2014 recruit: James Passmore

North Gaston (Dallas, N.C.) offensive lineman James Passmore has an offer from East Carolina and visited for the spring game in April. Inside ECU Sports spoke with him about it.

UNC Charlotte and ECU are the two schools to offer James Passmore from North Gaston High School in Dallas, North Carolina. The talented offensive lineman was going to commit to the Pirates recently, but decided to hold off.

"I was going to commit and my head coach thought I'd better wait," the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Passmore said. "I'm still contemplating on the two schools and he wanted me to wait because he definitely thinks once we start playing games I could get better looks. I've been hearing from some ACC schools and I didn't want to jump the gun."

Passmore visited ECU to see the spring game and it helped build his interest in the school.

"The coaches and the environment were great," the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Passmore said. "Head coach Ruffin McNeill talked about how if the environment is right than the school is right. A band was playing when we got there and all of the players were there. We went to the lobby where we ate and talked to (inside receivers) coach Donnie Kirkpatrick and (offensive line) coach Brandon Jones. Head coach Ruffin McNeill came in and talked about the program, the academic part and more things I wondered about. Then we went to the field and watched the game, I enjoyed it a lot and I like the how they ran the offense."

Offensive line coach Brandon Jones gave Passmore his offer.

"Coach Jones came down to the school," he said. "He watched me work on footwork to see how it was and after that he offered me. He really liked how hard I worked and the fact that I'm a wrestler. We also talked about (ECU's) business school, that's something I'm interested in."

Passmore didn't know much about the Pirates before his offer.

"I knew some stuff about ECU," Passmore said. "It wasn't until I visited that I learned a lot about them. I knew they had a pretty good football program and they're moving to the AAC (American Athletic Conference). That definitely plays a factor into my recruitment; it's one of the best things about the school. ECU is my top school right now, my main thing in judging a school is the football program and if I like it and the environment. Having a Division-1 offer is awesome."

A few things stood out for Passmore during his visits to ECU.

"My favorite parts are the environment and the coaches," he said. "I like how everybody had the right attitude and how I felt at home there. The coaches are really cool and I like all of them too. Offensive coordinator (Lincoln Riley) is a good guy. I went to camp and was frustrated with my bar jump. Riley came over and told me he cared more about what happens on the field, it was inspirational to me."

UNC Charlotte is close to home for Passmore and the drive to ECU is about four and a half hours. He mentioned the distance will play a role in his recruitment.

"They both have their ups and downs," Passmore said. "ECU is a long drive, but Charlotte is close and I don't know if I want to stay that close to home. I want to get out and see how I do on my own so I don't know what I plan on doing yet. I know ECU has good academics and so does UNCC so that makes it tougher."

Passmore has been lifting and working out with his team all summer in preparation for the fall. He also wrestled in order to stay in shape and cut weight so that he can have a successful senior season.

As for where he shines on offense Passmore enjoys run blocking

"I usually stick to run blocking," he said. "I'm good at it and the main thing I like to do is running people down the field. Right now I'm most comfortable at the right tackle or guard. The right side of the line is definitely my favorite."

After deciding to hold off on committing, Passmore has idea for when he'll make his decision.

"I am planning on committing a couple games into the season or at least half way through," Passmore said. "I think by then I'll know where I want to go. I was thinking about the early enrollment, but I want to graduate with my class. If I change my mind I could do it, I just have to take a couple more classes."

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