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2007 East Carolina Football Recruiting Thumbnails



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Thumbnail sketches of 26 players bound for ECU

View Signing Day Roster
Read Al Myatt's Signing Day Overview
Replay Audio of Skip Holtz' Signing Day Press Conference

Thumbnails Below Updated 02.12.07.
[Players have signed letters-of-intent.]

Compiled by Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

(Click the BOLD BLUE links to view player profiles by
Sammy Batten or news reports by other staff members.)

NICK ADAMS (6-1, 184) WR, Colleton County High, Walterboro, SC ... Played for South Carolina in Shrine Bowl. ... had 16 catches for 342 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. ... also had 165 yards rushing ... a two-way performer with 60 tackles and six interceptions defensively. ... as a junior Adams had 58 catches for 933 yards with seven TDs. ... That performance helped a program that was 3-8 in 2004 improve to 7-5 and win its region title in 2005. ... coached by Leroy Riley. ... ECU 2006 signee Joe Council, a defensive lineman, came from the same high school program. ... has 4.37-second speed for 40 yards. ... No. 36 out of South Carolina's top 100 recruits. ... an all conference choice and made the Charleston Post & Courier's All-Low Country honor unit. [Posted 02.12.07]

ANTONIO ALLISON (6-5, 310) DL, West Iredell ... played for a successful program in the North Piedmont 3-A Conference coached by Mark Weycker that went 8-5 in 2005 and 9-3 in 2006. ... visited East Carolina the weekend of Jan. 6-7 and made a commitment to the Pirates. ... competed in shot put and discus in track. Did 47 feet, six inches in the 3-A regional last year in the shot and 116-3 1/2 in the discus. ... West Iredell lost showdown with West Rowan for the league title, 19-12, on Nov. 3. ... knocked out of 2006 playoffs at home in first round by North Gaston, 55-30. [Posted 01.13.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

DEREK BLACKNALL (6-0, 170) CB, Greensboro Dudley ... has sprinter's speed in track (4.43 seconds/40 yards) which translates well on the football field where he was a 3-year starter on the high school level. ... defensive player of the year in the Triad 3-A Conference in 2006. ... coached by Steven Davis. ... held highly-regarded Burlington Cummings receiver Dwight Jones to six catches for 53 yards. ... starter at free safety as a sophomore. ... also started at wide receiver as a senior and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. ... returned three interceptions for scores. ... Marshall and Ohio also offered scholarships. ... ECU running backs coach Junior Smith liked what he saw of Blacknall on tape, according to Davis. ... projects as a corner for Pirates. [Posted 01.24.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

STEVEN BAKER (6-7, 250) DL, Northern Nash ... Also competes in the shot put in track and in basketball for the Knights. ... Rocky Mount Telegram reports that Baker always sits in the second seat on the right on the team bus and likes to go home and sleep following Friday night games. ... coached by Richard Bunch. ... Received an offer from East Carolina prior to the 2006 season and committed to the Pirates on October 18. [Posted 10.24.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

MICHAEL BYRD (6-4, 226), TE, Thomasville ... committed to East Carolina after attending the Pirates' game with West Virginia. ... Was impressed by ECU's fan support and family-like atmosphere within the coaching staff. ... had two touchdown catches in first eight games of 2006 but used primarily as a blocker in Thomasville's scheme. ... primarily recruited by ECU wide receivers coach Donnie Kirkpatrick. ... Team off to a 9-0 start, outscoring opponents 366-35. ... Bulldogs are 4-0 in the Yadkin Valley 1-A Conference, outscoring foes 185-7. ... Byrd runs 40 yards in 4.8 seconds. [Posted 10.24.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

