Two weeks and one day, that’s how long the ECU coaching staff has to try and lock up some its top targets for the 2015 class. Coaches are on the recruiting trail visiting with players right now and with it being unclear how many prospects the team will take on, it should be a sporadic next two weeks.
The Pirates are on the recruiting clock and time is against them. Despite the coaching changes within the program, newly appointed offensive coordinator Dave Nichol, head coach Ruffin McNeill, and the rest of his staff are putting forth a joint effort to lock up this year’s class with a bang.
Recruiting coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick got a jumpstart on his recruiting visits when he stopped by Northwest Mississippi C.C. last week to talk with 6-foot-3 JUCO cornerback prospect Treston Decoud. The visit moved the Pirates into Decoud’s top five list of schools and he plans to take a heavy look at the Pirates with a visit in the near future.
Last weekend was commit weekend for the 2015 class and the Pirates hosted eight of their 13 commits on campus for an official visit. The next two weekends are the last opportunities for coaches to host targets and make in-person visits on the road.
The team doesn’t have any official visits planned for this weekend yet, but it’s likely that will change as Friday approaches. Below are some names to watch out for and recruits the coaches are likely visiting with this week.
Wake Forest-Rolesville (N.C.) running back Bryce Love:
Love remains ECU's top target for the class and this week will be huge in swaying his opinion. Lincoln Riley and Dave Nichol gave Love his offer and it is yet to be seen whether Riley leaving has closed the door on his possible commitment. The other top schools he is considering are Tennessee, Stanford, North Carolina and South Carolina. If the Pirates somehow land Love, it will be the biggest pickup for the 2015 class.
JUCO (Hinds C.C.) offensive tackle Justin Sandifier:
Before leaving to Cal, offensive line coach Brandon Jones sent out his last offer to Sandifier, and it’s easy to see why. Sandifier is the stereotypical JUCO offensive lineman ECU brings in to make an immediate impact on the team. The other school pushing for him is Louisville, but the Cardinals have yet to offer. It’s extremely ironic that on Signing Day 2014 the Pirates had an offensive lineman decommit from Louisville in Quincy McKinney pledge to ECU. This year may not be a decommitment, but the Pirates could be close to landing another commit that was considering Louisville. Sandifier has nice size at 6-foot-4, 313 pounds.
Dillon (S.C.) wide receiver Eri’reon Hayes:
Dillon High School has produced commits in both the 2013 and 2014 class for ECU and could be close to making it three classes in a row. Hayes is a talented wide receiver and is highly considering pledging to the Pirates. In fact, yesterday he asked me if he can commit, I told him to contact the coaches. Running backs coach Kirk Doll is in charge of Hayes’ recruitment and extended him his offer. It is likely that if he commits it will be to Doll and that commitment could come any day now. Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion make up the rest of Hayes’ offer list.
JUCO (Iowa Western C.C.) defensive tackle Darius Commissiong:
Last season Commissiong left Georgia Tech and enrolled at Iowa Western C.C. After receiving an offer from ECU last week he quickly named the Pirates his leader. Commissiong would be a great late addition to the class and the second defensive tackle. His ability to make an immediate impact improves his likelihood of ending up at ECU and he brings with him a 6-foot-3, 305-pound frame and experience conditioning in a Division I 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. ECU coaches will likely visit him this week and he plans on visiting ECU soon to check out the school. Signing Day for JUCO recruits isn’t until April, so Commissiong has time to make his decision. All signs point to the Pirates.
Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.) defensive tackle Eurndraus Bryant:
Bryant continues to stay quiet during his recruitment, but he 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 completely throw out other schools, but for now no offer has come. 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. Expect coaches to visit with him this week and potentially host him for a visit.
Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.) cornerback Chuck Davis:
Indiana and Wisconsin remain leaders in Davis’ recruitment, but he has a great relationship with ECU. It’s likely Davis gets a visit from defensive line coach Marc Yellock this week, his area recruiter, as a last push for his interest. Whether the coaching staff wants to land anymore defensive backs for the class could be the deciding factor.
Essex (Tappahannock, Va.) safety Sterling Hammond:
Hammond’s offers include ECU, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Purdue, James Madison and Old Dominion. He visited ECU for a game this season and defensive line coach Marc Yellock extended him his offer. If Yellock visits with Chuck Davis this week he could make a quick stop to see Hammond as well. He is a talented athlete at 6-foot, 190 pounds and would be an asset in the secondary for defensive coordinator Rick Smith.