Shavon Revel Jr. could have waited for what was sure to be other scholarship offers coming his way in the near future. But after wowing the East Carolina coaching staff with a performance at their summer camp and earning a scholarship offer from the Pirates, Revel didn’t hesitate.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound cornerback decided to accept the offer June 18 and thus became the first member of ECU’s football recruiting Class of 2022.
East Carolina was the first school to offer Revel, who is currently part of the junior college program at Louisburg College. The Pirates knew they wanted Revel after watching him run a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and deliver an 11-foot broad jump, among other things, during a summer camp session on June 6.
Josh McGee, who coached Revel as a senior at Ronald W. Reagan High in Winston-Salem, NC, was not surprised by the quick decision to commit to the Pirates.
“We always talk about family atmosphere and being comfortable,” McGee said. “And when you find a place you feel comfortable, I don’t think you need to wait around. Shavon and his family live off loyalty. With the quick interest (by ECU), I think that let them know they (ECU) value Shavon as a player and a person.”
Family and football have always gone hand-in-hand for Revels. He grew up playing the sport with older brother Shaheim and younger brother Shamar in the Winston-Salem recreation leagues, though middle school and into high school.
Shaheim was a three-time offensive most valuable player at running back for Reagan rival R.J. Reynolds High School from 2017-19. He played for NCAA Division II UNC Pembroke as a freshman and is now a sophomore at DII Virginia-Wise.
Shavon and Shamar followed in Shaheim’s footsteps, playing their first three prep seasons at Reynolds. Both were defensive backs and saw major action at Reynolds. But as Shavon’s senior year approached the pair decided a change was needed.
“In the city of Winston-Salem, all the (football) kids know each other and everybody is friends with everybody,” McGee said. “So competing against Reynolds in the same conference we knew he (Shavon) was a long and athletic corner. Then, when he came to us, we found out how good of a wide receiver he was as well.”
Shavon would produce a big-time senior season in 2019 for a 9-4 team that advanced to the second round of the state 4-AA playoffs. He made 38 tackles, three tackles for loss and four interceptions on defense, while also adding 33 receptions for 439 yards and five touchdowns on offense.
In late October that season, Shavon delivered what McGee calls “one of the greatest plays in the history of our school” against county rival East Forsyth. While playing receiver, Revel hauled in a 26-yard pass for a touchdown with 32 seconds left to give Reagan a 21-17 win. It was the first time in school history Reagan had beaten East Forsyth.
“His length and athleticism and ability to jump helped create that play,” McGee said. “His versatility on both sides of the ball is rare. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a kid like Shavon who is 6-2, 6-3 who can run and do the things he can do on both sides of the ball.”
Unfortunately, academic issues negated the major college recruiting attention Revel’s skills deserved upon graduation from Reagan. So he opted to attend Louisburg College, which also produced current Pirate outside linebacker Elijah Robinson.
“We talked to a bunch of people who knew he had to take the junior college route, and it was one of those deals where, ‘Hey, once he gets to junior college and gets his grades right, we’re in the game,”’ McGee said. “I think that has worked out best for him.”
Like most programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisburg’s 2020 season was canceled, so Revel only saw action in scrimmages. But the break proved beneficial for Revel because he was able to concentrate on playing one position.
“The one thing that has helped him at Louisburg is he’s really focused on playing in the secondary,” McGee said. “It’s been a 24-7 cornerback commitment (at Louisburg), whereas in high school it was, ‘Let’s get you a few reps here or there because we need you on both sides of the ball.’ But now I think he’s able to invest his time in being the best corner he can be and really learning the ins and outs and details of that position. I think that’s what has helped him get to where he is today.”
McGee adds East Carolina isn’t just getting a great athletic talent in Revel.
“As good of a player as he is, Shavon is an even better person,” McGee said. “He’s extremely humble, is very quiet and laid back. He’s a sponge. He soaks everything he can to be the best he can be. I think it’s a home run for East Carolina.”
Revel isn’t the only ex-Reagan player McGee is sending to East Carolina next fall. Offensive lineman Noah Brown, a 6-5 305-pounder, will join the Pirates as a preferred walk-on.
“He is a complete freak show,” McGee said. “He’s only played football for three years, but he’s a guy you’ll never see another kid like him. He bench pressed 225 pounds 52 times … that’s an NFL combine record! It’s ridiculous. But he’s a very raw football player. He’s going to be one who’s a late developer, but he’s going to be a stud.”