JULIAN CARTER (6-2, 180) S, New Bern ... four-sport athlete for the Bears who initially caught the eye of Pirate defensive line coach Donnie Thompson at a track meet during the recruitment of New Bern standout Darryl Reynolds. ... had eight interceptions during a 9-3 season under coach Bobby Curlines and also punted. ... will join former Bears which include safety Chris Mattocks, tight end Davon Drew and Reynolds in the ECU program. ... their presence in the program was influential to Carter, who was also recruited by North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia. ... backed up Drew at quarterback early in his prep career ... high jumped 6-foot-2 in track and also competes in the 300-meter hurdles. ... averaged 37 yards per punt. ... has potential to add 20 pounds, according to Curlines. ... projected to redshirt in 2007. ... averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds as a forward in New Bern's 10-4 start his senior season. ... outfielder in baseball. [Posted 01.13.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

RODNEY COX (6-6, 220) QB, Harnett Central ... led team to 12-1 record in 2006 as he rushed for 1,659 yards and 21 touchdowns ... committed to ECU on Monday, Dec. 4, according to Harnett Central athletic director Will Gage, who also coaches Cox in basketball. ... Marc Morris is the Trojans' football coach. ... Cox played on Cape Fear Valley 3-A Conference champions in 2005 and 2006. ... ran for 2,470 yards as a junior and passed for 1,471 with 15 touchdowns. ... received a scholarship offer from N.C. State prior to the 2006 season. ... had 14 rushing touchdowns in the last three games of 2006. ... Trojans were 23-3 his junior and senior seasons. ... All State selection as a junior. ... All Conference as a senior. [Posted 12.07.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

EMANUEL DAVIS (5-11, 190) DB, Manteo ... Davis is a tough, instinctive, physical strong safety type who flies around and is very productive in run support, according to his evaluation on ESPN's Inside Tracker. ... Redskins coached by former Bath standout Walt Davis. ... 2006 team finished 15-1, losing 28-7 to Elkin in the state final ... captured the 1-A Albemarle North Conference championship with an 8-0 league record. ... Also committed to North Carolina but strengthened on his commitment to the Pirates with a campus visit the first weekend in January. ... 13 catches for 250 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. [Posted 01.13.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

DARRYL FREENEY (5-11, 185), WR, Nansemond River High, Suffolk, VA ... Has run 40 yards in 4.47 seconds, done shuttle drill in 4.41 and elevated 35 inches in vertical jump. Those performances turned in at Southeastern (VA) combine in May. ... Akron, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia Tech showed interest in Freeney, who committed to the Pirates on Aug. 3. ... Caught 27 passes for 540 yards with seven touchdowns for Coach Brian Maus' team. ... Also had one rushing touchdown for the Warriors. ... Had three interceptions at cornerback last season but projects as a receiver at ECU. ... "He runs great routes and catches about everything you throw at him," Maus said. [Posted 08.14.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

AUSTIN HAYNES (6-2, 207) DE/LB, Southwest Onslow ... Made a verbal commitment to East Carolina after attending camps on campus in late June. ... Pirates made the first offer although Clemson, North Carolina and N.C. State had shown interest. ... Prep teammate and long-time friend of incoming ECU freshman defensive back Dekota Marshall, whose presence in the program was an influential factor in Haynes' quick decision. ... Haynes also responded to consistent interest from ECU coaches. ... Dad, Arthur, was a Miami high school football and track standout who retired in Jacksonville after 23-year Marine Corps career. ... Family lived in Okinawa in Haynes' early childhood. ... His family moved to Jacksonville when Haynes was in the sixth grade. ... Haynes' Stallions team will be seeking its fourth state 2-A title in six seasons in 2006. ... Phil Padgett is the Southwest coach. ... Southwest program also produced UNC-Chapel Hill signee Kendric Burney last season. ... Haynes began playing on the varsity level as a sophomore. ... Played primarily as a defensive end at Southwest but projects as a linebacker at ECU. ... Padgett credits Haynes' desire and aggression as key developmental factors. ... Haynes had 93 tackles, including 12 for losses during 2005. [Posted 07.07.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

