2016 lineman commits to Pirates, praises ECU

Great Bridge (Chesapeake, VA) offensive lineman Justin Chase became the fifth member of ECU’s 2016 class after he committed to ECU following a campus visit on Saturday.

First year Pirate offensive line coach Brad Davis has had his eye on Saturday’s newest East Carolina commit Justin Chase for some time.

Dating back to his time at James Madison, Davis was hot on Chase’s recruiting trail. In fact, Davis and JMU were the first to officially offer the 6-foot-6, 265-pound lineman.

“I remember from my first college camp that I went to at JMU, coach Davis was there and he was the first college coach to offer me and I knew from that moment that I wanted him to be my coach because I knew he would push me,” Chase recalled.

Now, Davis and Chase will have the chance to further their relationship, following Chase’s commitment on Saturday after visiting ECU.

“I talked to (Ruffin) McNeill and coach Davis and I was just ecstatic,” he said. “I knew this was the perfect place for me to go to. The coaches’ reactions were great, they we’re just so happy. It was an awesome and exciting time.”

Chase’s commitment makes him the fifth player in ECU’s 2016 recruiting class. He joins fellow offensive lineman Cortez Herrin, quarterback Reid Herring and receivers Tahj Deans and Dre Massey.

The Great Bridge high school product held offers from Marshall, N.C. State, JMU, Appalachian State and others but has instead verbally committed to the Pirates.

“I wanted to make the decision before the summer,” Chase said. “I wanted to know where I was going to go so I could focus on my grades before school and so I can focus and prepare for my senior season.”

As far as reasons for his commitment to the Pirates, Chase praised the ECU coaching staff as well as the school itself.

“The facilities and the campus is just amazing,” he said. “I also have an amazing relationship with the coaching staff, especially coach Davis. Also, coach McNeill is just a great man. He knows his players and he knows what his expectations for his players are and I trust him.”

McNeill’s family mentality has resonated with the ECU faithful since he took the helm of the Pirates. He’s known to call his players his son and metaphorically has taken on the role of the father in the family dynamic.

McNeill’s family mindset rubbed off on Chase, as he went as far as to call McNeil a “father figure” in his life and raved about the ECU headman.

Chase noted that he visited ECU for the first time back in April but wanted to make the trip back down the Greenville with the intention of letting the McNeill Pirate coaching staff about his commitment.

“I wanted to go down there and tell him about how I want to commit to him,” Chase said. “It was also a chance for me to see the campus more and see the dorms and get a chance to talk to the offensive coaching staff.”

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