Recruiting wars: Quarterbacks
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(NOTE: This is the first
in a position-by-position series where we take a look at high school or
junior college prospects East Carolina has already offered scholarships
to in the recruiting Class of 2016.)
The search by East Carolina's
coaching staff to find the next Shane Carden is in full swing. But as
spring practice unfolds in Greenville, the question facing the Pirates
is whether the next Carden is already in the program or currently being
Known to the admiring Pirate Nation
as “Captain Clutch,'' Carden set the standard for ECU quarterbacks over
the last three seasons as the starter. His ability to make quick
decisions, deliver the ball fast and effectively, and his knowledge of
the “Air Raid'' style of offense resulted in nearly every school passing
record falling and the Pirates establishing team standards for scoring
and total offense.
An immediate replacement for Carden
is expected to come from a group that includes sophomore Kurt Benkert,
juniors Cody Keith and Blake Kemp, and incoming freshman John Jacobs.
But the long-term solution could just as well wind up being one of one
of five high school quarterbacks ECU has already extended scholarship
offers to from the recruiting Class of 2016.
Offering five quarterbacks may seem
like a high number for a program that doesn't graduate a scholarship
passer in 2015, but it makes sense when you consider two factors. The
Pirates will lose two scholarship quarterbacks after the 2016 season –
Keith and Kemp – and the staff has enjoyed great success turning prep
quarterbacks into contributors at other positions with wide receiver
Justin Hardy being the best example.
With that in mind, we believe ECU
will sign at least two quarterbacks in the Class of 2016. Here's a
closer look at the five who the Pirates have already offered and early
projections on how serious these players are about playing for ECU. The
quarterbacks are listed in alphabetical order.
REID HERRING (6-3, 172)
Millbrook HS, Raleigh, NC
• NOTABLES: Herring was a Cap 8
4-A Conference first-team pick as a junior at both quarterback and
punter. Regarded as more of a pocket passer, Herring completed 166 of
292 passes for 2,100 yards and 17 touchdowns last season for an 11-3
Millbrook squad. He enjoyed similar success as a sophomore starter,
throwing for more than 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns for a 10-4 team.
Reid's father, Scott, played football at UNC in the 1980s. The younger
Herring also plays basketball for Millbrook and is regarded as a
possible college baseball prospect as a pitcher and shortstop. Has
4.72-second speed in the 40-yard dash.
• COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston
College, East Carolina, Miami by mid-March.
• THE ECU ANGLE: The Pirates
were the first to offer Herring in April 2014 and he took an unofficial
visit to Greenville last September 20 to watch ECU demolish in-state
rival North Carolina. In late February, he stated the Pirates as his
leader ahead of Georgia and South Carolina, the latter two which haven't
offered yet. We rate Herring as HIGH INTEREST prospect for the Pirates.
AVERY MCALL (6-0, 191)
Dillon HS, Dillon, SC
• NOTABLES: McCall burst on the
scene at South Carolina small-school power Dillon late in his freshman
season when he took over the starting job and led the Wildcats to the
state championship. Dillon has won two more state titles since, meaning
McCall could become the first player to quarterback four state
championship teams in state history next fall. In last season’s state
title run, McCall completed 169 of 240 passes for 2,968 yards and 36
touchdowns. He also ran 80 time for 517 yards and eight more scores.
McCall is generally regarded as the top quarterback prospect in South
Carolina for the Class of 2016.
• COLLEGE OFFERS: Duke, East
Carolina, LSU, Ohio State, Old Dominion, Tennessee.
• THE ECU ANGLE: Since becoming
the first school to offer in early December, the Pirates have been at or
around the top of McCall’s list of favorites. They seem to be running
third at present behind N.C. State and UNC, although neither of those
schools have offered. Still, McCall made Junior Day appearances recently
at both schools and has plans to travel to Greenville for a similar
event later this month. McCall is a HIGH INTEREST prospect for ECU.
JAMIE NEWMAN (6-4, 215)
Graham HS, Graham, NC
• NOTABLES: Newman is such a
stellar athlete that many schools are recruiting him to play safety or
outside linebacker. But his desire is to play quarterback, where he's
been a threat throwing and running the ball since taking over as the
varsity starter three games into his freshman year. Newman threw for 900
yards and rushed for 500 that season, then followed up with 2,034
passing yards and 750 rushing as a sophomore. Graham finished 6-6 last
season when Newman completed 100 of 195 passes for 1,850 yards and 20
touchdowns, while rushing 162 times for 1,257 more yards and nine
• COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston
College, Duke, East Carolina, N.C. State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West
• THE ECU ANGLE: Duke and N.C.
State appear to have the upper hand early. He's attended Junior Days at
both schools as well as Vanderbilt and West Virginia. The Pirates, who
offered last December, will need to make up ground quickly as Newman
says he wants to make a decision by June. We'll call him a MEDIUM
INTEREST recruit for ECU.
TIM RAMSEUR (6-0, 170)
Statesville HS, Statesville, NC
• NOTABLES: Like Newman,
Ramseur is a prospect capable of playing any number of positions. But
his desire to play quarterback and ECU's willingness to give him a shot
there seems to be working in the Pirates' favor during the early stages
of recruiting. A dual-threat quarterback who has been timed at 4.59
seconds in the 40-yard dash, Ramseur has the earned the reputation of
being an extremely accurate passer. As a sophomore, he completed 158 of
278 for 2,308 and 16 scores, and followed up with 215 completions on 343
attempts for 3,371 yards and 34 touchdowns as a junior. Ramseur also
rushed for 1,760 yards and 21 touchdowns in those two seasons.
• COLLEGE OFFERS: East
Carolina, North Carolina A&T
• THE ECU ANGLE: Ramseur, who
was offered by ECU in April 2014, attended a recent Junior Day in
Greenville and seems willing to change positions if the Pirates ask.
He's a HIGH INTEREST prospect for ECU.
CHAZ SURRATT (6-3, 210) East
Lincoln HS, Denver, NC
• NOTABLES: Surratt is
generally recognized as North Carolina's top quarterback prospect in the
Class of 2016. He earned that honor with a brilliant junior season in
which he completed 281 of 414 passes for 4,338 yards and 51 touchdowns.
Surratt wasn't just a passing phenom, however. He also rushed 156 times
for 1,239 yards and 22 more scores. A two-sport prep star, he also led
East Lincoln's basketball squad to the state finals this year. He'll be
missing some of the spring combines and summer camps after having minor
surgery after basketball season to repair a torn meniscus in his left
• COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston
College, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, North
Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia.
• THE ECU ANGLE: Duke and North
Carolina are the early leaders in the race to land Surratt, although he
did attend a Junior Day at N.C. State. The Pirates face an uphill battle
breaking through, but there's a long way to go before national signing
day. Still, Surratt appears to be a LOW INTEREST recruit for ECU.
Next up, we'll take a look at some of
the running back prospects being recruited by the Pirates for the Class
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06/09/2015 01:28 AM