BEN HERLOCKER (6-0 205) FB, Charlotte Catholic High ...  ... Ran for 1,775 yards and 32 touchdowns in Coach Jim Oddo's Wing-T offense and was MVP in the state championship game as Charlotte Catholic finished 16-0 in 2005. ... Parents Tom and Beth Herlocker were basketball stars at Charlotte Catholic. ... Brother Tom was a standout wide receiver on CC's 2004 state 2-AA title team. ... Herlocker, no relation to former ECU letterman Wes Herlocker (2000-02), was back-up fullback to Nick Starcevic as a sophomore. Starcevic is projected as the starting fullback at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006. ... ECU was first to offer Herlocker although Vanderbilt and Wake Forest had shown interest. ... Has run 11.4 seconds/100 meters. ... Speed helped him average nine yards per carry in 2005. ... Has added about 20 pounds over the last year. ... Herlocker likes his chances for early playing time since ECU's top fullbacks entering 2006, Pat Dosh and Kort Shankweiler, are seniors. [Posted 08.12.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

ANTWAN JONES (6-6, 320) West Stokes High, Pinnacle, NC ... was twice selected all conference. ... chosen for Shrine Bowl. ... earned four letters in football and served as captain in 2006. ... utilized as a power back as a junior and averaged 6.7 yards per carry. ... was a preseason all-state selection as a senior. ... Wildcats coached by Jimmy Upchurch. ... 40-yard time is 4.7 seconds. ... nicknamed the A-Train. ... interested in majoring in computer and possibly minoring in Spanish. ... hobbies include basketball and weight lifting. ... high school colors were purple, black and gold. [Posted 02.12.07]

DeANDRE JONES (6-1, 185) Athlete, West Craven ... a versatile performer who has played safety, running back, wide receiver, punter and even filled in at quarterback during his prep career. ... made the New Bern Sun-Journal All Area team after rushing for a team high 649 yards on 91 carries, catching 22 passes for 390 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. ... had four interceptions defensively. ... a high hurdler in track who transferred from New Bern after his freshman year. ... coached by Clay Jordan. ... cousin of ECU linebacker Pierre Bell. ... received offers from North Carolina and South Carolina. ... has been to camp at ECU and feels comfortable as a Pirate, according to Jordan. [Posted 01.24.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

LINVAL JOSEPH (6-6, 308) DL, Santa Fe High, Gainesville, FL ... first team all state selection ... initially committed to Florida last summer, but the Gators rescinded on the offer for undetermined reasons, according to a Gainesville Sun report. ... played for coach Scott Pritchett at Santa Fe. ... visited ECU campus the weekend of Jan. 13-14. ... likes the opportunity to play early in his college career for the Pirates. ... expected to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. ... teammate at Santa Fe of Melvin Patterson, a receiver who redshirted for the Pirates last year. ... South Florida and Auburn were also expressed interest in Joseph. [Posted 01.19.07]

T.J. LEE (6-0, 200) WR, Bakersfield (CA) Junior College ... counted as an in-state signee because he played at Enloe High in Raleigh. ... second team All America at Bakersfield, according to the 47th annual Junior College Grid-Wire ... team went 8-0 in the Western State Conference and 11-2 overall. ... team lost the SoCal championship game 23-20 to El Camino. ... had 34 catches for 736 yards in 2006 with seven touchdown catches. ... averaged 19.6 yards on punt returns and 28.8 yards on kickoff returns. ... had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against College of Canyons on Sept. 30. ... averaged 118.6 all-purpose yards per game. ... coached on the juco level by Jeff Chudy. ... rushed for 1,371 yards and 14 touchdowns at Enloe in 2004. [Posted 02.12.07]

