Barring any major offseason departures, East Carolina should have one of the deepest and most talented quarterback corps in the American Athletic Conference next fall.
Fifth-year senior and record setter Holton Ahlers headlines the group of five scholarship quarterbacks currently listed on ECU’s 2022 roster. Behind the elder statesman Ahlers are some talented sophomores, redshirt freshmen and freshmen ready to step in and waiting for their shot at the starting job in 2023.
Because of the abundance of quarterback talent already on hand, you’d think the Pirates might ignore that position in the football recruiting Class of 2023. But that would be wrong.
East Carolina has reportedly extended scholarship offers to eight Class of ’23 quarterback prospects at this early stage of the recruiting cycle. Because schools can’t comment on who they’ve extended offers to, these are based on published reports or Twitter posts by players announcing the offers.
Here’s a brief look at the eight quarterbacks ECU has reportedly offered to date, and how the Pirates stand with them in the early going.
DOMINC HANEY (6-3, 210) Wakefield HS, Raleigh, NC: Because of his athleticism and versatility, some envision Haney transitioning to another position at the college level. But he’s proven to be a productive dual-threat asset at quarterback at Wakefield, where he completed 102 of 184 passes for 1,421 yards and 10 scores last season while adding 651 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing. ECU offered Jan. 27 and the Pirates remain his only FBS suitor at this point.
COLIN HOUCK (6-2, 175) Parkview HS, Lilburn, GA: Houck is a top prospect in both baseball and football. He’s rated the No. 23 quarterback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and is a potential pick for the 2023 MLB draft. As a QB, Houck completed 154 of 284 passes for 2,142 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. He’s picked up offers from Akron, Arkansas, ECU, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech for football. As a sophomore on the baseball diamond at shortstop, Houck hit .400 with six homers, 40 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
TAD HUDSON (6-3, 220) Hough HS, Cornelius, NC: This four-star prospect is already off the market. With 14 offers in hand, including one from ECU, Hudson made an early verbal commitment to North Carolina last August before he’d even started his junior season. He followed up that pledge with an impressive year, completing 176 of 313 passes for 2,601 yards and 30 touchdowns.
R.J. “REGGIE” JOHNSON III (6-2, 200) Westlake HS, Atlanta, GA: An all-around playmaker at quarterback, Johnson was named Offensive Player of the Year for Region 4-6A by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as a junior. He earned that honor as well as All-Metro and All-State awards after completing 182 of 279 passes for 2,673 yards and 25 touchdowns. Duke, ECU (Jan. 26 offer), Eastern Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Liberty, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Toledo, UAB, UCF and Western Kentucky have all offered Johnson.
DYLAN LONERGAN (6-2, 215) Brookwood HS, Snellville, GA: The son of former Penn State backup quarterback Dan Lonergan (1982 national championship team) is a two-sport prospect in baseball and football. The younger Lonergan passed for 6,239 yards and 57 touchdowns over three varsity football seasons at Brookwood, while also producing a 7-1 pitching record with 1.40 ERA in baseball as a sophomore. Rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Lonergan has offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, ECU, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, N.C. State, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, UCF, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
AMARI ODOM (6-4, 170) Panther Creek HS, Cary, NC: Odom may be the modern-day version of former ECU great David Garrard. Despite impressive statistics as a quarterback — he completed 252 of 453 passes for 3,729 yards and 40 touchdowns as a junior — some schools still see him playing another position in college. People thought the same of Garrard and many schools offered him to play tight end. The Pirates took a chance and Garrard became one of the passers in school history. ECU got an early offer out to Odom last September and were still one of his three FBS offers at press time along with Massachusetts and UNLV.
WILL PRICHARD (6-3, 200) The King’s Academy, West Palm Beach, FL: Rated the No. 4 quarterback prospect in Florida by 247Sports.com, Prichard is a rifle-arm, pro-style pocket passer who threw for 1,861 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior. ECU jumped in early with an offer to Prichard back in February 2021 and he is expected to make an unofficial visit to campus March 19, just days after stopping in at Florida Atlantic and a week before a trek to Houston. Buffalo, Arizona, Auburn, Rhode Island, Utah, UTSA, Vanderbilt and Wyoming have also offered Prichard.
DYLAN WITTKE (6-2, 185) Buford HS, Buford, GA: Wittke is an interesting story. For the last two seasons, he’s been the backup to Stanford signee Ashton Daniels as Buford collected back-to-back state AAAAAA championships. Wittke still saw extensive playing time behind Daniels, but will be a first-time starter next fall. A pocket passer with great zip on his throws, Wittke has offers from Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Buffalo, Charlotte, Colorado, ECU, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Liberty, Massachusetts, Miami of Ohio and Memphis.