Pirates Begin Week Two of Camp in Full Pads

GREENVILLE, N.C. — ECU returned to practice Monday afternoon to begin its second week of fall camp at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

East Carolina began its second week of fall camp at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Monday. Donning full pads for just the second time this camp, the Pirates worked through the morning and into early afternoon below mostly overcast skies.

Fifth-year coach Ruffin McNeill’s focus was on third-down efficiency Monday — a category that ECU ranked seventh nationally last season — and was able to make some evaluations on players during an 11-on-11 session.

“I see competitive plays, very competitive,” McNeill said. “I like the way they are working together. We don’t play East Carolina this year; I looked on the schedule. We’ve got a very competitive group, but they really do a good job of taking care of each other.”

The practice schedule read that Sunday would be a day off — following the team’s first two-a-day practice Saturday — but the Pirates still fit in a morning walk through before skipping weight lifting and film sessions for team-bonding activities.

Most of the team visited the ECU Student Recreation Center, far away from the pads, the heat and demanding workouts.

The Pirates’ charismatic offensive tackle, Ike Harris, who is listed at 6-foot-7, 304 pounds, was one of the many players to enjoy the pool and drew several laughs when he swam with a life jacket on. When Harris went to return the jacket, the lifeguards on duty said he could keep it.

McNeill complemented offensive lineman J.T. Boyd for his dunking abilities on the hardwood. Some other players enjoyed racquetball, while a few stayed back at their fall camp home — Aycock Residence Hall — to get some rest.

“It was just a fun day and a chance to get away for team bonding,” McNeill said. “When the bullets start flying … and we travel, that bond is what will be the secret.”

ECU released an updated injury report Monday. Among the most notable injuries, sophomore wide receiver DaQuan Barnes suffered a back injury during Friday’s practice and will miss at least the remainder of fall camp. Barnes started one game in 2013, hauling in nine receptions and a touchdown.

Walk-on receiver Kole Stanley, who suffered a gruesome lower leg injury Friday, will also be sidelined. Tight end Darren Dowdell (left leg), offensive lineman Christian Matau (left knee) and Cody Keith (right elbow) entered camp on the disabled list and will continue to be in full rehabilitation mode.

In response to a few of the serious injuries, the Pirates added three walk-ons to their 105-man roster — running back Devin Anderson (5-9, 204, Fr., Henderson, N.C) and outside receivers David Kelcy (6-2, 180, Fr., Waxhaw, N.C) and Anthony Russo (5-8, 163, Fr., Goldsboro, N.C.).

ECU will participate in another single-session practice Tuesday morning that is set to last about three hours at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.


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