Senior James Summers is listed at wide receiver but “utility player” as they say in baseball sounds a lot more fitting.
Since his arrival at East Carolina, he has spent time at just about every skill position that you can think of on the offensive side of the ball.
Before Summers became the versatile weapon that he is for the Pirates, he spent the majority of his time at quarterback.
At Page High School in 2011, Summers had a dominating senior season at quarterback leading Page to a 15-0 record and a Class 4AA State Championship. He passed for 1,506 and 20 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,632 yards and 22 touchdowns.
After high school, he spent two seasons at Hines Community College where he played quarterback as well. Over those two seasons, he combined for 2,874 yards passing, 1,687 yards rushing, and 46 total touchdowns.
That’s when East Carolina brought him in with the intention of having him play wide receiver. However, he was relocated to quarterback during the 2015 preseason camp.
During the 2015 season, Summers made some big time plays including a 41-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech that was one of the best runs in all of college football last year. He accounted for 1,129 yards of total offense and had 13 total touchdowns.
Going into the 2016 season with new head coach Scottie Montgomery, Summers could see playing time anywhere.
“He (Summers) will be everywhere,” said coach Montgomery. “We do need him to be able to do a lot of different things. When he goes in the game they’re not going to know if he’s going in at receiver, tight end, quarterback, (or) running back.”
Learning so many different positions can be hard, especially while learning a new offense from a season ago. Although he said it wasn’t easy at first, Summers explained that being in the QB room has helped him out tremendously.
“At first, it was tough learning everything from a tight end perspective and then I went to running back,” he said. “But as I’ve been in the quarterback room, it just helps me learn the whole offense. So wherever the need to put me, they can put me without me having any questions.”
At the end of the day, Summers says that he just wants to win games and is willing to play wherever is asked of him to make that happen.
“Wherever they need me I try to help as best I can,” he said. “I just want to win that’s the whole objective you know? If you don’t want to win then why be there?”