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2003 East Carolina Pirate Football Recruiting Thumbnails

[Editor's note: 02.06.03 — Al Myatt notes that East Carolina's recruiting class, announced Wednesday, Feb. 5, features only two players whose commitments had been previously unreported by — defensive back Kyle “the concussion giver” Chase of Atlanta, Ga., Cedar Grove, and tight end Josh Coffman of Palmetto, Fla. There was one previously undetected defection, offensive lineman L.A. Watson of Lynchburg, Va., Heritage High, to Richmond.

Thumbnail sketches for Chase, Coffman and all other ECU signees through Feb. 5, 2003, are listed below. Also listed are players who committed to ECU during the recruiting process but who withdrew their pledges or otherwise changed their plans.]






Virgil Black (6-4, 318), OL, Lexington High, Lexington, N.C. ... Black had drawn recruiting interest from N.C. State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina before attending a one-day individual camp at East Carolina in mid-July and accepting a scholarship offer from the Pirates. ... Black was All Central Carolina 2-A Conference as a junior. ... Black’s high school coach, Billy Hunt, said the standout senior bench presses 440 pounds and runs a 5.4-second time for 40 yards. ... Black’s speed has increased as he has dropped 36 pounds since April.

Tommie Bradley (5-11, 175), QB/DB/Athlete, Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood ... Qualified for the state meet in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay in track and his speed has translated well on the gridiron as he quarterbacked his team to a 10-3 record before losing in the third round of the 3-A state playoffs to defending and repeating state champion, Rockledge. ... Ran for about 850 yards, according to coach Kevin McMahon and passed for 1,500 more -- with 16 TDs. ... Coach says he's "no slower" than 4.6 seconds for 40 yards. ... MVP of the Outback All-Star game in Florida. ... recruited by South Florida and Toledo before new ECU defensive coordinator Jerry Odom entered the picture on behalf of the Pirates. ... Odom's dad, Gerald, coaches at Westwood opponent, Cocoa High. ... played as wide receiver as a sophomore and junior. ... also played defensive back and that's where he projects for the Pirates. ... also returned kicks on prep level.

Jeff Bumgarner (6-4, 285), OL, Orlando (Fla.) Olympia ... Played on the defensive front primarily for the Titans after transferring from a private school but is projected as an offensive lineman for the Pirates. ... Visited the weekend of Feb. 1. ... Played tight end on the team's "jumbo package" on offense. ... Benches 300 pounds. ... 5.2-seconds/40 yards. ... Team was 1-9 on the 6-A level in its second year of existence. ... Coach Mike Cullison said "He'll be up to 310 (pounds) in one or two years and he can carry that weight. Has great feet. If he had been playing in the public school system for four years, he would have been recruited by Florida and Florida State. He didn't get pushed at the private school and he didn't get a lot of attention." ... Played in an All-Star game in Orange County.

Kyle Chase (5-10 190, DB, Atlanta (Ga.) Cedar Grove HS ... First team All-DeKalb County and county MVP among defensive backs ... All-city and all-metro ... Honorable mention all-state ... Registered 98 tackles, including 72 solos, with five interceptions and returned four INTs for touchdowns in 2002 ... Also scored three touchdowns rushing. [Thumbnail from ECU Media Relations]

Wendell Chavis (6-3, 245), LB, Hertford County (N.C.), ... Recruited by ECU running backs coach Jerry McManus and the first Pirate known to commit since John Thompson became head coach. ... Committed on Jan. 13 after a visit the previous weekend. ... Had 153 tackles during his senior season as his team went 6-5. ... Played in North Carolina's 28-0 Shrine Bowl win. ... Coached by Darryl Allen. ... Bears assistant Dealton Cotton is an ECU grad who helped in Chavis' recruiting process.

