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2008 East Carolina Pirates
East Carolina TE Drew Davon
East Carolina TE Drew Davon
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 17, 2009


2008 East Carolina Pirates Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 East Carolina Pirates

Jan. 2
2009 Liberty Bowl
Kentucky 25 … East Carolina 19

In a strange game with three missed extra points, a few critical replay calls on fumbles, and streaky offensive production, ECU took a 16-3 halftime lead helped by a 28-yard Brandon Simmons touchdown run and a 80-yard Darryl Freeney scoring play. And then UK took over right away out of the locker room with David Jones taking the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Kyrus Lanxter scoring from 13 yards out to tie it. With the score tied at 19, after the two teams traded field goals, Ventrell Jenkins picked up a fumble with just over three minutes to play and took it 56 yards for a touchdown, complete with a devastating stiff arm on ECU QB Patrick Pinkney. Review looked at the play, as it looked like Jenkins’ knee was down, but the play was upheld. The extra point was blocked, meaning ECU needed a touchdown and an extra point to win, but the last drive failed to gain a yard.
Player of the Game: Kentucky DT Myron Pryor made seven tackles, a sack, and forced the fumble that led to the game-winning score.
Stat Leaders: East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 18-36, 296 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Brandon Simmons, 10-44, 1 TD. Receiving: Davon Drew, 5-120
Kentucky - Passing: Mike Hartline, 19-31, 204 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Tony Dixon, 28-89. Receiving: Kyrus Lanxter, 5-46, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ... 5 Thoughts on the Liberty Bowl …Total yards: ECU 397 – UK 310 … Third down conversions: UK 7-of-17 – ECU 3-of-15 … PATs: UK 1-of-3 – ECU 1-of-2 … ECU LB Nick Johnson led the defenders with 13 tackles … ECU’s Linval Joseph made seven tackles with three tackles for loss and a sack … UK had eight tackles for loss and three sacks, with LB Braxton Kelley making eight tackles, a sack, and 2.5 tackles for loss … ECU’s Darryl Freeney caught five passes for 112 yards and a score.

- 2008 ECU Preview
- 2007 ECU Season

2008 Preview
CFN Prediction:
6-6
2008 Record: 9-
5

Aug. 30 Virginia Tech W 27-22
Sept. 6 West Virginia W 24-3
Sept. 13 at Tulane W 28-24
Sept. 20 at NC State L 30-24 OT
Sept. 27 Houston L 41-24
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 at Virginia L 35-20
Oct. 18 Memphis W 30-10
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 2 at UCF W 13-10 OT
Nov. 8 Marshall W 19-16 OT
Nov. 15 at Southern Miss L 21-3
Nov. 22 at UAB W 17-13
Nov. 29 UTEP W 53-21
C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP
Tulsa W 27-24
Liberty Bowl
Jan. 2 Kentucky L 25-17

2007 Preview
CFN Prediction:
6-6
2007 Record:
8-5

Sept. 1 at Virginia Tech L 17-7
Sept. 8 North Carolina W 34-21
Sept. 15
Southern Miss L 28-21
Sept. 22 at West Virginia L 48-7
Sept. 29
at Houston W 37-35
Oct. 6 UCF W 52-38
Oct. 13 at UTEP W 45-42 OT
Oct. 20 NC State L 34-20
Oct. 27
UAB W 41-6
Nov. 3 at Memphis W 56-40
Nov. 10 at Marshall L 26-7
Nov. 24
Tulane W 35-12
Hawaii Bowl
Dec. 23 Boise State W 41-38

Dec. 6
2008 Conference USA Championship
East Carolina 27 … Tulsa 24

East Carolina forced seven turnovers with Van Eskridge snuffing out Tulsa’s final drive with a pick to end a miserable day for David Johnson. The Golden Hurricane quarterback threw five interceptions, with one on the first play of the day and one on his last throw, and East Carolina took advantage. Travis Simmons took one errant pass 72 yards for a touchdown to help ECU take a 14-0 lead, but Tulsa came back with two one-yard touchdown runs from Tarrion Adams and a 37-yard Jarod Tracy field goal for a three-point lead. Norman Whitley tore off a 69-yard touchdown run and Ben Hartman hit two field goals as the Pirates took the lead for good, breaking a 24-24 tie, with a 12-play, 53-yard drive capped off with a 36-yarder with under two minutes to play.
Player of the game:
East Carolina DB Van Eskridge made nine tackles and two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Tulsa - Passing: David Johnson, 23-42, 195 yds, 1 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Tarrion Adams, 28-120, 2 TD. Receiving: Slick Shelley, 6-48
East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 10-24, 122 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 14-104, 1 TD. Receiving: Davon Drew, 3-28

