Recruiting wars: Running Backs
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(NOTE: This is the
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.)
Even though East Carolina may well
have acquired the best crop of running backs in program history via
recruiting and transfers over the past year, don't expect the Pirate to
ignore the position while pursuing prospects for the Class of 2016.
The additions of transfers Chris
Mangus (Virginia Tech) and Derrell Scott (Tennessee) along with the
signing of Shawn Furlow bolstered an already strong cast of running
backs on ECU's roster. They join Chris Hairston, Cory Hunter, Marquez
Grayson and Anthony Scott in what could be the deepest collection of
backs in the American Athletic Conference next season.
But with Hairston and Hunter on track
to complete their eligibility after the 2015 season, and Mangus
scheduled departure after 2016, it's easier to understand why ECU has
reportedly already offered scholarships to seven running back prospects.
Another reason for the Pirates'
interest in running backs for the recruiting Class of 2016 is that there
again seems to be an abundance of quality runners in the North Carolina
high school ranks.
Taking the pending graduation losses
and abundance of in-state running back talent available, don't be
surprised to see ECU sign multiple players at the position in the Class
of 2016. Here's a closer look at the seven who have already reported
offers and early projections on how serious these players are about
playing for ECU. The running backs are listed in alphabetical order.
ABDUL ADAMS (6-0, 185) H.D.
Woodson HS, Washington, DC
NOTABLES: Adams has starred
at Wilson High the last three seasons. He rushed 126 times for 1,147
yards and eight touchdowns during a sophomore season in which he nursed
a leg injury almost the entire year. Adams then followed up with 1,846
yards and 21 scores as a junior. A versatile North-South runner who has
been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Adams is currently
embroiled in a minor controversy regarding where he'll play his senior
season. As of mid-March, he was enrolled at Fairmont Heights in
Maryland, just north of D.C.. That's where his father lives, but
guardianship for Adams was signed over to an aunt who lives in the
Wilson school district before his freshman year in high school. When the
aunt recently moved from the Wilson district, Adams' father wanted him
to play at Woodson, which is close to where another aunt resides. But
Adams was not allowed to enroll at Woodson because he had no proof of
residency. Stayed tuned for where Adams winds up playing next fall.
COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston
College, Charlotte, Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia,
Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Marshall, Michigan
State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple,
Tennessee, Texas Tech, Towson, Wake Forest, West Virginia.
THE ECU ANGLE: Like the
situation with which high school he'll be playing for next fall, Adams'
recruitment has been all over the place with the Pirates playing a
leading role. He initially made a verbal commitment to ECU in April 2014
to become the first pledge for the Class of 2016. But as his scholarship
offers began piling up, Adams decided to back off the commitment to ECU
last November. He's taken unofficial visits to numerous schools this
spring, including Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland.
Adams' prep coach says he still has an interest in the Pirates, but that
may or may not be dwindling. We'll call him a MEDIUM INTEREST prospect
for ECU at this stage.
JORDON BROWN (5-11, 179)
Southern HS, Durham, NC
NOTABLE: This all-purpose
back impressed college recruiters as a sophomore when he rushed just 89
times for 753 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, while also making 23
catches for 415 yards and three scores. Brown built on that success by
running 128 times for 919 yards and 16 touchdowns along with 34
receptions for 523 yards and eight scores last season as Southern
produced an unbeaten regular-season record and won the Big Eight 3-A
Conference title. He played in an offense that featured Wake Forest
signee and ECU recruit Kendall Hinton at quarterback. Brown, who has
4.46-second speed in the 40-yard dash, is rated by Rivals.com as the No.
4 all-purpose back in the nation.
COLLEGE OFFERS: Appalachian
State, Boston College, Duke, East Carolina, N.C. State, North Carolina,
Wake Forest, West Virginia.
