Last week was a busy week of recruiting for ECU and the Pirates’ 2015 class. Head coach Ruffin McNeill flew in a jet to meet fellow coaches throughout the southern states of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia in order to visit with recruits.
One recruit the staff didn’t visit with was Renaissance Olympic defensive end Emmanuel Olenga. The talented 6-foot-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Charlotte, N.C. committed to ECU on Dec. 22 and took his official visit to campus two weekends ago.
After the visit Olenga said he was “very committed to ECU,” then when an offer from Nebraska came in he said “I’m comfortable with ECU,” over the weekend he decommitted from the Pirates and committed to N.C. State while on an official visit. When asked about his newest decision, Olenga said he wanted to “play with better competition.”
The loss of Olenga hurts an already undersized class of 12 commits for the Pirates. He was the only defensive end in the class and now Ayden-Grifton defensive tackle Justin Brown is the lone defensive lineman commit. For what it’s worth, the Wolfpack has now taken a defensive line commit from ECU in its last three recruiting classes.
With all that being said, the week wasn’t a complete failure just because of the loss of one 2015 commit. The coaching staff still got on the recruiting trail to visit with recruits and one JUCO player visited campus.
Hinds Community College offensive tackle Justin Sandifier stopped by ECU this weekend after trying to pledge to Louisville recently. He has to complete a couple more online classes before he can arrive at a new school, but if his visit went well and he likes ECU it would be a familiar narrative. On Signing Day 2014 Quincy McKinney, a JUCO offensive lineman decommitted from Louisville and pledged to ECU.
Signing Day 2015 is just a week and a half away and it’s going to be a busy one. Coach McNeill, associate head coach Donnie Kirkpatrick and other coaches are already back on the recruiting trail for the week and have a lot to accomplish. Their first stop of the trip was in South Carolina and now the coaches are en route to Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans.
Below are some of the potential targets coaches could visit with this week.
JUCO (Hutchinson) inside linebacker Darius Wright:
Newly on ECU’s radar, Wright is a target the Pirates will likely visit this week. Hutchinson C.C. is a JUCO school ECU has landed recruits from in recent classes and Wright could be the next one. He is 6-foot, 230 pounds and recorded 89 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions last season.
JUCO (Iowa Western) defensive tackle Darius Commissiong:
After receiving an offer from ECU, Commissiong quickly named the Pirates his leader. Last season he left Georgia Tech and enrolled at Iowa Western C.C. and would be a perfect late addition to the class. The size he brings with him at 6-foot-3, 305-pounds should help him make an immediate impact. Commissiong graduated from Bishop McNamara High School in District Heights, Maryland with the class of 2013. ECU was one of his offers in high school along with nearly all of the ACC. ECU coaches will likely visit him this week and make another pitch for his interest, he will also visit ECU soon.
JUCO (Northwest Mississippi) cornerback Treston Decoud:
Out of high school Decoud had multiple programs interested, but didn’t have the grades. After making an impact at the Division II level and now the JUCO level, Decoud has created a laundry list of offers. North Texas, Houston, Oregon State, Toledo, Western Kentucky and Southern Mississippi have all offered him. ECU coaches visited with him last week and improved his interest, he plans to visit soon.
Essex (Tappahannock, Va.) safety Sterling Hammond:
Hammond has offers from 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 coaches get into Virginia this week, Hammond will be a target they will most likely pay a visit to. He is a talented athlete at 6-foot, 190 pounds and would be an asset in the secondary for defensive coordinator Rick Smith.
Dillon (S.C.) wide receiver Eri’reon Hayes:
Dillon High School is close to producing a commit in the last three classes for ECU. Hayes is a talented wide receiver and is highly considering pledging to the Pirates. It could happen any day now. 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.
Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.) defensive tackle Eurndraus Bryant:
Bryant continues to be 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. ECU most likely visited with Bryant today or last week when they were in South Carolina. With the loss of nose tackle Terry Williams he would be a big pickup moving forward. If he hasn’t visited ECU already, that could happen this week.