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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Monday, October 6, 2008

By Sammy Batten

THUMBNAILS:  2006  •  2007  •  2008  •  2009

Ex-tackle found his calling at tight end

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Recruiting Links

BVL: Pirate Football Recruiting Thumbnails
Batten: Ex-tackle found his calling at tight end
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Batten: There's no place like home for Booth
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Batten: ECU's football culture impressed QB
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Zico Pasut was playing offensive tackle for newly opened Ardrey-Kell High School in Charlotte in late 2006 when he decided to play catch with some teammates before practice one day.

“I saw him out there throwing the ball around and he was catching everything around him,'' Adrey-Kell coach Marty Woolbright recalled recently. “We immediately moved him to tight end.

"That was when he was a sophomore. Last year he had a big coming out year at tight end.''

A 6-foot-3, 240-pounder who's been timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Pasut spent the entire 2007 season playing tight end for the Knights. He made 28 catches for 386 yards and two touchdowns, which was more than enough to impress major-college programs like Duke, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Appalachian State and Western Carolina were other schools that offered.

But even though Pasut received scholarship offers from those schools, it was East Carolina that landed a verbal commitment from him during a wave of pledges the Pirates received after opening wins against nationally-ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia in September.

ECU extended the first offer to Pasut last spring, according to Woolbright, who consequently mailed out a highlight DVD to a number of other schools. West Virginia arrived next with an offer after watching the video, followed by Virginia Tech and Duke.

“All those schools were looking for his type of tight end,'' Woolbright said. “He's not a big tackle-type tight end. He's a very athletic guy who can play in the backfield or on the line of scrimmage or we can send him in motion. He can do a lot of different things.''

Woolbright offered two examples from last season of Pasut's versatility.

“We ran a counter last year where he's blocking down inside,'' Woolbright said. “He blocks down and knocks his guy all the way across into the center. Then he runs down field about 30 yards and delivers a key block for the back to go for the touchdown.

“He also made a diving catch last year against West Mecklenburg for a two-point conversion to win the game. He's made a lot of big plays for us. Even this year already he's had four big catches for us on third-and-long plays and picked up first downs. He's just a go-to guy for us.''

Pasut began his prep football career at South Mecklenburg as a ninth grader. But he moved to Ardrey-Kell when it opened the next fall.

Woolbright started him out at offensive guard, then shifted him to tackle before finally realizing he had a tight end on his hands. He was one of 23 varsity players who played both ways that first season, starting at defensive tackle as well. Pasut is playing tight end and defensive end this season for the Knights.

Pasut earned first-team All-Southwestern 4-A Conference honors as a junior and was as second-team pick for the All-Charlotte Observer squad.

But Pasut's honors didn't end with football season. He played a key role as the right fielder in Ardrey-Kell's run to the Western 4-A regional baseball title. The team finished with a 28-6 record. Pasut earned second-team All-Mecklenburg honors after batting over .300.

Pasut's commitment to the baseball team may prevent him from enrolling at ECU a semester early.

“He's played baseball all his life,'' Woolbright said. “They played for the state championship last year and lost. Even though he has an opportunity to go there (ECU) in January, I think he wants to take another shot at that state championship.''

Woolbright said Pasut will be concentrating only on football once he reaches Greenville.

“I feel like he can get on the field early there,'' Woolbright said. “He's going to get faster and he'll be 250 or 260 (pounds) by the time he reports. He's got good, strong legs and very soft hands.

“And the intensity. He just doesn't quit. If we're not doing stuff full speed in practice he gets very frustrated. That's the type of guys you're looking for.''

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10/06/2008 03:32:44 AM


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