Football Recruiting Report
Monday, April 6, 2015

By Sammy Batten

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

Recruiting wars: Running Backs


By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.


(NOTE: This is the second 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 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 hunt yet.

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 Harbison.

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 fall.

 • COLLEGE OFFERS: Cincinnati, Duke, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

 • 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 & Record.

 • 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, we’ll take a look at the prospects the Pirates are pursuing at the always critical wide receiver positions.

E-mail Sammy Batten

Sammy Batten's Archives

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without specific written permission, and then only in accordance with the terms and restrictions of that permission. Contact for more information about permissions and restrictions on use and about syndication opportunities.

06/09/2015 01:28 AM