THE ECU ANGLE: Brown made it
to a Junior Day in Greenville in March and returned for an unofficial
visit in September when the Pirates played North Carolina. He's stated
Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina and Wake Forest as his favorites at the
moment, and has attended Junior Days this spring at Duke, UNC and
Virginia Tech. At this point, I'd list him as LOW INTEREST when it comes
to his interest in ECU, but the Pirates are definitely not out of the
TRE HARBISON (5-11, 210)
Crest HS, Shelby, NC
NOTABLE: Harbison is a
slashing runner, who has the power to gain yards between the tackles and
the speed 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash to go the distance. He's
been a varsity player at state power Crest since his freshman season,
but became a full-time starter as a sophomore when he dashed for 1,554
yards and 22 touchdowns on 202 carries. Harbison produced 1,843 yards
rushing and 36 scores on 262 attempts as a junior, while also
contributing 12 catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
COLLEGE OFFERS: Boston
College, East Carolina, N.C. State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh,
Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia.
THE ECU ANGLE: South
Carolina, Virginia and Vanderbilt have all received unofficial visits
from Harbison since January, and he's stated publicly his interest in
those programs. ECU hasn't been in the conversation so far, which makes
Harbison a LOW INTEREST prospect at that point. But as one of a large
number of quality backs in North Carolina this season, Harbison's
options and interests are likely to fluctuate over the next several
months. In other words, the Pirates look down, but are far from out with
ELIJAH MACK (5-11, 215)
Charlotte HS, Punta Gorda, FL
NOTABLE: Mack is one of those
guys who seems to relish contact and prefers plowing through defenders
rather than around them. He originally played at Imagine High School
where as a sophomore he was leading the area in rushing with 851 yards
and 10 touchdowns on 120 carries. But when his head coach was dismissed,
Mack headed out the door with him and landed at Charlotte where he
produced 1,120 yards and 16 touchdowns on 183 attempts last season as a
junior. Mack has two older brothers who have played college football.
COLLEGE OFFERS: Arizona,
Central Florida, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Florida
International, Indiana, South Florida.
THE ECU ANGLE: The Pirates
are among the schools who seem to be pursuing Mack the hardest. He
listed ECU among his favorites in early March along with Arizona,
Central Florida, Indiana and Florida (which hasn't offered). Definitely
a HIGH INTEREST recruit for the Pirates.
DEON MCINTOSH (5-10, 175)
Cardinal Gibbons HS, Fort Lauderdale, FL
NOTABLE: A shifty, elusive
runner with great burst and stellar hands, McIntosh could conceivably
wind up playing receiver at the next level. He used his all-around
skills to produce 1,017 yards rushing and nine touchdowns as a
sophomore, then 834 yards and 12 scores as a junior. McIntosh also added
41 catches for 386 yards and two touchdowns receiving as a junior. Older
brother Richard McIntosh will be a freshman defensive end at Miami next
COLLEGE OFFERS: Cincinnati,
Duke, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Notre
Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Tennessee, West Virginia,
THE ECU ANGLE: With his
brother already signed, sealed and delivered to Miami, the Hurricanes
hold an early upper hand with McIntosh. He listed a top five of Alabama,
Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Michigan State and Miami in March. List
McIntosh as a LOW INTEREST prospect for ECU.
CONNELL YOUNG (6-1, 192)
Dudley HS, Greensboro, NC
NOTABLE: Young was one of two
1,000-yard rushers in the Dudley program last season. He ranked second
on the team with 1,051 yards rushing on 133 carries and tallied 11
touchdowns. Young also made five catches for 76 yards and a score to
earn honorable mention all-area honors from the Greensboro News &
COLLEGE OFFERS: East Carolina
THE ECU ANGLE: The Pirates
extended the first, and so far only scholarship offer to Young in
December. He had already visited the ECU campus for the UNC game last
September and is planning to stop by at some point during spring
practice for a closer look. The Pirates are at the top of his list of
favorites along with Duke and West Virginia. Young is a HIGH INTEREST
guy for ECU.
Next up, well take a look at the
prospects the Pirates are pursuing at the always critical wide receiver
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06/09/2015 01:28 AM