2016 DT verbal commit talks ECU

2016 defensive tackle Jalen Price has a familiarity with the Pirates that started as early as middle school. Now, as he prepares to make the jump to the next level, he has seen it all come full circle

At 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, 2016 defensive tackle Jalen Price adds some much needed size to East Carolina's skill-heavy recruiting class.

The Pirates reached out to Price following his impressive junior season at Riverside high school (Williamston, N.C.) where he recorded 50 tackles and following his recent visit to ECU a week ago, he decided to verbally commit.

“I was talking to (John Wiley) and (Ruffin McNeil) about verbally committing to ECU at my last visit and they told me I could if I wanted to,” Price recalled. “It really felt right for me because they treat me as if I’m one of their own.”

Following his visit, Price called ECU a “great atmosphere” which factored into his decision. He also has a better understanding than most of the school, growing up less than an hour away. He also grew affection for the university in middle school. Perhaps that affinity, combined with the winning program that McNeill has fielded the past few years, was enough to entice Price into committing.

Other schools remain in the mix, though. Despite Price describing his commitment to the Pirates as solid, his recruitment remains open. Elon stands as his only other offer so far but he noted that N.C. Central, Georgia Southern, Boston College, N.C. State and more have all been in touch with him.

ECU, however, has proven to be Price’s favorite so far.

“I felt comfortable being there,” he said of the school. “To me it felt like being home.”

And it’s not far from home, either. But Price was quick to be sure that ECU’s close proximity wasn’t the major factor behind his commitment.

“It was a factor but I wouldn’t say it was a big one because as far as I’m concerned it really doesn’t matter where I go but I still want to be close to my parents,” he said. “I can have distance from them but I still wouldn’t mind being close to them.”

As far as making the jump to the next level, Price doesn’t lack confidence. His size makes him an ideal candidate to plug up the offensive line but he still has the ability to make tackles out in space.

“I think they will be able to utilize my skills. They just ask me to work hard and stay in good shape,” he said. “As far as they want me to do, I’m already strong and I’m already athletic. I just need to be more technically sound.”

With his commitment, Price has officially joined quarterback Reid Herring, receivers Dre Massey and Tahj Deans, offensive linemen Cortez Herrin and Justin Chase, safety Kenyon Taylor and fellow defensive lineman Rondre Knowles-Tener to make up ECU’s 2016 class.

According to Price, he’s now officially “on the map”.

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