Recruiting coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick always says “recruiting never stops,” and he means it. The Pirates are always looking to expose their brand of football to recruits. The new television deal with the conference realignment this season has given the team ample opportunities for national exposure and it seems now more than ever before people know about football in Greenville, North Carolina.
So why with all of the exposure and success this season has ECU had a seemingly undersized class of 2015 verbal commits?
The losses to Temple and Cincinnati on ESPNU could be a valid argument, or simply the coaching staff feels content with the players it has. Whatever the case may be, ECU has 10 commits for the class right now and doesn’t seem to be on pace for the size of it’s 2014 class, which had close to 24 commits successfully enroll.
Signing Day 2015 is just two and a half months away giving the Pirate coaching staff plenty of time to get out on the recruiting trail before and after the bowl game. It’s not likely more than five names will be added to ECU’s list of 2015 commits, but there are still targets left on the board.
Here’s a look at some of the 2015 recruits ECU will be targeting as signing day approaches:
Wake Forest-Rolesville (N.C.) running back Bryce Love:
Still ECU's top target for the class, Love is an all-purpose back with impressive power considering his size at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. He already has an offer from the Pirates, and is considering ECU along with Virginia Tech, Florida, Tennessee, Stanford, North Carolina and Wisconsin. His decision should come any day now. If ECU lands Love it will be a home run caliber pickup.
Renaissance Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.) defensive end Emmanuel Olenga:
Despite having heavy interest from SEC school Tennessee, Olenga named ECU his No.1 school in November. Olenga is 6-foot-4, 250-pounds and credited his interest in ECU to the coaching staff. Duke and N.C. State have also shown interest and would round out his top three if they offer. Olenga is a likely candidate to pledge to the Pirates and plans to make his decision at the end of December.
Berkeley (Moncks Corner, S.C.) offensive tackle Alex Taylor:
ECU seems the likely front runner for Taylor whose other offers include Appalachian State and Middle Tennessee State. At 6-foot-8, 290-pounds Taylor has tremendous size for the next level giving him extreme upside. He visited ECU for its win over North Carolina and was blown away with the experience. Taylor is another likely candidate to pledge to ECU.
Mooresville (N.C.) defensive end Chazmyn Turner:
ECU and Purdue have traded spots as Turner’s top school in his recruitment. Defensive line coach Marc Yellock extended Turner his offer on Halloween and at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds he would be a nice addition to a defensive front looking to build for the future.
New Bern (N.C.) cornerback Mike Hughes: Teammate of ECU freshman safety Cody Purdie, Hughes is a talented defensive back. He's 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and receiving a ton of attention from SEC schools. Hughes visited ECU this season for its win over North Carolina and Lincoln Riley has paid a visit to his school before. The SEC seems to be the likely destination for Hughes and South Carolina apparently leads in his interests. ACC schools are making a push for Hughes as well.
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 his 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.
Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.) cornerback Chuck Davis:
Indiana and Wisconsin lead as Davis’ top schools, but he has a great relationship with ECU. Defensive line coach Marc Yellock is at the head of his recruitment and the Pirates may make a push for Davis before it’s all said and done.
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 he visited for