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It might not have been pretty, and QB Patrick Pinkney might have had a rough offensive day, but East Carolina pulled off the Conference USA title with a tremendous defensive performance and a takeaway after takeaway after takeaway. The Pirate offensive line got physical when it had to in the fourth quarter, while the defensive front did a nice job of generating consistent pressure to force David Johnson’s mistakes. Off to the Liberty Bowl, this has been a special season for the program, and now a bowl win is a must or else all the positives at the beginning of the year, and this win over Tulsa, will be diminished.

Nov. 22
East Carolina 17 … UAB 13
Helped by a face mask penalty to keep the final scoring drive alive, East Carolina clinched the East title with a two-yard touchdown run from Brandon Simmons with 2:20 to play. ECU turned the ball over five times, but UAB was only able to generate a three-yard Joe Webb touchdown run and two Swayze Waters field goals. The Pirates got a 10-yard Davon Drew touchdown catch in the first quarter, but saw drive after drive stall until late.
Player of the game: East Carolina completed 19-of-25 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions
Stat Leaders: UAB - Passing: Joe Webb, 11-25, 116 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Joe Webb, 15-75, 1 TD. Receiving: Mark Ferrell, 3-39
East Carolina - Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 19-25, 222 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: J.R. Rogers, 10-54. Receiving: Davon Drew, 7-95, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... ECU might have clinched the East title with the win over UAB, but it wasn’t pretty by any stretch. The running game was non-existent, there were five turnovers, and the pass protection was nearly non-existent at times. Even so, the team got through the bad game and came up with the win it needed, and now the pressure is off. Going into the title game, it would be nice if there was a blowout win over UTEP to close out the regular season. The offense just needs to know it can be explosive again.

Nov. 15
Southern Miss 21 … East Carolina 3
Justin Wilson picked off two passes including one to snuff out a late drive, and DeAndre Brown scored on a 97-yard pass play as USM kept East Carolina from clinching the East. The Pirates scored first on a second quarter 32-yard Ben Hartman field goal, but that was it as the offense came up with just 255 yards of total offense including 66 on the ground. USM came up with a decent pass rush throughout and got a big day on the ground from Damion Fletcher, who ran for a four-yard score.
Player of the game: Southern Miss RB Damion Fletcher ran 23 times for 121 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: East Carolina - Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 20-34, 189 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 14-71. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 6-28
Southern Miss - Passing: Austin Davis, 18-30, 239 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Damion Fletcher, 23-121, 1 TD. Receiving: DeAndre Brown, 8-124, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... East Carolina still has the East title there for the taking even after the clunker against Southern Miss, but the offense needs to find something it can count on. Beating UAB shouldn’t be a problem and getting past UTEP won’t be too hard, but the Pirates need to start executing better and they have to start getting more from all phases of the O. The passing game didn’t get anything going deep while the offensive line had a tough time with the USM defensive front that has been mediocre all season long. The eight penalties didn’t help.


