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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Friday, January 27, 2006

By Sammy Batten

2006 Thumbnails   •   2005 Thumbnails   •   2005 Report Card

2005 LISTS:   East Carolina   •   C-USA   •   Carolinas

ECU receiving corps in for boost from Brumsey

Decision time looms for Richmond High running back star Whitley


The first time Javon Brumsey ran a pass pattern in practice at Northeastern High School, he grabbed the attention of head coach Antonio Moore by using his hands.

Of course, every wide receiver catches the football with his hands. But many young receivers also tend to trap the ball against their bodies, rather than catching it with two hands alone.

“He had played safety on our JV team as a ninth grader,’’ Moore recalled earlier this week. “He was just a tall, lanky kid, and we really didn’t know what we were going to do with him on the varsity. He was just so skinny.

“But the next year when he came back he had gained some weight. We had him go out for a pass pattern and he caught the ball with his hands. I guess you could say the rest is history.’’

School history in Brumsey’s case.

Over a three-year varsity career, the 6-foot-5, 190-pounder would set the Northeastern career record with 181 receptions for 3,379 yards and 25 touchdowns. Brumsey contributed 51 catches for 967 yards and six touchdowns this season in helping the Eagles to the Northeastern Coastal 3-A/2-A Conference championship and a 10-2 overall record.

But it was last spring, after Brumsey had accumulated 68 receptions for 1,269 yards and nine scores as a junior, that East Carolina coach Skip Holtz discovered one of the latest members of his recruiting Class of 2006.

Holtz was making routine recruiting tour of Eastern North Carolina high schools when he dropped in on Northeastern and Moore.

“You don’t see many head coaches down our way,’’ Moore said. “But Skip was just making a run through Eastern North Carolina and stopped by. We were just talking and I said, ‘I’ve got an all-state receiver.’ He said, ‘Well, let’s go find him.’

“So we went outside and Javon was playing softball. Javon looks good physically. He’s got a good upper body and arms.

“Skip said, ‘I’m coming back to get him.’’

It turned out not to be an idle boast by the ECU coach. Brumsey made a verbal commitment to join the Pirates after making an official visit to Greenville on the weekend of January 6.

N.C. State and Virginia were also recruiting Brumsey, but ECU was the first to step forward with a scholarship offer. The relationship Brumsey was able to build through the recruiting process with Holtz and his chief recruiter, tight ends and special teams coach Greg McMahon, made the decision to become a Pirate easy.

“I really enjoyed the coaches. They were really nice to me,’’ Brumsey said. “The players were great and made me feel comfortable. And I love the facilities they showed me on my official visit.’’

Moore calls Brumsey a rare combination of size, speed, poise and toughness.

“They took the top 100 from the Shrine Bowl combines last summer up to Chapel Hill and Kenan Stadium and he ran a 4.43 (40-yard dash),’’ Moore said. “He’s a consistent 4.5. He’s a legit 6-5 and is about 190 pounds.

“But besides all that, nothing seems to bother him. He’ll go across the middle. He’s been across the middle a lot of times for us, caught a lot of balls and taken a lot of licks. But I’ve never seen him grimace or limp off the field. He’s just so tough.

“Javon is a different breed. It’s just my opinion, but he is a Sunday player if he progresses the way he should.’’

All the recruiting news wasn’t as positive this week for the Pirates, who lost Brumsey’s teammates, fullback-linebacker Devvyn Sutton, to Virginia Tech, while another player had a change of heart.

The 6-foot, 239-pound Sutton had narrowed his choices to ECU and the Hokies, but decided on Tech after making an official visit to Blacksburg, VA, last weekend.

Running back Kennard Reeves from Duluth, GA, had originally committed to the Pirates back in December. The 6-foot, 181-pounder changed his mind, however, when Vanderbilt came back in the picture in recent weeks, according to Duluth High coach Richard Gillespie.

“Vanderbilt came in about the same time as East Carolina, but didn’t have an offer on the table,’’ Gillespie said. “I think Kennard really liked East Carolina, and especially (running backs coach) Junior Smith. But I think the academics that Vanderbilt offered won him over.’’

Reeves’ departure from the class may not be as damaging as it could have been, especially if it helps convince Norman Whitley from Richmond High School in Rockingham, NC, to commit to ECU this weekend.

Whitley, who is one of the state’s top running back prospects, is scheduled to travel to Greenville for a final look at ECU before making his decision, according to Richmond coach Ed Emory. The Pirates are his only Division I-A offer presently, but he has made an official visit to Marshall and has an offer from I-AA national champion Appalachian State.

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02/23/2007 02:37:26 PM


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