Former D.H. Conley star Holton Ahlers continues to hear from the Power 5 schools, but he looks forward to cementing his decision to come to East Carolina.
The record setting quarterback will sign his National Letter of Intent with ECU on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. at TieBreakers in Greenville.
“It’s something that I have waited for and been excited about for a long time,” Holton told me on my weekly radio show on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 on Monday night. (Replay Monday’s night’s Brian Bailey Show from Pirate Radio>)
The 6-4, 235-pound southpaw will go down as one of North Carolina’s all-time statistical leaders. He finished his career second all-time in total offense and as the state’s third all-time leading passer.
This past weekend Ahlers was the best player on the field at the 81st Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, leading North Carolina to a 55-24 win.
“It was a great experience,” Ahlers said. “I really enjoyed going up against so many four- and five-star recruits. Most of the South Carolina players were going to be either Gamecocks or Clemson Tigers, so it was fun competing against them.”
Ahlers has also been an integral part of head coach Scottie Montgomery’s third recruiting class at ECU. He worked as hard as Coach Mo at recruiting several members of this year’s recruiting class.
“I’ve become good friends with some of the guys for sure,” said Ahlers. “We think we can come in and make a difference.”
Ahler’s roommate starting next month will be fellow incoming freshman Peyton Winstead from Leesville Road High School. Winstead comes from a Pirate family. His Dad, Bob played football at ECU while his Mom was a cheerleader.
“I guess I was always meant to be a Pirate,” said the younger Winstead. “I can’t wait to get there and get started next month. I’m really looking forward to playing with Holton.”
Southwest Guilford’s Jaren Rainey was with Holton at the 81st Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, but was injured leading up to the game. He’ll still arrive in Greenville a semester early. He will be recovering from torn labrum surgery and won’t participate in spring football.
Rainey played both offense and defense in high school. He’ll play safety at ECU despite good numbers at quarterback with the Cowboys.
“I was okay at quarterback,” Rainey said. “But Holt is a baller. I’m looking forward to playing with him at ECU.”
Havelock’s Khalil Barrett was a late addition to the recruiting class after flipping from Coastal Carolina.
In all, the Pirates are expecting a class of some 19 recruits on Wednesday. They should have room for a couple of more scholarships for those not participating in the early signing day. The bulk of the class, though, will be signed, sealed and delivered on Wednesday.
Ahlers will lead the parade.