The NCAA signing period for football begins on Feb. 4 meaning there is less than a month for schools to make a push on top targets. The current quiet period between coaches and recruits ends in ten days leaving a small two and a half week window after for coaches to hit the recruiting trail.
Although East Carolina didn’t get the bowl win it wanted against SEC opponent Florida that could’ve been a potential spark plug in recruiting, the Pirates could still land some of the targets on their 2015 board.
In order to make it possible it’s going to take a collective effort from Head Coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff. This time last year McNeill and company attacked recruiting hard spreading out through the southeast and the northeast. Coaches went all the way down into Florida and some as far as northern Virginia to visit targets.
Last year’s efforts were a success and the hard work netted ECU a class of 20 recruits that enrolled at the school and joined the program in 2014. The Pirates are only seven commits off of that mark for the 2015 class with verbal commits from some impressive prospects.
It’s all word of mouth currently and nothing is official until the ink is on the National Letters of Intent in February, but the class has shaped up admirably.
With the clock ticking don’t be surprised if coaches spend the entirety of that two and a half week open period on the road. Below are some of the 2015 targets that have yet to commit to a school that ECU could make a push for.
Wake Forest-Rolesville (N.C.) running back Bryce Love:
It’s going to be a dogfight between schools for Bryce Love’s interest. He is still ECU's top target for the 2015 class and is considering the Pirates along with Virginia Tech, Florida, Tennessee, Stanford, North Carolina and Wisconsin. It’s easy to see why so many schools are after him considering his 206 carries for 2,304 yards and 33 rushing touchdowns as a senior. The Pirates will likely make an in-home visit with Love and try to sell the brand one last time before signing day.
Iowa Western C.C. (Council Bluffs, IA) defensive tackle Darius Commissiong:
Last season Commissiong left Georgia Tech and enrolled at Iowa Western C.C. He just recently received an offer from ECU and named the Pirates his current leader shortly after. Commissiong would be a great late addition to the class and the second defensive tackle. He is 6-foot-3, 305 pounds and has experience conditioning in a college program. Commissiong graduated from Bishop McNamara High School in District Heights, Maryland with the class of 2013. ECU was one of his offers then along with nearly all of the ACC. He plans on visiting ECU when the dead period is over and will take time on his decision because he doesn't have to enroll at a school until May.
Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.) cornerback Chuck Davis:
Indiana and Wisconsin were recently named leaders in Davis’ recruitment, but he has a great relationship with ECU. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback had an impressive senior season and would be a nice addition for defensive coordinator Rick Smith. Defensive line coach Marc Yellock gave Davis his offer and will likely be the coach to make an in-home visit before signing day. Despite his top two schools it’s likely the Pirates make one last push for his interest.
Essex (Tappahannock, Va.) safety Sterling Hammond:
An impressive defensive back in his senior season, Hammond is a target ECU would like to pick up. His other offers include Louisville, Virginia Tech, Purdue, James Madison and Old Dominion. Hammond visited ECU for a game this season and defensive line coach Marc Yellock extended him his offer. The Pirates could go for a kill two birds with one stone approach and make a visit to Hammond while in Virginia to see other targets like Chuck Davis. He is a talented athlete and is 6-foot, 190 pounds.
Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.) defensive tackle Eurndraus Bryant:
Although he has stayed quiet for most of his recruitment, Bryant holds offers from ECU, Kentucky and Wake Forest. The Pirates are said to be his top school, but Bryant has heard from multiple Alabama coaches. If he fields an offer from the Crimson Tide it could be due to his impressive size at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds. Whether he gets that offer or not, ECU will be in contact with Bryant and with the loss of nose tackle Terry Williams he would be a big pickup moving forward.
Dillon (S.C.) wide receiver Eri’reon Hayes:
Don’t be surprised if ECU lands another Dillon High School prospect, the school has produced recruits in both the 2013 and 2014 class for the Pirates. Running backs coach Kirk Doll is in charge of Hayes’ recruitment and extended him an offer. He is a talented wide receiver at 6-foot, 180 pounds and his other offers are from Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion. Unless coaches have trouble opening more wide receiver spots in this class, Hayes could be a likely addition for the Pirates.
Centreville (Clifton, Va.) running back/safety Xavier Nickens-Yzer:
In September Nickens-Yzer tried to commit to ECU only to be told by defensive line coach Marc Yellock it wasn’t a possibility. After the bad news he took it upon himself to have a monster all-state caliber season starting on both sides of the ball and may have shaken things up. He received a new piece of mail recently from the Pirates explaining his scholarship offer and there is still a glimmer of hope that a spot opens up for him. If the coaches make an in-home visit in the next couple weeks to let him know it will be a treat for Nickens-Yzer, after all, his top school is ECU.