Josh Coffman (6-6 240), TE, Palmetto ( Fla.) Palmetto HS ... All-county selection and starter on Sarasota Manatee County All-Star Game ... Rated as the No. 67 tight end prospect in the nation by ... Caught 19 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns ... Also saw limited action as a linebacker ... Clocked at 4.7 in the 40 ... Coached by Bob Bowling. [Thumbnail from ECU Media Relations]

Jewon Crowell (6-3, 185), WR, Winston-Salem Carver ... Comes from a football family which includes former Virginia standouts Germane and Angelo Crowell. Germane is now a receiver with the Detroit Lions and Angelo, a linebacker, is expected to be taken in the upcoming draft. ... ECU's commitment is a player in his own right with 48 catches for 976 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. ... Caught the game winner in a 24-21 playoff win over Lawndale Burns in the closing minutes for Carver en route to the state 3-A championship. ... Crowell had a fumble recovery for Carver's first touchdown in Carver's state title win over Wilson Fike. ... Coached by Keith Wilkes.

Kevin Fain (6-0, 225), RB, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College ... A native of Melbourne, Fla., Fain visited Washington but didn't like the weather. ... He averaged 7.8 yards per carry and 108.9 yards rushing per game. ... Should give ECU an immediate big back presence. ... Artichokes coach Ken Giovando said Fain compares favorably with another Scottsdale CC product, Charlie Garner, in terms of power and balance. "He's a diamond," Giovando said. "We expect him to be playing on Sundays (NFL)."

Michael Horner (6-5, 256), DT, Williamston ... East Carolina's first commitment for the 2003 recruiting class, Horner comes from the prep program that produced Pirates linebacker Pernell Griffin and other ECU personnel. ... Plays for Tigers coach Harold Robinson. ... “He’s very raw at the time being,” Robinson said. “East Carolina should be good for him. He’s the type of kid who doesn’t need to be too far from home and I don’t mean that in a negative way. It will be good for him to be where he can come home and see his parents some.” ... Williamston reached the state 1-A final in 2001. ... Horner made All Conference in the Four Rivers 1-A as a junior. ... 4.7 seconds for 40 yards and 300-plus bench. ... Projects as a down lineman at ECU with a frame that could carry 290-295, according to Robinson.

Brian Howard (6-4, 170), WR, Clinton High, Clinton, N.C. ... As a junior, Howard helped the Dark Horses to an unbeaten season and the state 2-A championship in Bob Lewis’ final year as Clinton head coach. ... The Clinton program has produced Pirates greats such as Jerris McPhail and Leonard Henry. ... Howard has worked out with McPhail. .... Former Hobbton mentor Al Britt will coach the Horses in Howard’s senior year. ... “(ECU) was looking for a taller receiver,” Britt said. “He’s shown a different gear in workouts.” ... Howard runs the 40 in 4.5. ... Howard didn’t have great receiving numbers in Clinton’s ground-oriented offense but his abilities have been compared to former ECU star Troy Smith. ... Also played defensive back last season. ... Accepted an ECU grant after working out for Pirates coaches at an individual camp session in Greenville in mid-July.

Erode Jean (5-11, 175), DB, Fort Pierce, Fla. Westwood ... A versatile performer for Coach Kevin McMahon and a teammate of Tommie Bradley, who had previously committed to the Pirates. ... Jean played in the secondary on defense, played a wide receiver on offense and also returned kicks. ... He was selected the Outback All-Star game in Florida but didn't play because it conflicted with his participation on the basketball team. ... He hasn't run track in the past but will utilize his speed in the sport this spring, according to McMahon. ... Visited ECU the weekend of Feb. 1.

Brandon Jones (6-6, 240), DE, Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Fla. ... A three-year starter for coach Jeff Rogers. ... His 4.6-second/40-yard speed helped him record a team-high nine sacks. ... His 6-A team was 2-8 with only seven seniors. ... Recruited by N.C. State, Miami, Auburn and Missouri. ... Wide receiver Andy Bertrand is already in the NCSU program from his school. ... Rogers, whose brother, Lee, played at Duke and is now an attorney in Raleigh, said Jones liked ECU's size and the possibility of playing early in his college career. ... Second team All State. ,,, Visited ECU the weekend of Feb. 1.

Mark Jones (6-4, 230), TE, Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor ... A good blocker who also caught 15 passes for Coach Hank Sawyer's 9-2 team which reached the regional semifinals in 2002. ... Helped block for two Titans backs who totaled 2,300 yards rushing. ... First team All District on offense and defense. ... Also played outside linebacker but projects as a tight end for ECU. ... Second team All Region and second team All State on offense. ... Averaging 19 points as a forward for a basketball team that was 12-4 as of Feb. 3. ... Interested in studying sports medicine. ... Visited ECU the weekend of Feb. 1 and was accompanied by his parents Arnecia (Mom) and Leslie (Dad). ... "It was a really good visit," Jones said. "I felt at home." ... Sawyer said Jones runs a 4.5-second/40 yards.