Nov. 8

East Carolina 19 … Marshall 16 OT
Ben Hartman missed a 43-yard field goal with three seconds to play, but he made up for it by nailing a 27-yarder in overtime to give East Carolina the win. Tyler Warner missed a 42-yarder for Marshall in OT. Hartman had also connected on field goals from 31, 51 and 21 yards away, while Patrick Pinkney connected with Davon Drew for a five-yard touchdown pass late in the first half. Marshall got two Cody Slate touchdown catches from seven and 34 yards out, but the extra point was botched on the first one and it would later prove costly.
Player of the game: East Carolina QB Patrick Pinkney completed 26-of-37 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown and ran for 13 yards.
Stat Leaders: Marshall - Passing: Mark Cann, 13-29, 137 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Darius Marshall, 20-123. Receiving: Cody Slate, 5-62, 2 TD
East Carolina - Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 26-37, 287 yds,
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 23-68. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 5-39
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... East Carolina might be skating by in overtimes lately, but the team is coming up with wins even though things aren’t going smoothly. The offense isn’t getting into the end zone with way too many drives ending up with three points instead of seven, and that’s allowing mediocre teams like Marshall and UCF to stay around. On the plus side, Patrick Pinkney woke up with one of his better games in weeks. He was decisive throwing the ball and kept things moving, even if he had a hard time getting the O in the end zone. Next up are road trios to Southern Miss and UAB.

Nov. 1
East Carolina 13 … UCF 10 OT
East Carolina PK Ben Hartman hit a 39-yard field goal in overtime after Emanuel Davis picked off Michael Greco on UCF’s overtime chance. Each team had chances late after key turnovers, but neither could convert. UCF took a 10-0 lead midway through the third quarter helped by a 54-yard score from Jamar Newsome, who took a short pass the distance, but ECU scores 13 unanswered points. Hartman hit a 27-yard field goal in the third and Norman Whitley ran for a two-yard touchdown with under two minutes to play.
Player of the game: East Carolina RB Norman Whitley ran 28 times for 135 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Michael Greco, 9-21, 142 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Michael Greco, 17-53. Receiving: Kamar Aiken, 4-29
East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 6-14, 84 yds
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 28-135, 1 TD. Receiving: Davon Drew, 6-86
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... This is a far cry from the East Carolina team that was so good to start the season, but even though the offense didn’t go anywhere, and the passing game continues to be abysmal, the team is still atop the East standings and in the driver’s seat to play for the Conference USA title. The defense is playing extremely well, the UCF offense didn’t get a chance to breathe, but to keep up down the road, Pat Pinkney, Rob Kass and the passing game have to be far better.
 

Oct. 18
East Carolina 30 … Memphis 10
Both starting quarterbacks were out early with Rob Kass replacing an ineffective Patrick Pinkney to hit Brandon Simmons for a 42-yard touchdown and Dwayne Harris for a 28-yard score. Memphis, who lost QB Arkelon Hall to a broken thumb early on, took a 10-7 lead into halftime on a 20-yard Vinny Zaccario field goal, but ECU went on a 23-0 run in the second half. ECU outgained Memphis 381 yards to 184.
Player of the game: East Carolina QB Rob Kass came off the bench and completed 9-of-17 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Memphis - Passing: Brett Toney, 11-15, 65 yds
Rushing: Curtis Steele, 14-43, 1 TD. Receiving: Earnest Williams, 4-31
East Carolina - Passing: Rob Kass, 9-17, 167 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Jon Williams, 15-108, 1 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 6-86, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Memphis offense quickly went into the tank against East Carolina after losing starting quarterback Arkelon Hall, and the defense couldn’t pick up the slack in the second half. Brett Toney wasn’t asked to throw the ball deep, and he didn’t, and while he completed 11-of-15 passes, he didn’t get the offense moving.  LB Greg Jackson had a nice day making 11 stops and 2.5 tackles for loss, but the line struggled to get into the backfield.
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Patrick Pinkney had been struggling for a while and was overdue to get a break. Starting out 3-for-7 against Memphis made that happen, and while Rob Kass didn’t make the earth move, he was effective at leading the way to the win. Getting a 68-yard touchdown run from Jon Williams helped. The defense did its part against the punchless Tigers, especially in the second half. The team is struggling a bit overall with its consistency, but as long as it’s winning, everything is fine.

