Lenzen chooses ECU

The Pirates got their sixth commitment for the 2014 class in Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) offensive tackle Erik Lenzen. Inside ECU Sports spoke with him about his decision.

Cardinal Gibbons (Fla.) offensive tackle Erik Lenzen committed to East Carolina on July 1. Previously Lenzen had other schools he had planned on visiting, but felt right to go ahead and commit to the Pirates.

"I found out that going to school in Ohio and Massachusetts was just too far," the 6-foot-5 270 pound Lenzen said. "I've never even seen snow, and the distance wouldn't have worked out. North Carolina is a great place and is close enough to have manageable drives home."

Lenzen 's visit to ECU last week solidified his decision.

"I didn't have a good picture in my head about the school and that's all I needed. The football facilities were my favorite part, especially the weight room, and the stadium. I like the college town atmosphere that's all about the football and I heard they pack the stadium for games, so that did it for me."

Lenzen admitted ECU's move to the American Athletic Conference in 2014 was in the back of his mind while being recruited."

"It definitely played a part in the process," Lenzen said. "I also like the ECU offense because it's so similar to what we run at Cardinal Gibbons. I am confident I can pick up on the playbook pretty quick and get to feel comfortable in it early on."

With his decision finally made, Lenzen is relieved that he can now focus solely on his senior year.

"I'm happy to have the weight off my shoulders," he said. "I spoke with strength and conditioning Coach Jeff Connors during my visit and he told me I should improve on bench, squats and hang cleans. So that's what I'm trying to do, I have summer workouts at 5:30 a.m. every day and I go to football from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. after work."

The Pirate coaching staff told Lenzen he will most likely red-shirt his freshman year. A decision he completely agrees with.

"I think that would be the best bet for me. It'll allow me to get stronger and get adjusted to the school if I lay low my first year. I'll get out there and compete sophomore year once I get up to the college level of physicality."

As for when he plans on joining his future teammates, Lenzen will graduate with his class at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. He plans to join his future teammates during the summer 2014.

"I can't wait to get there," Lenzen said. "I'm excited to have a chance to compete at the college level. I'm ready to feel what it's like to play college football."

Lenzen is a great pickup for the 2014 Pirate class. His size and quick feet should allow him to come out and hopefully make a name for himself after his red-shirt season.

The Pirates are still behind in comparison to fellow in-state schools UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State with 2014 commits. Both schools outnumber ECU by double figures, UNC has 16 commits, while N.C. State leads the nation with 24.

More Florida commits could be on the way in the near future for ECU as defensive coordinator Rick Smith's connections in the Sunshine State are starting to pay off.

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