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Football Recruiting Report
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

By Sammy Batten

Pirates 'steal' a gem in Goose Creek's Myers

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Chuck Reedy seems to be describing the son every father would want when talking about Mike Myers.

"He's just a great kid,'' Reedy says. "He's a good student. He comes to practice every day until about 6 o'clock a lot of nights and then goes off to work at a fast food restaurant to work. He does that on weekends, too, to help his mom.

"He is a very mature kid ... more mature than most 17-year-olds.''

Myers has combined those character traits with outstanding athletic ability to become a football standout for Reedy at South Carolina powerhouse Goose Creek High School. He's been part of the Goose Creek varsity since his freshman season and last year, while playing defensive tackle, helped the Gators claim the state 4A Division II championship.

East Carolina special teams and running backs coach Kirk Doll also took a liking to Myers during a recruiting stop in Goose Creek last spring, resulting in a scholarship offer from the Pirates. Myers accepted in early September over offers from Charlotte, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina and Southern Miss.

Plenty of other schools would have been interested if the 6-foot-1 1/2, 285-pound Myers was an inch or two taller, according to Reedy.

"If he was 6-2 or 6-3 he'd be recruited by everyone in the country,'' Reedy said. "He is an exceptionally good player. He's probably as strong as any kid I've ever had. He benches around 400 pounds, he runs in the 5.0 or 4.9 range (in the 40-yard dash) and plays with great effort.

"East Carolina has gotten themselves a jewel. They stole one in him.''

Playing his first season on the defensive line, Myers collected 77 tackles and made five sacks in Goose Creek's run to the state title in 2011. He contributed several tackles behind the line of scrimmage as the Gators down Greenwood, 37-21, for the state championship.

Goose Creek is again a contender for state honors this season with a 9-0 record. Myers had 34 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions in those games and is expected to be selected for South Carolina's annual North-South All-Star game later this year.

Myers was in the seventh grade at a local middle school when he first caught Reedy's attention. Reedy has seen plenty of potential college players in previous jobs as an assistant coach at Clemson and as head coach at Baylor from 1993-96. ECU head coach Ruffin McNeil was a graduate assistant coach at Clemson during Reedy's tenure at the Atlantic Coast Conference school.

"We have three middle schools that feed into the high school here, so every year I go over to talk to the rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders about our program and what they need to be doing,'' Reedy said. "Even in the seventh grade, Mike was a big kid. I immediately thought defensive lineman because of his size. But he was playing fullback at the time, and he said that's where he wanted to play for us.''

Two years later, Myers did become a varsity co-starter at fullback, rushing for "about 500 or 600 yards'' and scoring 10 touchdowns, according to Reedy. He alternated at fullback again a sophomore with similar results before coming to a career-changing decision.

Faced with the prospect of yet another season rotating with an older player at fullback, Myers decided to try something new with some gentle prodding from Reedy.

"Mike had gotten to about 250 pounds,'' Reedy said. "I called him in and said, 'You can stay at fullback if you want to. Obviously, you'll be alternating there. But you're an awfully good football player. You can move to another position where you can be a starter. It's your choice.'

"He said, 'Coach, I used to play defensive line. I'd like to try that.' That's exactly what I wanted him to say, but I wanted it to be his choice.

"We moved him to defensive tackle and he immediately took to it.''

Reedy said Myers makes a lot of plays in the backfield because of his strength and quickness, and he's not talking just about tackles.

"This was quite an accomplishment,'' Reedy said. "He had two interceptions in a game as a defensive lineman, and he ran one of them in for a touchdown. He was rushing the passer, but somebody else got there first and the ball pops out. He caught it and ran it in.''

Myers plays tackle in Goose Creek's four-man front, but has been recruited as a nose tackle for ECU's 3-4 alignment. The only other recruit for 2013 so far who may play defensive line is Kirk Donaldson from Vance High in Charlotte. Donaldson has been recruited as an end or outside linebacker.

Goose Creek has one of the most talented teams in the entire Southeast United States this season when it comes to college prospects. Myers is one of three senior Gators who have already committed to major college programs along with linebacker Gerald Turner (South Carolina) and wide receiver Tramel Terry (Georgia). Two others, defensive ends Jalen Stevens and DeShawn Evans, are also being pursued by Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Behind that group are also two juniors who already have major-college scholarship offers in running back Caleb Kinlaw and tight end Kalan Ritchie.

The Pirates also offered Terry a scholarship, but aren't yet involved with any other Goose Creek players. But Reedy wouldn't mind if they did because of the high regard in which he holds ECU's McNeill.

"I've known Ruffin for 25 years,'' Reedy said. "Even though I'm not in constant contact with him, I'm very proud of what he's accomplished. I'm really happy to have someone go up there to play for him.''

E-mail Sammy Batten

PAGE UPDATED 10/24/12 02:35 AM.

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