D.J. McFADDEN (6-2 220) QB, Charlotte Independence High ... Comes from a nationally-prominent program that has won 92 straight games and six straight state 4-A or 4-AA championships going into the 2006 season. ... Patriots are coached by former Duke assistant Tom Knotts ... Phil Kornblut of reported that McFadden committed to East Carolina based on comments from the player's father. ... McFadden reportedly made the commitment to Pirates coach Skip Holtz in late June. ... "It's a strong commitment and I can't really see him pulling out," Mr. McFadden told "South Carolina has been showing some good interest and that's the only school he would look at hard. That would be the only school that could get him to change his mind. But Skip just seems like a real nice guy and it seems like a real good move." .... McFadden attended a camp at USC this summer but was not offered by the Gamecocks. ... He also has offers from Vanderbilt and Marshall. ... Last season he passed for 3,729 yards and 33 touchdowns. [Posted 07.11.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

DARONTE McNEIL (6-2, 227) RB, Elizabeth City Northeastern ... Ran for 2,574 yards and 36 touchdowns as a junior en route to conference player of the year and all state honors. ... Louisville and Virginia made offers but ECU's proximity and the opportunity to play early in his career were influential in McNeil's commitment on Aug. 9. ... Also attracted interest from UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State, Nebraska, Penn State and Boston College. ... Coached by Antonio Moore, who said McNeil may carry as many as 30 times per game after averaging 19-20 rushes in 2005. ... Northeastern has also produced ECU wide receivers Javon Brumsey, a February, 2006 signee, and Phillip Henry, who caught 28 passes for 428 yards for the Pirates as a sophomore in 2005. [Posted 08.14.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

MAURICE MERCER (6-5, 235) DE, Nash Central High ... a recruiting priority for Pirate coaching staff members Rock Roggeman and Donnie Thompson. ... Mercer cast his lot with ECU in October after receiving recruiting attention from Boston College, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia, among others. ... personal attention from ECU coaches was a deciding factor in Mercer's recruiting process. ... four-year varsity player in high school, the last two as a starter at defensive end. ... has also seen spot duty at tight end on offense. ... joined the program at Nash Central in its second year. ... coached by Kenneth Grantham. ... older brother, Marcus, plays at Texas State. ... had eight sacks for a 7-4 team in 2006. ... [Posted 11.29.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

CLIFF PERRYMAN (6-1, 218) OLB, Richmond (VA) Hermitage High ... Comes from a program with multiple Division I-A prospects but Perryman's ability to penetrate and make stops is apparent to college coaches examining tape of his teammates. ... Got the attention of Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia before accepting an offer from East Carolina. ... Coached by Patrick Kane, who speaks positively of Perryman's range and character. ... Covers 40 yards in 4.6 seconds. ... Committed to ECU on Aug. 1. [Posted 08.14.06] --- UPDATE: Three-year letterman and a two-year starter at outside linebacker. ... made all district and all region as a senior. ... team was region runner-up in 2004. ... had 74 tackles in 2006, forcing five fumbles and returning an interception for a touchdown. ... as a junior, was credited with 61 tackles and two blocked punts. ... was used as a tight end in short yardage situations. ... a consensus pick as a top 50 recruit in Virginia. ... born on Valentine's Day in Boston in 1989. ... nicknamed Nino. ... plans to major in business management. [Update Posted 02.12.07]

J.H. ROGERS (5-11, 190), RB, Bakersfield (CA) Junior College ... played on the high school level at Raleigh Sanderson. ... teammate of Pirate signee T.J. Lee. ... was program's fourth best career rusher with 2,162 yards and 25 touchdowns. ... ran for 1,179 yards and 12 TDs in 2006. ... his freshman totals were 983 yards and 13 scores in 2005. ... had three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown as a senior. ... had 1,456 yards rushing and scored 14 touchdowns as a senior at Sanderson in 2004. ... ran anchor on his 4x100 relay unit in track which had a 41.5 second clocking at the 2004 Nike outdoor nationals. [Posted 02.12.07]

