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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Monday, January 18, 2010

By Sammy Batten

Recruits holding firm for now

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Skip Holtz's unexpected departure last week to take over the program at South Florida could have wrecked a recruiting class that has been literally years in the making.

But it hasn't. Not yet, at least.

As East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland indicated last Friday, it seems like most of the prospects who had given verbal commitments to Holtz plan to stick with the Pirates as they search for a new head coach.

“We have 22 commitments and most of those are going to hold,'' Holland told reporters Friday. “The ones we lose, we might have lost anyway.''

We're only aware of 19 committed players, and had verified by Sunday evening through the players themselves or their high school coaches that at least 13 remain part of the Pirates class. We're still trying to contact the five others to determine their status.

Seven members of the recruiting class were already enrolled at ECU by the time Holtz made his exit, so it would have been difficult for them to change their minds. The group already on campus includes junior college transfers Dominique Davis (quarterback), Bradley Jacobs (safety) and Diavalo Simpson (offensive line) along with Hargrave Military Academy alum Alex Owah (running back), Jeremy Groves (linebacker) from Ijamsville, MD, and Maurice Falls (linebacker) of Belmont.

The seventh recruit is a mystery junior college transfer who school officials haven't officially announced as part of the class.

Offensive lineman Taylor Hudson from Mauldin, SC, defensive back Detric Allen from Norwood, linebacker Jacob Geary of Hillsborough, defensive back Damon Magazu from Charlotte, Asheville tight end Trevor Sawyer and quarterback Desi Brown of Webster Groves, MO, (formerly of Norwood), are the six prep players we have confirmed are still committed.

Hudson is still anxious to learn who ECU will hire to replace Holtz.

“I've been committed to Coach Holtz for almost a year, so it was a shock when he decided to leave,'' Hudson said. “But I'm still a Pirate for now. I'll just wait and see what happens with the new coach.''

Allen and Brown, who were teammates at South Stanly High before Brown's military family was transferred to Missouri, took their official visits to Greenville together earlier this month. South Stanly head coach Luke Little said both were still solid with the Pirates.

Geary's coach at Cedar Ridge is his father, Lou Geary. The elder Geary said his son was one of 13 ECU recruits who attended the Pirates team banquet on Jan. 9 in Greenville.

“We had breakfast at Coach Holtz's house,'' Lou Geary said. “It was great. He's such a genuine person. We were flabbergasted to hear he was leaving, but we wish him the best.

“We met all the recruits and I don't see any of them going anywhere else.''

Magazu's coach at Providence High, Randy Long, said his player is committed, but anxiously awaiting the naming of a new coach.

“I talked to him briefly and right now he's committed to ECU,'' Long said. “But I think you've got to wait and see how things unfold and see what direction they go. Right now he's just going to play it by ear.''

Asheville coach Danny Wilkins said Sawyer hopes the Pirates promote an assistant coach to the head position.

“He's hoping they'll hire from within,'' Wilkins said. “From what I understand, at least one or two of them (assistants) are going to try to interview for it (head coach job).

“But as far as Trevor is concerned, he's going to be a Pirate. He likes the school. I think he's pretty solid.''

One committed player who has stated he has a backup plan is Bennettsville, SC, defensive end Lee Pegues. Pegues said he is still committed to ECU, but is looking at scheduling an official visit to Illinois on Jan. 22.

So that leaves offensive linemen Drew Gentry and Mack Helms from Tallahassee, FL, defensive tackle Crishon Rose of Forestville, MD, Valdosta, GA, defensive back Dontavis Sapp and linebacker Terry Williams from Loganville, GA, as players we still have to contact for a status update. We'll keep checking on those players for an answer this week.

Tyrone Johnson, a defensive back from Fayetteville's Westover High, was one of the first players to commit to the Class of 2010 back in May 2009. But former Westover coach Milton Butts said ECU took back Johnson's scholarship offer just before Christmas due to issues with his transcript.

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01/18/2010 02:39:32 AM


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