Pirates get fifth 2014 commit

East Carolina got its fifth verbal commit for the 2014 class in Ponte Vedra (Fla.) linebacker Joe Carter. Inside ECU Sports spoke with him about his decision.

2014 Ponte Vedra linebacker Joe Carter took a multitude of unofficial visits during his recruitment and saw interest from multiple programs. The schools that extended offers were Air Force, Appalachian State, East Carolina, Lehigh and UAB.

ECU left the best impression and Carter committed to the Pirates on Friday June 28. Defensive Coordinator Rick Smith should get an assist for his commitment.

"First of all it felt like home," The 6-foot-3 and 215-pound Carter said. "There was no question that if I didn't have football it would still be a great fit as a school. The coaching is great as well, even at other schools I went to I heard about the Pirate coaches. Especially coach Rick Smith, I heard he was a legend and a great coach. The caliber of football attracted me."

Carter was ready to commit to ECU during his unofficial visit months ago, but his parents didn't want him to rush into things.

"It felt right," he said. "My parents were all excited about it and so was I, it clicked for all of us. I love the facilities and they let me go on the field. It doesn't get much better than that."

As a junior, Carter had 50 tackles from the outside linebacker position including 29 solo stops and two sacks. He's confident he can perform early on at the next level.

"My goal is to fight for a spot," he said. "They (ECU) haven't given me any signs of red-shirting yet. I'd love to go in thinking I can compete even if it's just on special teams. I enjoy playoing specials teams and would take advantage of that if given the chance."

At Ponte Vedra, Carter routinely plays at the outside linebacker position. The Pirates have asked him to move to inside linebacker when he arrives on campus. He believes it won't be too difficult of a change.

"It's not a big deal at all because we run the same defense at Ponte Vedra," Carter said. "I'm moving to inside next season. Moving to weak side is exciting; it's a fun position to play. That's the guy who gets to fly around out there and I can't wait to do it."

Carter plans on graduating with his class at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. As far as joining his future teammates in Greenville, he is going to try to make it out to the first phase of summer workouts in early June.

Since his commitment yesterday, Carter has felt a warm welcome on social media. He attributed the Pirate Nation as one of the reasons for his commitment.

"The fan base is awesome," he said. "I put my decision out there and was getting favorites and retweets on Twitter from alumni and current students. Nobody is more excited to be a future member of the Pirate Nation right now than me."

The Pirates have added a talented linebacker as their fifth commit for the 2014 class with Joe Carter. In his highlight film, he flew all over the field and showed great closing speed. His ability to make one-on-one tackles in the open field could be another thing that helps him get noticed and earn playing time when he gets to ECU.

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