Pirates Add Another In-State Speedster

Early on with this class East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz has made it a priority to improve his team speed and he continues to do that with the addition of Southeast Guilford defensive back Justin Venable.

Early on with this class East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz has made it a priority to improve his team speed and he continues to do that with the addition of Southeast Guilford defensive back Justin Venable.

The Pirates earlier secured a verbal from arguably the state's fastest football player in Hope Mills (NC) Gray's Creek tailback Marquan Brown and Jacksonville athlete Joe Womack, ECU's first commitment, has been timed as low as 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.

Asheville (NC) AC Reynolds stud Darius Spencer recently ripped off a 4.38 at the Shrine Bowl combine, and he should project as a defensive back on the next level. Joining him in the defensive backfield will be Justin Venable, a 6-foot-2, 185 pound safety who posted a 4.39 40-yard dash at the Green Central Shrine Bowl combine this past spring.

"I think it surprises some people with my height," said Venable. "You can't find many players that are as tall as I am that run as fast as I do."

Venable brings more than athleticism to the table. He's a ball player. In his first season at safety, he recorded a school-record nine interceptions and totaled 84 tackles for Southeast Guilford in 2006.

"I have good instincts to the ball, and I know my position really well," Venable said. "I've been coached real well. I have good hands, and I can catch the ball really good. I love to hit."

With an offer from Ohio already on the table, Venable headed to Greenville looking to impress the East Carolina coaches at their camp. "I know my size and speed stood out to the East Carolina coaches. "They also liked how I hit on my highlight tape."

He earned an offer following the camp and didn't waste anytime before calling back the coaches to commit.

"They offered me about a week after camp," said Venable. "I called them right back to let them know that I wanted to accept it.

"I know the coaches were really interested in me, and I like the program. They want me as a safety and that's what I want to be. That's the best position on the field."


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