plays halfback in South Robeson’s wing T. ... Maryland, North Carolina,
N.C. State, Richmond and South Carolina had showed recruiting interest.
... The Wolfpack and Spiders had made offers when Tillman committed
following individual camp at ECU in mid-July. ... Comes from the same
program that produced Pirates junior linebacker Vonta Leach. ... Began
his prep career as an offensive guard until coach Mike Brim saw him
return a punt 85 yards in a junior varsity game with Red Springs in
THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS
COMMITTED TO EAST CAROLINA EARLIER IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS BUT HAVE
SINCE WITHDRAWN THEIR PLEDGES OR OTHERWISE CHANGED THEIR PLANS:
Deon Adams (6-1, 190) WR/QB,
Smith High, Greensboro, N.C. ... Projects as a receiver for the Pirates,
the role he has played his previous three seasons on the high school
level. ... Currently playing quarterback for his prep team but still
runs routes in practice to be a complete player. ... Attended ECU
football camp this summer. ... Reportedly threw for 431 yards and ran
for 168 in his team’s 2002 season opener. ... The eighth known
commitment to the Pirates, jumping in the boat in early September.
[ADAMS SIGNED WITH DUKE.]
Matt Brim (6-6, 305), OL,
Carver High, Winston-Salem, N.C. ... Wake Forest was the leader in the
recruiting process until Brim attended ECU football camp in mid-July and
was highly impressed with the Pirates’ coaches and facilities. ... N.C.
State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee had also shown
interest. ... Brim played three seasons at East Forsyth before
transferring to Carver for his senior season. ... Carver coach Keith
Wilkes said Brim’s desire and work ethic enhance his considerable
potential. [BRIM SIGNED WITH WAKE FOREST.]
William Brown (6-5, 275),
OL, Starmount High, Boonville, N.C. ... All Northwestern 1-A last season
for an 8-5 team that finished third in its conference and reached the
second round of the state playoffs. ... Coached by Joe Hutchens, who
guided the Rams to the state 1-A championship in 1998 in his first
season as head coach at the school. ... Hutchens said Brown bench
presses 360 pounds and ran 40 yards in 5.1 seconds at a Shrine Bowl
combine. ... Hutchens said Brown attended a one-day camp at ECU and made
his commitment after talking on the phone with ECU offensive line coach
Steve Shankweiler and head coach Steve Logan on August 12. ... Pirates
assistant Bob Leahy recruited Brown. ... Hutchens noted that Brown has
scored 1,040 on his SAT and projects as an academic qualifier. ... He
had received recruiting attention from N.C. State, UNC, Virginia and
Northwestern. ... Brown moved to the Starmount district before his
junior season from the Buffalo, N.Y. area. He is originally from
Charleston, S.C. ... His dad, Spencer, is a Baptist minister. Brown said
his family prayed over the decision to commit to the Pirates. [BROWN
SIGNED WITH SOUTH CAROLINA.]
Frank Johnson (5-11,
185), DB, Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College ... Rivals.com and The
Orlando Sentinel reported this commitment since mid-December but efforts
to confirm with Coffeyville officials have been unsuccessful. ...
Reportedly would have three years of eligibility at ECU. ... Played on
the high school level at Sebastian River (Fla.), according to The
Orlando Sentinel. ... Pirates need help in the secondary and ECU coach
John Thompson has said he will look at juco players based on program
Lewis "L.A." Watson (6-5,
295), Lynchburg, Va. Heritage ... Tremendous comeback story. Did not
play as a junior because of a torn growth plate but made first team
All-State as a senior and helped team to the state 2-A title. ...
Coached by Chris Jones, who coached ECU redshirt freshman offensive
lineman Trey Magee at Sussex Central in Virginia. ... Watson visited the
weekend of Jan. 11. [WATSON SIGNED WITH RICHMOND.]
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