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Richmond Co. star poised to join Pirates

From staff reports

East Carolina's already-noteworthy 2006 recruiting class appears on the verge of being further enhanced with a late commitment from record-setting running back Norman Whitley of Richmond County's powerhouse program.

Whitley visited ECU on the weekend of Jan. 28 and followed that by confiding in those close to him that he planned to join the Pirate program.

He is expected to make an official announcement on signing day (Wednesday) at his school.

Richmond County's football program is directed by ECU Hall of Famer and former Pirate coach Ed Emory.

Whitley led the Raiders to the state 4-AA third round, setting school records at a program that has won six state titles. He set school marks with 3,700 all-purpose yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior.

He won the offensive MVP award at the Shrine Bowl as he rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-24 North Carolina victory.

Some questioned Whitley's size (5-foot-8, 180 pounds) on the college level, but he will be tutored by ECU running backs coach Junior Smith, who, despite being considered small by some, became the Pirate program's career rushing leader during his playing days (1991-94).

North Carolina and Virginia expressed recruiting interest in Whitley, rated a Top 30 prospect in the state in the preseason. He visited Marshall and also considered an offer from 2005 Division I-AA national champion Appalachian State.

©2006 All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. contributed to this report.

02/23/2007 01:25:43 PM


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