Kettle Run defensive end Abu Kai Kai committed to ECU during the annual Purple-Gold Spring Game on April 12. The talented athlete fell in love with the environment and the coaching staff on his visit.
Although schools like Old Dominion, UNC Chapel Hill, Oregon State and Virginia have shown interest, Kai is confident in his decision. He shows no signs of a decommitment despite it being a bit early to make the call.
Kai mentioned ECU is a place he would love to be for four to five years. What really impressed him most was the importance of education all of the coaches expressed to him.
"I talked to (defensive line coach) Marc Yellock," said Kai. "The first thing he talked about was life and how when I come to ECU I'll get my education. We talked about that for the longest time and spoke about football for the last ten seconds. It was the first time a coach was straight up with me about education. That's what put ECU at the top."
When they did talk football, Kai mentioned Yellock didn't talk much about his role yet. He plans to visit Kettle Run next week to see Kai participate in 7-on-7 drills in order to see him in action.
Athleticism is Kai's strength and his high school coaches have been training him as a college athlete already.
"My coach wants me to think I'm playing at the college-level already," said Kai. "We train for the next level every day. This was my first year playing varsity and I had 77 tackles and seven sacks. I finished first team all-region, first team all-conference and second team all-state. Coach wants me to be fit and ready to start as a freshman if I get the opportunity."
Kai's coach is doing a great job too. Since sophomore year he has added a ton of muscle without sacrificing his speed. At 6-foot-1, 246 pounds Kai is already around the average height and weight of the current ECU linebackers.
The best position for Kai currently is as a flexed defensive end. He mentioned he is too quick on the outside and it stems from his past experiences with basketball and soccer footwork. The skills he learned have transmitted on the football field and ECU has landed itself an impressive defensive end.