Football Recruiting Report
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

By Sammy Batten

Recruiting Wars: QB | RB | WR/TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

Recruiting wars: Quarterbacks


By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.


(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 recruited.

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 scores.

 • COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston College, Duke, East Carolina, N.C. State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia.

 • 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 knee.

 • 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 of 2016.

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06/09/2015 01:28 AM