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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Saturday, June 26, 2010

By Sammy Batten

Internet brings Lennon, ECU together

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Domonique Lennon decided to post on YouTube video highlights of his junior year when he led Nansemond Suffolk Academy to the Virginia Independent Schools Division 2 state title for friends and family to enjoy.

Lennon never imagined the thousands of others who would wind up watching the highlight. Included in that number was East Carolina's associate head coach and linebackers coach, John Wiley.

“My friend actually put the highlight film together for me,'' Lennon said. “We sat down and got some of my best plays, and just uploaded them onto YouTube. It was just for fun. I was surprised when I found out they (ECU coaches) had seen it there.''

The video earned Lennon an invitation to make an unofficial visit to Greenville to check out the campus and participate in the Pirates summer camp. From there, ECU extended a scholarship offer, which the 6-foot-2, 189-pounder accepted on June 21.

The Pirates have recruited Lennon as a safety or cornerback, but he's starred in the secondary and at quarterback as a prep player.

Lennon was the starting quarterback at another area school, Landstown High, as a sophomore. But a relationship between Lennon's uncle, former Virginia linebacker Skeet Jones, and first-year Nansemond Suffolk Academy coach Kevin Allen resulted in his transfer last season.

“His uncle and I played against each other in high school,'' Allen said. “We've actually been friends for quite a while. He (Jones) wanted him (Lennon) to come over here with me this year.''

Lennon was surprised to learn when he arrived at Nansemond Suffolk Academy that Allen had wanted him to play safety as well as quarterback.

“I had played one game at defensive back in two years at safety for Landstown,'' Lennon said. “I had a pretty good game, and I liked it. But they chose to use me mainly at quarterback.

“When I got over here (NSA), Coach Allen was like, 'You're going to be a defensive back.' He coached me up and told me what I needed to know,'' Lennon said. “He showed me how to backpedal, how to get in and out of breaks and how to run through somebody. After that, everything else came naturally.''

The move would turn Lennon into a two-way star. He earned Virginia Independent Schools all-state honors and was a first-team All-Tidewater selection at both positions in sparking Nansemond Suffolk Academy to the state championship. Lennon produced 18 touchdowns from his quarterback spot and made 85 tackles and six interceptions as a safety.

Area schools like Old Dominion, Hampton and Norfolk State had begun to recruit Lennon after the season when the highlight video made its debut on YouTube.

“It came out of the blue,'' Lennon said when informed ECU's Wiley had called. “I really didn't know that much about East Carolina. I have friends that go there. But I didn't know what conference they were in. So I started reading up on them and saw they had won two straight conference championships.''

Wiley extended an invitation to visit Greenville to Lennon for ECU's football camp in early June. The trip sealed Lennon's decision to become a Pirate.

“When I went up there it felt like home,'' Lennon said. “I do have family in North Carolina, so it made me a little more comfortable being down there also. The coaching staff was great and they have put guys in the league (NFL). I just liked everything about it.''

The Pirates have recruited Lennon to play safety or cornerback. Allen believes Lennon will be a success at either position because of his all-around talents.

“He's got a lot of strengths,'' Allen said. “One of his main strengths, which is great for any athlete, is his confidence and love for the game. The kid really loves football. He does anything he can to make sure he is prepared for each season and each game.

“He's got good size and the speed to go along with it. But his main strength is his intelligence on the field. He makes sure he is prepared.''

Lennon became the fifth player to join ECU's recruiting Class of 2011, but is the first defensive back.’

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08/06/2010 01:56:06 AM


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