KEVIN GIDREY, NO. 45 >>> Could make the transition into a Conference USA honors candidate as a
junior after playing a combined 27 games during his first two active
seasons in the Pirate program ... Is firmly entrenched on the offensive
two-deep as the projected starter at tight end, which at times also
includes play as the unit's fullback based on various schemes ...
Possesses the pass catching ability of a tight end, but work in strength
and conditioning program has also generated a prototype body style for
blocking back position ... Has also delivered reliable contributions as
a key performer on various special teams squad while playing behind
recent Baltimore Ravens' draft choice Davon Drew on the offensive side
of the ball ... Did not record statistics in the first spring scrimmage
(4/4) but hauled in a pair of catches for 16 yards in the second matchup
(4/8) ... Picked up 20 yards on three grabs during the Purple-Gold Game
(4/18) ... Cited by position coach Phil Petty as the recipient of the
"distinction of outstanding attitude, effort and leadership" award at
the close of spring practice.
For some players, anonymity
is an indicator for success. For a fullback, save the rare short yardage
TD or a catch out of the backfield, the less anyone hears the better. It
is a position where you give it up your body for the guys who tote the
football, oft times in collisions with guys who outweigh you buy a 100
pounds. Kevin Gidrey is one of those guys. A starter almost from the
minute he joined East Carolina's active roster, Gidrey came in and played like a
veteran… quietly and under the radar. As 2009 gets under way, Gidrey has
seen his role in the offense expand to the tight end position where,
almost certainly, he will become more of a known factor. He has made
this switch and thinks he will do well. For the offense to be what the
need it to be, he will need to do well in both positions.
Though just a junior, Kevin
Gidrey – KG as he is called – knows he will be looked upon to play a
pivotal role this season. KG took the time recently to sit down with
Bonesville for a one-on-one Q & A in which he made no bones
about his thoughts about the team, its goals, and his position
* * * * * *
Obviously the big story for you is the change of position or addition of
position. Talk about how that came about and if the coaches came to you.
What is expected to you.
Kevin Gidrey: When
Davon Drew left, I knew that I was going to have to step up at tight end
in the same way I stepped up at fullback when Jay Sonnhalter left the
program. You know, last season, I backed up Davon so just like at
fullback and with Jay, I knew the position was going to be open, so I
went full-throttle and took on the position.
B: So, will you sometimes line up at the traditional fullback
position and other times at the traditional tight end position?
KG: I line up at the
Y, tight end position and in the backfield depending on what package we
B: And how comfortable are you when you line up in the tight
end position, right now?
KG: I have been in the
program for four years and have had a lot of time to watch guys like in
that position. Last year, backing up Davon, we got close and talked a
lot about the position and how it is played in this offense, so I am
very comfortable so far with the transition.
B: Talk about, in general, this year’s offense, its goals and
expectations. Can this offense be explosive?
KG: Our goal as an
offense is to help our defense out. Our defense takes great pride in
being the strength of our team, but the offense will be able to do its
part this season to keep our defense off the field more. I believe we
have a lot of playmakers on this offense and with Pat Pinkney back, I
think we will be explosive.
B: As a fullback observing the current battle at
running back, give me your neutral or not-so-neutral thoughts on that
KG: I think we have
great competition going on right now with Dominique (Lindsay), Jon
(Williams), J.R. Rodgers
and Brandon Jackson… look we are going to be able to run the football
with any of those guys – they are talented, each one of them.
Competition will keep them all at the top of their game which helps the
B: So as a fullback and tight end, do you have more affinity
with the backs or linemen?
KG: Man…. hmmm. I am
tight with the whole offense… I spend all my time with all of these
guys… I live with them, eat with, hang out… I have to answer, the whole
B: During the Appalachian State game, what will be an
indicator that the offense is as good as you think it can be?
KG: I’m looking for us
to be able to put together scoring drives. I believe we have the
potential to score a lot and a lot of different ways. If we are
controlling the ball and the tempo of the game, I think we will have a
great season offensively.
B: You mentioned how good the defense is.
Do you think that
when you are working against the defense, you are working against a unit
as good as any you will face?
KG: When I line up at
TE and have to face C.J. Wilson… well… or when I get a break and
line up against Scotty Robinson, I know I am getting the best looks I am
probably going to see all season. At fullback, running up in there with
Jay (Ross) and Linval (Joseph) and our linebackers, that isn’t easy
going… we get really good work against our defense that is for sure.
B: When you look around this talented team, can you point to a
player who above all commands your respect? Why?
KG: We have a lot of
talent on this offense, but when you watch Dwayne Harris he is the
playmaker on this team. I expect some big things out of Dwayne
during the season.
B: As a veteran on this team, can you point to a couple of the
young players that fans need to make note of now?
KG: Before he got
hurt, I would say without a doubt Michael Bowman. He has some great
potential for now and the future here. I was really looking forward to
watching him play this season.
B: Is it difficult to work across two positions, with two
KG: Well, actually,
they combined the two positions under one coach, Coach (Phil) Petty.
Coach Petty is great and he a big reason I have been able to make the
transitions we talked about. He knows how to work with us and get the
most out of us.
B: When you came in, you pretty much walked in from
your redshirt season and were on the field. Think back to when you came
into the program and your original expectations versus how things have
KG: The big thing for
me coming in was that I understood what was being asked of me at the
fullback position. I was ready to give my body up for the other guys to
make the plays. That part was easy for me because I love this team, I
love this offense and love to win so I came in and did the things I
needed to do without complaint.
B: Last season, the team had the potential to be very special
until injuries and suspensions derailed it. Do you see that same or
greater potential in this team?
KG: Every day when we
break it down, we say “BCS.” We are focused on taking this to the next
level. I believe we are going to have a great season and we will show
our fans what we can do. Feels like a special year for all of us.