Emanuel Levell (6-4, 245), TE, Miami (Fla.) Edison ... Schools recruiting him included Rutgers, Michigan State, Florida State, Eastern Kentucky and Missouri. ... Had 36 catches for 561 yards in six games as a senior before he was sidelined by a knee injury. ... "He was one of our favorite targets because of his speed (4.5 seconds/40 yards) and ability to get downfield," said Edison coach Corey Bell. "He did a good job blocking. He has the all-around package, a great upside." ... Edison was 5-0 before his injury and finished 9-2 on the 5-A level. ... Bell said Levell's rehabilitation has gone well. ... Recruited by tight ends coach Steve Janski and defensive coordinator Jerry Odom of the Pirates staff. ... Known as "Manny."

Pierre Parker (6-2, 195), QB, Wilson Beddingfield, Wilson, N.C. ... Parker became the sixth commitment to the Pirates following a workout at ECU on July 22. ... Arm and mobility have drawn comparisons to slippery former ECU slinger Marcus Crandell. ... Parker threw for 2,082 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior. He ran for over 500 more yards in 2001 when the Bruins were coached by Bennett Jones. ... ECU walk-on receiver Jamaal Dickens teamed with Parker last season and had 59 receptions for 1,133 yards with 15 scores. ... Beddingfield will be coached by former Wilson Hunt assistant Tom Nelson during Parker’s senior season. ... Parker begins the 2002 prep season with 29 starts dating back to his freshman season. The future Pirate has added 30 pounds during his high school career.

Steven Rogers (6-2, 170), WR, Evans, Ga. ... Visited East Carolina and committed on Super Bowl Sunday. He was initially contacted by new head coach John Thompson. Then former Pirates star receiver Larry Shannon, now an ECU offensive graduate assistant, became integral in Rogers' recruiting process. ... Played one season at Evans after transferring from nearby Lakeside. ... Caught 59 passes for Coach Lee Chomskis' 2-8 team in 2002 for 800 yards and six TDs. ... Evans plays on the 5-A level, the highest in Georgia. ... Rogers benches 235 pounds, and runs a "legit" 4.5-second/40 yards, according to Chomskis. Rogers will send his grant in early Feb. 5 to ECU via fax and have a signing ceremony in the Evans library at 3:15 p.m. that day. ... Received honorable mention All State and made the All Area first team for Augusta, Ga. for two straight years. ... Played some safety on defense and had two interceptions but projects as a receiver at ECU. ... Received offers from Liberty, Furman and Valdosta State. ... Was impressed with the strength and conditioning facilities at the Murphy Center and degree of community support for the Pirates during his visit. Attended ECU's 68-62 double-overtime win over South Florida on his trip to Greenville. ... Starts in basketball and averages about 10 points per game.

Kasey Ross (6-1, 190), QB/DB, Gainesville, Fla. ... Visited ECU on Jan. 17. ... Was recruited by Jerry Odom, ECU's new defensive coordinator and former Florida linebackers coach. ... Impressed by a presentation of ECU highlights and an assertion from new coach John Thompson that the Pirates could win Conference USA and play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. ... Gainesville area offensive player of the year and second team all state as a senior when he threw for 1,565 yards and ran for 985. ... An uncle, Keith Ross, played at Florida State. ... Played corner on defense and could see early playing time at ECU as a nickel back. ... Central Florida, Florida and Iowa State showed interest but ECU made the first offer.

Todd Springfield (6-4, 285), DL, Lovejoy, Ga. ... Runs a 4.7-second/40 yards, according to coach Al Hughes, who coached former Pirate great Emmanuel McDaniel at Jonesboro, Ga. ... Started at Lovejoy just one season after playing sparingly as a junior and made 75 tackles with two sacks as a senior in earning all area, all region and All Clayton County, which is in metropolitan Atlanta. ... Team was 9-3, losing in the second round of the state playoffs. ... Had scholarship offers from Clemson, Florida, LSU and Ole Miss. ... New ECU defensive line coach Fred Tate was instrumental in his recruitment.

