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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Friday, July 7, 2006

By Sammy Batten

Offensive Analysis  •  Defensive Analysis  •  Profiles

QB's & Receivers  •  O-Linemen & RB's  •  Profiles

Another Stallion galloping to ECU

Haynes to reunite with former SW Onslow mate Marshall


A childhood friendship and relationships built since February have led Jacksonville, NC, linebacker Austin Haynes to choose Greenville as his future home.

Haynes, a 6-foot-2, 207-pounder from Southwest Onslow High School, has become the second player to make an oral commitment to join East Carolina’s football recruiting Class of 2007. He follows Norfolk, VA, linebacker Steve Spence, who verballed to the Pirates in late June.

The decision by Haynes came several days after he attended both ECU’s one-day senior prospect camp and its regular three-day camp in late June.

“I went to their senior prospect camp and they invited me back to the three-day camp,’’ Haynes said. “A few days after that they offered me a scholarship. I verbally committed right then and there.’’

Clemson, North Carolina and N.C. State were showing interest in Haynes, but the Pirates were the first school to come through with an offer. The decision to accept the offer was an easy one for Haynes because of the friendship he’s established with the ECU coaches and one he’s had for a while with incoming Pirate freshman Dekota Marshall.

Marshall was a two-way star at Southwest Onslow last season and signed with the Pirates as a defensive back. He and Haynes have been friends since the sixth grade.

“It was pretty much an easy decision for me once they offered because of Dekota,’’ Haynes said. “We’re really close. We got together in middle school and we’ve been hanging out together ever since. We push each other on the football field.

“Dekota kept telling me what a great place East Carolina was, and how great their coaches were. Then I found out for myself. A lot of schools had called me once or twice, but East Carolina has come to see me four or five times. Their coaches are great people, and that’s what I want to be around, great people.’’

When it comes to football, Haynes has been blessed in that area.

His father, Arthur Haynes, was a high school football and track star in Miami. Arthur Haynes had opportunities to play in college, but instead chose to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent 23 years in the Marines, rising to the rank of master sergeant before retiring in Jacksonville.

The Haynes family spent much of Austin’s early years living on the Pacific Island of Okinawa. Life for American military children in Okinawa is significantly different and included no football for a young Austin.

“There really wasn’t that much to do in the way of sports, except basketball and run a lot,’’ Austin said. “I was into BMX and extreme sports. We had ramps and stuff across the street to bike or use our roller blades. But I didn’t get deep into football until I was in about the eighth or ninth grade.’’

The Haynes family returned to the U.S. when Austin entered the sixth grade. He first attended Hunters Creek Middle School before moving to the Southwest district.

“When I got to Hunters Creek I was like this really skinny dude,’’ Haynes said. “But that changed once I got to Southwest and got wrapped up in football there. Southwest is a big football school.’’

Phil Padgett is the long-time head football coach at Southwest Onslow. Under Padgett’s watch, the Stallions have won state 2-A titles three times in the past five seasons. He’s also produced a number of major-college players, including Marshall and Kendric Burney (UNC-CH signee) last season.

Haynes played for the Southwest junior varsity as a ninth grader before being pulled up to the varsity the following year.

“We noticed in the ninth grade he had a little more height and more size than most of those kids, so we thought he had a chance to be good,’’ Padgett said. “But he really wanted to be a good football player, and that’s what made the biggest different for Austin.’’

Padgett has used Haynes mainly at defensive end, but expects the Pirates will convert him to linebacker.

“He’s really aggressive and he likes contact,’’ Padgett said. “He’s worked really hard in the weight room and is a very strong kid. He’ll do whatever it takes to make it.

“Because of his height, I would expect they’d use him at linebacker or a rush end.’’

With his college decision finalized, Haynes is now focusing on his senior year at Southwest. He hopes to improve upon the 93 tackles and 12 tackles for loss he produced in 2005.

But more than anything, Haynes wants another state title.

“That’s the big thing with me,’’ Haynes said. “Now that Dekota and Kendric are gone, it’s time for me to step up and be a leader. We have the talent to win it again, but we have to put the work in, too. I hope I can set the right example this summer so that work will get done.’’

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02/23/2007 02:37:40 PM


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