Blacknall Adds Speed to Secondary

Cornerback Derek Blacknall has the speed to be a big-play guy at the college level, and he is excited about the future of ECU football.

Cornerback Derek Blacknall has the speed to be a big-play guy at the college level, and he is excited about the future of ECU football.

The 5-11, 165-pound prospect from Dudley High School in Greensboro, N.C. runs the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds and has great athleticism. He could end up being one of the gems of ECU's 2007 recruiting class.

"My two biggest assets are my speed and my back-peddling," said Blacknall. "I feel totally in control and comfortable when I'm out there. I can change directions well, and I don't give receivers much. I can change directions well, and my speed in the open field helps me a lot."

Before committing to East Carolina he received offers from Marshall and Ohio. He was also courted by the likes of NC State and North Carolina. Blacknall even received attention from the University of Florida for a brief period of time. He thinks he can help out at East Carolina right away.

"One of the things that really got me excited about ECU was the chance that I might play early," he said. "The coaches told me they thought I could come in and compete for the No. 2 corner spot right away.

"Coach Rick Smith was responsible for recruiting me, and we got along well. That was good because he's going to be my position coach for the next four years. I've gotten along with all the coaches I've talked to really well. I already knew Quentin Cotton, a junior defensive back up there. I felt comfortable with everyone I talked to."

Blacknall likes the psyche of the Pirate football team.

"From talking to the people I have, I just really like the determination they have. They have a will to win and I want to be a part of that. They've got things going in the right direction, so this was good timing for me."


Inside ECU Sports Top Stories