Winters Picks ECU

James Rickards (Tallahassee, FL) defensive end Markel Winters became the second 2014 commit to pledge to ECU Sunday. Inside ECU Sports spoke with him about it.

ECU's coaching staff took full advantage of the last official visit weekend for the 2014 class and it's paying off. Two recruits pledged to the Pirates Sunday.

The second of the two was Markel Winters from James Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Fla. Winters had a multitude of things play into his decision, but his official visit is when he realized ECU was for him.

"Academics, the football program, team chemistry, and the fan support is what did it," said the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Winters. "It was a great visit and I loved it there. I made a good connection with the players and coaches."

Winters is excited about the decision. He mentioned he will sign his letter of intent Wednesday at school with his ECU hat on.

Before his commitment to ECU, Winters was considering Marshall and Middle Tennessee State. He visited all three schools in the past three weekends with ECU being the most recent.

Defensive coordinator Rick Smith and outside linebackers coach Duane Price were in charge of Winters' recruitment. James Rickards is Smith's alma mater which helped spark the relationship.

While Winters is primarily a defensive end, he has the versatility to play the outside linebacker position. Smith and Price haven't specifically told him where he will play yet – they've done this with almost all five of the defensive end commits for the 2014 class.

Don't be surprised if the Pirates use him as a stand-up linebacker once he gets to school. Winters is excited to join his teammates and will report to campus on June 25.

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