Signing day approaches

Signing Day 2014 is less than a month away. Inside ECU Sports has a look at where ECU stands with its 2014 recruiting class.

ECU lost its only commit for the 2014 class when Bishop Kenny (FL) quarterback John Wolford de-committed and decided to accept an offer from Wake Forest. Wolford changed his mind in December – he was the only quarterback commit in the class.

Aside from that, the Pirates have hard verbal commitments from its remaining 16 commits and haven't has any other de-commitments.

Out of the sixteen who have committed, two in-state athletes will enroll early and start their careers as Pirates this week.

Middle Creek (Apex) wide receiver Curtis Burston and New Bern defensive back Cody Purdie will both arrive to campus on Jan. 11. The two will be roommates and will start classes two days after arriving.

Burston has great size for wide receiver at 6-foot-2, 230-pounds. A successful spring and Burston may land him a similar role to the one true-freshmen wideouts Isaiah Jones and Davon Grayson had in 2013. Purdie is 5-foot-11, 190-pounds and played a lot of offense for New Bern. He's a great athlete, with development under Rick Smith and a successful spring he could see early playing time at the safety position.

Barring a change of heart or other schools extending offers, the remaining 14 commits have less than a month until they solidify their decision by signing a letter of intent on Feb. 5.

Here's a list of the other 14 ECU 2014 commits with a brief description for each:

Orangeburg-Wilkinson (S.C.) offensive tackle Messiah Rice: Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 260 pounds, Rice has a tremendous upside based off that alone. Rice was the only ECU commit from South Carolina to be selected to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. He will only get better with improved technique.

Green Run (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end Shaun James: This 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end chose ECU over Conference USA rival Marshall. He used his length to terrorize quarterbacks last season and also has a friend, running back Anthony Scott, who is extremely talented and likes the Pirates. Scott is currently uncommitted.

Kempsville (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end/inside linebacker Kyron Speller: This talented defensive end committed on Dec. 9 making him the most recent 2014 ECU commit. At 6-foot-1, 250-pounds Speller is versatile; he played on the line and standing up at the linebacker position in high school.

McGhin in the Pirate gear he got for Christmas.
R. B. Glenn (Kernersville, N.C.) defensive end/outside linebacker Yiannis Bowden: Another versatile defensive lineman who can play the linebacker position, Bowden stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 206 pounds. The Pirates will likely red-shirt him in order to add weight and his frame is perfect to do so. Bowden chose ECU over future American Conference opponent Cincinnati.

Florida State (Tallahassee) offensive tackle Garrett McGhin: Was committed to South Alabama before switching to ECU after a game day visit. McGhin is 6-foot-6, 280 pounds and switched his decision in early December.

Hardaway (Columbus, GA) offensive tackle Desmond Barmore: 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds makes Barmore the tallest and heaviest offensive lineman in the class. More weight training and improved technique could help him see time early on in his career. He's the only commit from the state of Georgia.

Beaufort (Ladys Island, S.C.) tight end Stephen Baggett: Talented pass-blocker who plays on a running team, but can go up and get it whenever the ball is thrown his way. Baggett is 6-foot-5, 220-pounds and runs a 4.6 second 40-yard dash.

Springbrook (Silver Spring, MD) defensive end Alex Evans: The tallest defensive end in the class at 6-foot-7, Evans was being looked at by plenty of ACC schools. He's the only ECU commit from Maryland and his 230-pound frame will be easy to build on at the next level.

Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, FL) offensive tackle Erik Lenzen: One of three Florida commits in the class, Lenzen considered Bowling Green and UMass before choosing ECU. He has impressive size at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds and will be a nice edition to ECU's offensive line which lost senior leadership to graduation after the 2013 season.

Ayden-Grifton (Ayden, N.C.) safety Drew Turnage: The closest thing to a local commit. Turnage covers a lot of ground on the defensive side of the ball and runs a 4.4 second 40-yard dash. He's 6-foot tall and weighs 185 pounds. Defensive coordinator Rick Smith may elect to red-shirt Turnage in order to let him gain weight. He should impress when hitting the field and his skills should translate at the next level.

Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) outside linebacker Massadiq Walton: Walton is 6-foot-3, 240-pounds and will be a nice addition to ECU's linebacking corps. A unit that lost its best player in Derrell Johnson this season to graduation, he will most likely play on Sundays.

Jack Britt (Fayetteville, N.C.) offensive tackle Kyle Erickson: The first commit for the 2014 class, Erickson pledged to the Pirates in early April. He's the shortest offensive lineman in the class at 6-foot-4, but the second heaviest at 285 pounds next to Desmond Barmore.

Ponte Vedra (FL) inside linebacker Joe Carter: A linebacker with an impressive nose for the ball. The Pirates may red-shirt to gain weight since Carter is 6-foot-2, 210-pounds. If they don't, his pursuit to the ball may land him early playing time.

That's how the class shapes up so far. For ECU, the Pirates likely hope to fill the void at the quarterback and running back position. More commits should be on the way and things will likely heat up as Signing Day 2014 approaches.


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