STEVE SPENCE (6-2, 221) LB, Norfolk Maury High ... Became East Carolina's first known commitment to the 2007 signing class when he opted for the Pirates on June 19 afer attending an individual skills camp in Greenville on June 14-16. ... Invited back to participate in the inaugural Beast of the East passing tournament on June 17. ... Coached by early 1990s ECU defensive lineman Dealton Cotton. ... projected as a 4-year starter going into his senior season. ... Spence is physical and mobile, according to Cotton. ... All District with 60 tackles last season for a 9-2 Commodores team. ... hastened his offer from the Pirates with a call to defensive coordinator Greg Hudson. ... Dad, Steve Brantley, is a former Norfolk prep star who encouraged his son's start in recreation ball in the fourth grade. [Posted 07.02.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

MATT THOMPSON (6-2, 190) S, Eastern Alamance High ... projected as outside linebacker by programs such as Clemson, N.C. State and Georgia Tech, which all showed recruiting interest but persuaded by Pirates offer to play safety. ... Also considered fact that ECU will lose three senior safeties this year. ... fast, physical player who led his team in tackles last season with 126. ... attended West Virginia-East Carolina game and committed shortly afterward. ... considers Pirates a "program on the rise." ... prep coach is John Kirby. ... 40-yard time is 4.6 seconds. [Posted 10.24.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

WILL TOWERY (6-5, 255), TE, Reynolds High, Asheville ... was a two-way, two-year starter at Reynolds. ... an all conference selection. ... named All Western North Carolina. ... had eight catches for 159 yards for the Rockets in 2006. ... a Shrine Bowl selection. ... had five stops for losses among his 35 tackles on defense. ... coached by Steve McCurry. ... had 41 tackles with five for losses as a junior. ... earned three letters in baseball. ... an honors student. ... represented North Carolina in the National History Day competition. [Posted 02.12.07]

DEVON WALLACE (6-2, 195) WR/DB, Southern Alamance High ... Committed to the Pirates on July 25, taking advantage of his first offer after receiving recruiting attention from North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest. ... A versatile performer for coach Tony Perrou, Wallace ran for 400 yards as a back and made 22 catches for 300 yards as a receiver. ... He also played quarterback and defensive end for the Patriots last season. ... projected to play wide receiver and defensive back as a senior. ... began high school at New Bern but did not play in 2004. ... Return a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against Burlington Cummings in his first game at Southern Alamance. ... Perrou said Wallace is the program's first Division I player in almost three decades. ... credited with a 4.5-second time for 40 yards. [Posted 07.27.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

JONATHAN WILLIAMS (6-2, 195) RB, Greenville Rose ... ran for 2,804 yards and 39 touchdowns in leading the Rampants to their fourth straight 4-A state championship. ... committed to the hometown program despite visits scheduled to North Carolina and Clemson. ... Also recruited by Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia Tech. ... Offensive MVP for North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl after running for 106 yards in a 23-16 victory. ... Williams has a 40-yard time of 4.37 seconds. ... coached on the prep level by former ECU defensive end Greg Thomas at Rose. ... committed after campus visit the first weekend in January. [Posted 11.13.07] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

TYRELL WORTHINGTON (6-0, 185) RB/DB, Pitt County South Central ... A Shrine Bowl selection who ran for 351 yards in team's first ever playoff win, a 42-35 victory over Nash Central in the first round of the 2006 3-A playoffs. ... Worthington's 62-yard scoring run in the final minute provided the margin of victory and accounted for his sixth touchdown of the game. ... ran for 2,591 yards as a senior with 28 touchdowns. ... averaged 8.1 yards per carry. ... also regarded as an outstanding baseball player. ... the opportunity to play both sports at ECU was a factor in his college decision. ... had offers from N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Clemson, but most projected him as a defensive back. ... the chance to play running back at a developing program close to home caused him to make his commitment to ECU offensive coordinator Steve Shankweiler on Thursday night, Nov. 30. [Posted 12.04.06] [Feature Profile by Sammy Batten]

Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. Compiled from staff reports and other sources. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without specific written permission, and then only in accordance with the terms and restrictions of that permission.

03/07/2012 04:51:54 AM

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