Robert Tillman (6-0, 175), RB, South Robeson, Rowland, N.C. ... Tillman has sprinter’s speed (10.7 seconds/100 meters) and ran for over 700 yards for the Mustangs last season before breaking his collarbone in the sixth game of the season. ... Tillman won the state 1-A long jump as a sophomore and the state 2-A title as a junior. ... South Robeson assistant Barry Leonard said Tillman has been clocked in 4.3 seconds for 40 yards. ... Tillman plays halfback in South Robeson’s wing T. ... Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Richmond and South Carolina had showed recruiting interest. ... The Wolfpack and Spiders had made offers when Tillman committed following individual camp at ECU in mid-July. ... Comes from the same program that produced Pirates junior linebacker Vonta Leach. ... Began his prep career as an offensive guard until coach Mike Brim saw him return a punt 85 yards in a junior varsity game with Red Springs in 1999.


Deon Adams (6-1, 190) WR/QB, Smith High, Greensboro, N.C. ... Projects as a receiver for the Pirates, the role he has played his previous three seasons on the high school level. ... Currently playing quarterback for his prep team but still runs routes in practice to be a complete player. ... Attended ECU football camp this summer. ... Reportedly threw for 431 yards and ran for 168 in his team’s 2002 season opener. ... The eighth known commitment to the Pirates, jumping in the boat in early September. [ADAMS SIGNED WITH DUKE.]

Matt Brim (6-6, 305), OL, Carver High, Winston-Salem, N.C. ... Wake Forest was the leader in the recruiting process until Brim attended ECU football camp in mid-July and was highly impressed with the Pirates’ coaches and facilities. ... N.C. State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee had also shown interest. ... Brim played three seasons at East Forsyth before transferring to Carver for his senior season. ... Carver coach Keith Wilkes said Brim’s desire and work ethic enhance his considerable potential. [BRIM SIGNED WITH WAKE FOREST.]

William Brown (6-5, 275), OL, Starmount High, Boonville, N.C. ... All Northwestern 1-A last season for an 8-5 team that finished third in its conference and reached the second round of the state playoffs. ... Coached by Joe Hutchens, who guided the Rams to the state 1-A championship in 1998 in his first season as head coach at the school. ... Hutchens said Brown bench presses 360 pounds and ran 40 yards in 5.1 seconds at a Shrine Bowl combine. ... Hutchens said Brown attended a one-day camp at ECU and made his commitment after talking on the phone with ECU offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler and head coach Steve Logan on August 12. ... Pirates assistant Bob Leahy recruited Brown. ... Hutchens noted that Brown has scored 1,040 on his SAT and projects as an academic qualifier. ... He had received recruiting attention from N.C. State, UNC, Virginia and Northwestern. ... Brown moved to the Starmount district before his junior season from the Buffalo, N.Y. area. He is originally from Charleston, S.C. ... His dad, Spencer, is a Baptist minister. Brown said his family prayed over the decision to commit to the Pirates. [BROWN SIGNED WITH SOUTH CAROLINA.]

Frank Johnson (5-11, 185), DB, Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College ... and The Orlando Sentinel reported this commitment since mid-December but efforts to confirm with Coffeyville officials have been unsuccessful. ... Reportedly would have three years of eligibility at ECU. ... Played on the high school level at Sebastian River (Fla.), according to The Orlando Sentinel. ... Pirates need help in the secondary and ECU coach John Thompson has said he will look at juco players based on program needs.

Lewis "L.A." Watson (6-5, 295), Lynchburg, Va. Heritage ... Tremendous comeback story. Did not play as a junior because of a torn growth plate but made first team All-State as a senior and helped team to the state 2-A title. ... Coached by Chris Jones, who coached ECU redshirt freshman offensive lineman Trey Magee at Sussex Central in Virginia. ... Watson visited the weekend of Jan. 11. [WATSON SIGNED WITH RICHMOND.]

[ Click here to view last year's Pirate recruiting class. ]

[ Click here to view the ECU Pirate Recruiting Super Page. ]

03/07/2012 04:52:45 AM

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