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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Saturday, January 28, 2006

By Sammy Batten

2006 Thumbnails   •   2005 Thumbnails   •   2005 Report Card

2005 LISTS:   East Carolina   •   C-USA   •   Carolinas

Stellar QB, big lineman plot course to Greenville

Greenwood (SC) Emerald's Wideman, Wilson Hunt's Allen figure to impact ECU's offense of the future


A previous relationship with a member of East Carolina’s coaching staff and a new friendship built by another have helped the Pirates land two potential offensive stars in recruiting.

Dan Wideman, an athletic quarterback from Emerald High in Greenwood, SC, and offensive lineman Sean Allen of Hunt High in Wilson, NC, are two of the newest members of ECU’s Class of 2006. Both gave oral commitments following official visits to Greenville on Jan. 14.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Wideman played at Emerald for head coach Mac Bryan, who also tutored ECU quarterbacks coach Phil Petty at Boiling Springs, SC, High School between 1993-96. The relationship Bryan had built with Petty back then followed him back to the high school ranks this season as he took over the program at Emerald.

“Phil and I became real close, and have been through all this time,’’ Bryan said. “When I came back to this job, Phil and I have talked just about every week.

“I remember a conversation with Phil not long after I got here. I told him, ‘I’ve got a quarterback who can make it happen.’ They certainly followed up and liked what they saw.’’

Wideman is a superb athlete and one of the fastest in the state of South Carolina. He’s been clocked at 10.7 seconds in the 100 meters and is regarded as a leading contender to win the state championship this spring in that event as well as the 200. Just last Thursday, Wideman poured in 20 points for Emerald’s basketball team, and in the weight room he’s able to power clean 275 pounds, which is quite impressive for a prep quarterback.

But despite those physical talents, Wideman wasn’t a hot commodity on the football recruiting trail this fall. Prior to Bryan’s arrival, Emerald’s offense featured the running game, which resulted in Wideman throwing for just 450 yards as a junior.

But Bryan changed that by switching to a spread attack featuring four and five wide receivers.

The result was an incredible senior year for Wideman in which he completed 261 of 450 passes for 3,797 yards and 25 touchdowns. More impressive, perhaps, is the fact that Wideman was only intercepted eight times in all those passes.

“He really has a knack for taking care of the football,’’ Bryan said. “It’s really kind of shocking. You expect a kid with that athletic ability and a strong arm to force the issue more than he did.

“In one year, he went from being off the (recruiting) radar to being the region player of the year and playing in the North-South (All-Star game).’’

But that wasn’t all. Wideman also ran the ball 181 times for 935 more yards and 17 scores in leading Emerald to an 11-3 record and the first regional championship in school history. Emerald would reach the state semifinals before losing.

Bryan expects Wideman to eventually have a similar impact at ECU.

“If he doesn’t (make an impact), then they’ve got some awful good quarterbacks,’’ Bryan said. “This boy is the real deal. I sure wish I had him back. If I went back to the college level to coach now — at any level — I’d take him with me. He’s a super individual, an excellent leader and just loves the game.’’

A similar scenario occurred in Wilson with Allen, a 6-4, 300-pound bulldozer who will only be 17 when he enrolls at ECU next fall.

Hunt coach Randy Raper said Allen was being recruited by a host of schools, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. But Allen was particularly inspired by the ECU coaching staff, especially offensive coordinator coach Steve Shankweiler.

“The coaching staff really impressed him. He just fell in love with those guys,’’ Raper said. “He really likes where they’re taking the program.’’

Allen has been a starter on the Hunt varsity for the last three seasons. As a senior, he graded out at 90 percent on his blocking assignments as the Warriors went 12-2 and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.

“He’s a very knowledgeable young man,’’ Raper said. “He’s a smart kid who picks up things very quick. He knew our offense so well he could have probably called the plays for us. He knew every assignment for all the offensive linemen, so if they had questions he could always answer it.

“Sean also has very good feet. He’s very athletic for a kid that size. He’s very agile on his feet.’’

Although the Pirates have dipped into the junior college ranks in this recruiting class to fill some immediate needs on the offensive line, Raper believes Allen could help next fall, if needed.

“It’s tough for a freshman to come in and expect to start from the get-go,’’ Raper said. “But I think Sean has the potential and ability to eventually play, and play early. But they’ll do whatever is best for him, and for them.’’

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02/23/2007 02:37:27 PM


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