2016 Recruiting Roundup Update
2016 VERBAL COMMITS WR Tahj Deans — The Pirates joined Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in offering Tahj Deans but managed to add his commit early in May. Even with his commitment, North Carolina has shown interest in the 6-foot-2 receiver and with his senior season yet to be played, a potential flip is certainly a possibility. WR Dre Massey — JUCO receiver Dre Massey has been committed to ECU since high school, though he hasn’t been shy about keeping his recruitment open. He said that he wants to keep all options open and test the waters. Massey took a visit to Tuscaloosa courtesy of Alabama but came out of it still committed to the Pirates. He currently holds offers from Cincinnati, Memphis, and Middle Tennessee State but his list will probably grow. QB Reid Herring — Raleigh product Reid Herring was the second commit to join the class after watching the spring game. He committed to Dave Nichol, noting his interest in manning ECU’s pass-heavy offense. The three-star quarterback has offers from Boston College and Miami (Fl) and continues to garner Power Five attention but he has said that his interest in the Pirates remains high. OL Cortez Herrin — South Carolina offensive lineman Cortez Herrin has flown under the radar for most of the recruiting process but verbally committed to ECU in late May. The Pirates are clearly attracted to his 6-foot-4, 315-pound frame and hope that he can have an early impact in Greenville. OL Justin Chase — Great Bridge (Chesapeake, VA) offensive lineman Justin Chase has just two stars so far. What he lacks in stars he more than makes up for with his 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame plus room to grow. Thanks to first-year offensive line coach Brad Davis, who has been on Chase’s trail since his days coaching at James Madison, this commitment seems rock solid. DT Rondre Knowles-Tener — Rondre Knowles-Tener wasted no time waiting to commit to ECU. In fact, it took the 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive tackle just ten days to mull over the Pirates’ offer. Originally born in the Bahamas before moving to the United States at age 16, the Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA) product pointed to his relationship with defensive line coach Mark Yellock as a driving force in his commitment. DT Jalen Price — Hailing from nearby Williamston, N.C., defensive tackle Jalen Price has been on ECU’s radar since the middle of his impressive junior season at Riverside. He committed to ECU in mid June and has only one other offer from Elon. N.C. State, Old Dominion and others still remain in the hunt for Price and while his recruitment is still open, he calls his commitment solid. DB Kenyon Taylor — ECU didn’t have to look far to add its most recent commit to the class. Southern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) defensive Kenyon Taylor adds an element of athleticism in the defensive backfield that could set him apart. He spent most of his high school career at the receiver position and has received offers to play offense. The Pirates see him translating more successfully on the defensive side and believe his 6-foot-2 frame could translate well. 2016 POTENTIAL COMMITS RB Connell Young – Dudley (Greensboro, NC) — Connell Young has just two offers so far but Syracuse and ECU aren’t bad ones to hold. The 6-foot running back has expressed an interest in the Pirates and hopes to make his commitment mid-season next year. Young spent recently spent time at ECU’s prospect camp where he furthered his relationship with the coaching staff and his interest in the program has risen because of it. He went as far as to say that Greenville “feels like home”. However, Young noted that Wake Forest could very soon pull the trigger on an offer and his interest in the Daemon Decons certainly seems fair. ECU has the benefit of being an early offer for Young and thanks to his recent visit, the Pirates appear to be in the driver’s seat. CB Nick McCloud – South Pointe (Rock Hill, SC) — Cornerback Nick McCloud has an offer list that continues to grow. The Pirates join schools like Marshall, Kansas State and Miami of Ohio as well as a cast of smaller schools. McCloud put ECU high on his list, rating his interest in the Pirates as a “9-out-of-10” but hasn’t been shy about his strong relationship with the Marshall coaching staff, as well as his hope to receive an offer from North Carolina, one of his favorite schools growing up. The tree-star McCloud is rated as the fourth best cornerback in South Carolina and his pedigree would make him an ideal fit in ECU’s defensive backfield. His early interest in the Pirates is a good sign as he has yet to visit campus or really build a strong relationship with the coaching staff. OL Jacob Gruber – Eastern Regional (Voorhees, NJ) — ECU already has two offensive linemen in the 2016 class but Jacob Gruber could very well fill a need. Cortez Herring and Justin Chase both project to be tackles at the next level and Gruber’s 6-foot-3, 295-pound frame makes him an ideal center at the next level. For Gruber, though, he has yet to receive an official offer despite having interest from an array of schools. ECU, however, could beat Rutgers, Army, Temple and Connecticut in offering Gruber first. It wasn’t until Gruber’s breakout junior season that he started garnering real national interest from schools and he has the Pirates high on his list. If ECU was to extend Gruber an offer it will likely vault the Pirates to the top of his list and give them a realistic chance of adding another big-bodied offensive lineman to its class.
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