East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff reaped the benefits of their 70-41 win over UNC Chapel Hill during the first bye week of the season. The week was a success by many measures, the Pirates landed a big 2015 commit and could be closer to adding more names to its 2015 class in the coming weeks.
South Central (Winterville, N.C.) running back Shawn Furlow became ECU’s first 2015 running back commit when he pledged to the Pirates last Thursday Sep. 25. Considering the struggles ECU has had landing running back targets this early before signing day in recent years, his commitment is big.
Furlow’s verbal to the Pirates shows things could be changing in that regard. Another running back Abdul Adams from Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. is an example of this change. He committed to ECU back in April and remains the only 2016 recruit the Pirates have a verbal from so far.
The Pirates hosted a multitude of recruits, ranging from sophomore to senior, during their win over UNC and those who attended got to see ECU football in its prime state in front of a rambunctious Dowdy-Ficklen crowd of 51,028. The performance made an impact on the recruiting front.
Here are some of the 2015 targets ECU is currently recruiting:
2015 Berkeley (Moncks Corner, S.C.) offensive tackle Alex Taylor: At 6-foot-8, 290-pounds, Taylor is a big target for ECU’s offensive line. He visited for ECU’s home win against UNC Chapel Hill on Sep. 20 and received his offer from the Pirates in June. Other schools to offer Taylor include Appalachian State and Middle Tennessee State. As of right now he could be the closest to committing of any 2015 target left on the board for the Pirates.
Dillon (S.C.) wide receiver Eri’reon Hayes:
ECU hosted Hayes during its 70-41 win over UNC Chapel Hill. He is a talented wide receiver and Dillon High School has produced recruits in both the 2013 and 2014 class for ECU. Running backs coach Kirk Doll is in charge of Hayes’ recruitment and extended him an offer. Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion make up the rest of Hayes’ offer list. ECU could be close to landing him.
2015 Largo (Fla.) safety Jonathan Crawford: Iowa, ECU, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Rutgers, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, Central Florida, and N.C. State have all offered Crawford and that’s not where his list ends. When he narrowed his list down to three recently ECU was in the mix with Syracuse and Iowa. Offensive line coach Brandon Jones is in charge of Crawford’s recruitment and could have him for a visit soon. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates’ success this year could help land Crawford.
2015 Wake Forest-Rolesville (N.C.) running back Bryce Love: With running back Shawn Furlow’s commitment to ECU the Pirates may back off of Bryce Love. At one point he was ECU's top target, but with schools Tennessee, Florida and Virginia Tech jumping in the mix it’s unlikely he will pledge to the Pirates. Love visited ECU for its win over N.C. Central to start the season and will visit Tennessee at the end of October.