Commits Cite Common Factors for ECU Pledge
While there are many different factors that go into deciding where an athlete will play at the college level, East Carolina commits seem to have a common theme of answers for why they choose the Pirates. What stands out most when talking to the recruits that choose ECU to be their new home is the relationship they have built with the coaches. “I have full trust in the coaching staff at ECU in helping me to develop into a better player, student athlete and a better person in the long run,” said Class of 2016 basketball commitment Elijah Hughes. Most often times in the same sentence as the coach relationship, players mention that they feel like they are a part of a family when they commit to ECU. “I love that the coaches were actually truthful and straight up with me instead of just telling me what I want to hear,” explained recent 2016 football commit Keyshawn Canady. “I feel like Mr. Rick Smith and Mr. Duane Price are my brothers.” To go along with the feeling of family, another factor that has been common among ECU’s commitments is the feeling of being at home when on campus. 2016 basketball commit Hughes said that he felt like ECU had his name on it and during his first visit he fell in love with the campus and the scenery around it. The closest recruit to joining the Pirates is 2015 basketball commit Charles Foster who after visiting Greenville said, “I really like campus, the dorms are really nice, it’s a real college town, everything is involved with the kids.” ECU has also made major upgrades to the football and basketball facilities in recent years. The new Smith-Williams basketball facility located adjacent to Minges Arena was a 17 million dollar project that adds an extra 49,000 square foot. The facility houses two multi-level practice courts, training rooms, locker rooms, film room and the basketball offices. Men’s basketball Head Coach Jeff Lebo said the facilities allow the basketball programs to completely showcase ECU to recruits. Lebo also said that having a set place for the athletes to work every day will help the each individual player improve. Making an immediate impact is another factor that recruits look at when choosing a program to play in. The recruits have been eager and to earn playing time as a freshman and this factor can make or break a recruiting process. In Cortez Herrin’s football recruiting process ECU it was a one of the larger factors that he played into his decision. Herrin was told that he could make an instant impact as soon as he arrives on campus. Another common factor that has been on the top of recruits minds is the exposure they will be receiving on the national level from fans, family and professional scouts. Last year the American Athletic Conference and ESPN signed a seven year, $126 million TV contract with rights to telecast the league’s games, primarily football and basketball. The deal runs through the 2019-20 season. The AAC has also inked a contract with CBS Sports, which includes the rights to telecast football and basketball games through a sub-licensing agreement with ESPN. The contract will see that 30 men’s basketball games per year and between 13-15 football games. While the national TV exposure is a huge positive for recruits, ECU seems to be able to keep local recruits close to home allowing their families to attend games. For some recruits distance is not a huge factor but time and time again ECU has been able to keep local talent. The ECU football team nearly has over 60 North Carolina natives currently on the roster. Just recently ECU received a commit from eastern North Carolina native Jalen Price. Football commit Jalen Price said that ECU “felt like home”. The 6-foot-3 defensive tackle grew up less than an hour away and growing up as a Pirate fan was enough to retain the local talent. Last but not least for recruits is education. ECU offers a very diverse pool of majors from Biochemistry to Recreation and Park Management to choose from. While some athletes are not sure of exactly what they want to major in, there are some that arrive on campus with a long-term plan in place to coincide with their athletics. Foster, ECU’s most recent 2015 commit noted that was the final decision that pushed him to commit to the Pirates. ECU’s most recent football commit Canady plans to not only receive his bachelors degree from ECU but his Masters as well.
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