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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Thursday, December 17, 2009

By Sammy Batten


Recruits selling recruits on ECU

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

ROEBUCK, SC — Taylor Hudson and Trevor Sawyer have already decided to play for the East Carolina Pirates next fall. But over the past week they spent a lot of time trying to convince others to join them in ECU's recruiting Class of 2010.

The players have been thrust together while practicing for the 73rd Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas all-star game.

Hudson, from Mauldin High School, is working as an offensive tackle for the South Carolina squad that will meet the North Carolina team on Saturday in nearby Spartanburg.

Sawyer, from Asheville High, is a tight end for North Carolina.

Both made verbal commitments to ECU earlier this year, Hudson back in July and Sawyer in October. They reaffirmed those pledges during the Shrine Bowl workouts and plan to take official visits to Greenville on January 9.

“I'm solid East Carolina,'' said Hudson, a 6-foot-5, 290-pounder who received his offer from ECU in June. “They had a great year. Skip Holtz and everybody did a great job. I went up for two games this year and I really enjoyed it. Hopefully, they can knock off Arkansas in the bowl game, too.''

The 6-6, 215-pound Sawyer is expecting to get his college career underway in January. He's completed requirements for his prep degree and plans to enroll at ECU for the upcoming semester so he can participate in spring football practice.

“It'll definitely give me a leg up,'' Sawyer said. “I'm just really looking forward to signing with them because they were the first team to offer me and they really had a lot of interest in me.

“Skip Holtz is a great coach and he's a great recruiter. I think he's really doing some great things at East Carolina, and I'm excited to become part of that.''

Hudson and Sawyer have done some unofficial recruiting during the Shrine Bowl week. The number of players considering ECU are much higher on the South Carolina side.

“I've been talking to people at the hotel, when we go to meals and even on the sidelines during water breaks,'' Hudson said. “There are some great players here I'd love to see up at East Carolina with us.''

Here's a quick look at several Shrine Bowl players who are seriously considering East Carolina.

  • R.J. CANTY, C (6-2, 265) CHESTER HS, CHESTER, SC: Canty said he's got an official visit scheduled to ECU on January 9. Duke, Middle Tennessee State and William & Mary have also shown a lot of interest in Canty, but the Pirates are his clear No. 1. “Their coaching staff has embraced me,'' Canty said. “They really made me feel like family when I made some unofficial visits up there to East Carolina. They told me how much they wanted me to play for them.''

  • ERIC JOHNSON, RB (5-10, 177) JACK BRITT HS, FAYETTEVILLE, NC: The top rusher for Jack Britt's state 4-AA runner-up with 1,781 yards and 32 touchdowns, Johnson has a handful of small-school offers, the best of which is from Football Championship Subdivision Wofford. But ECU running backs coach Junior Smith, who also hails from Fayetteville, has been showing interest throughout the season. Johnson, who has 4.4 40 speed, doesn't have an offer yet but could wind up with one late.

  • KEWITT KOONCE, DB (5-10, 183) KINSTON HS, KINSTON, NC: No offer yet from the Pirates, but Koonce is a heck of a defender who earned first-team all-state honors as a junior when he made 10 interceptions. He also had Clemson, N.C. State and Louisville listed as his top schools along with ECU, but he's still waiting on offers.

  • JATAVIUS STEWART, WR (5-11, 181) ROCK HILL HS, ROCK HILL, SC: Stewart said he's going to take an official visit to ECU in January and the Pirates have offered him to play slot receiver. He also has offers from Georgia Southern, Georgia Military and South Carolina State. “ECU is No. 1,'' Stewart said. “I've been watching them on TV this year and they like to use their receivers in a lot of different ways. I think I'd fit really good in their system.''

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12/17/2009 04:46:48 AM


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