ECU Lands its First 2015 Commit

East Carolina landed its first commit of the 2015 class in Ayden-Grifton (Ayden, N.C.) defensive tackle Justin Brown.

East Carolina landed its first commitment of the 2015 class. Ayden (N.C.) Ayden-Grifton defensive tackle Justin Brown verbally committed to join the Pirates Sunday afternoon.

Even though Brown was the first in his class to commit, he doesn't feel rushed in making his decision. He took time thinking about it and, in the end, feels like committing to ECU has taken some pressure off of him.

"It's a great feeling," said Brown. "I love ECU. I love [head] coach Ruffin [McNeill] and what he has to offer, so it's a great feeling…It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders because I knew deep down inside, I wanted to go to ECU. Then I got all the information and facts I needed to make the decision. I can see myself there for four years, getting my degree and being a great football player."

The 310-pound lineman spent plenty of time considering options and making a decision where to spend his college years. Eventually, it just came to him.

"Coach Ruff had offered a few weeks ahead of time," said Brown. "I was thinking and I was thinking and, Sunday morning when I got to church, I was ready to be a Pirate. So, I messaged him on Twitter and said, ‘I'm ready to be a Pirate.'"

Brown picked up an offer from ECU back on February 18. He got the call from linebackers coach John Wiley while lifting weights. At the time, his top-three schools were North Carolina State, ECU and North Carolina—in that order. Outside his top schools, he also had garnered interest from Georgia, Clemson and Charlotte.

"Coach Ruff is just like a dad to me now," said Brown about what distinguished ECU. "He's like a great role model for me right now."

Brown's commitment makes two back-to-back classes with an Ayden-Grifton commit. The 6-foot-3 DT joins defensive back Drew Turnage, who was an early commit in the 2014 class.

"Well, if he starts freshman year or he redshirts," said Brown, "I'll come in my freshman year. It would be great to have two people from the same high school playing on defense. It would be a great help for us to play together."

Heading into his senior season, Brown is already a big body that overpowers many of the high school offensive lineman he competes against in North Carolina. He plans to spend his last year at Ayden-Grifton not only developing physically, but also developing his leadership skills on the field.

"Right now, I'm trying to get my weight down," said Brown, "so I'll be in the best shape I can be in right now in my senior season. I'm a leader, so I've got to do that to put my team forward."

As it stands now, Brown intends to remain loyal to his verbal commitment. With his stock likely on the rise, things could always change. ECU is the only school that has offered him, so once the ACC schools that have expressed interest join the fray, Brown could change his mind.

"I'm a Pirate right now and I always will be a Pirate for right now," said Brown.

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