Oct. 11
Virginia 35 … East Carolina 20
Virginia overcame two early interceptions and a 6-0 deficit to score 28 straight points on Cedric Peerman touchdown runs from 79 and 60 yards, a five-yard Mikell Simpson scoring run, and a 30-yard Kevin Ogletree touchdown catch. East Carolina managed to come back in the second half to pull within eight, but John Phillips caught a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Virginia came up with six sacks to East Carolina’s one..
Player of the game: Virginia RB Cedric Peerman ran 16 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, and he led the team with eight catches for 26 yards
Stat Leaders: East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 12-28, 196 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jon Williams, 19-95, 1 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 6-128
Virginia - Passing: Marc Verica, 25-32, 216 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Cedric Peerman, 16-173, 2 TD. Receiving: Cedric Peerman, 8-26
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... This is hardly the same team that started out the season playing so well on defense. The line is struggling to make plays in the backfield, while the offense isn’t getting much out of the running game. Against Virginia, the Pirates struggled to keep things moving mainly because Patrick Pinkney was under pressure all game long. Against Memphis next week, job one will be pass protection.

Sept. 27
Houston 41 … East Carolina 24
Houston busted open a close game with an 84-yard touchdown catch from Kierrie Johnson in the fourth quarter, and two minutes later, got a five-yard Bryce Bell touchdown run after a turnover. The Cougars cranked out 621 yards of total offense while the defense stuffed the ECU attack, holding it to just 275 yards. The Pirates got an 11-yard interception return for a touchdown from Emanuel Davis and a four-yard Brandon Simmons touchdown run, but Houston never trailed. ECU converted just one of 13 third down chances and the two teams combined for seven turnovers.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum finished 36-of-44 for 399 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, running nine times for 23 yards.
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 36-44, 399 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing:
Bryce Beall, 22-132, 2 TDs. Receiving: Patrick Edwards, 11-146, 1 TD
East Carolina
- Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 10-20, 100 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Brandon Simmons, 19-86, 1 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 5-52

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... How could ECU not be emotionally fired up for a huge Conference USA battle? Houston has the potential to win the title, yet the Pirates were sluggish, struggled to keep the chains moving, and didn’t look like it was anywhere near the same team that was so good to start the season. All is not lost, there’s an off-week before facing a bad Virginia, but to get back on track, Patrick Pinkney has to be as efficient as he was over the first three games and the defensive pressure has to be turned back up a few notches. Houston was able to roll for 621 yards. The Cougar offense is good, but ECU should’ve been far, far better.

Sept. 20
NC State 30 ... East Carolina 24 OT
In a wild finish, NC State got a five-yard touchdown catch from George Bryan, which was originally ruled incomplete, and then reversed after a lengthy review. In overtime, State's Shane McKeen forced a Patrick Pinkney fumble, and the Wolfpack offense took advantage almost immediately with a 10-yard Andre Brown scoring run to win the game. Brown caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson, who threw three touchdown passes on the day. East Carolina traded scores, but never led, getting a 39-yard scoring play off a short catch from Jarvis Williams in the third and a 42-yard Norman Whitely touchdown dash in the third from the offense, and started out the scoring with a 23-yard Van Eskridge interception return for a score in the first.
Player of the game: NC State QB Russell Wilson completed 21-of-31 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns, while running 12 times for 26 yards.
Stat Leaders: East Carolina  
- Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 19-32, 210 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 9-83. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 10-88
NC State
- Passing: Russell Wilson, 21-31, 210 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: Andre Brown, 12-73, 1 TD. Receiving: Jamelle Eugene, 7-50

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Much will be made of Skip Holtz and why he shouldn't have gone for it on fourth and goal from the one in the fourth quarter when up by four against NC State, but it was a statement call that backfired ... it was also a good call. Had ECU powered it in, it likely would've meant game over, and despite missing, the Wolfpack went 3-and-out and ECU got the ball back in good field position which then led to a field goal. Basically, ECU delayed the field goal by about seven minutes and weren't hurt by the mistake. The real problem was the ineffectiveness on third downs, converting just four-of-12 chances.

Sept. 13
East Carolina 28 … Tulane 24
Jamar Bryant gave East Carolina the lead with a 24-yard touchdown catch with 1:41 to play, but it took a Pierre Bell interception in the final minute to seal the win. The two teams traded scores all day long, with Tulane getting the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter after a one-yard Andre Allison touchdown run and a 28-yard Ross Thevenot field goal. ECU started off the scoring with a blocked field goal for a touchdown from linebacker Quentin Cotton, and got a 51-yard touchdown catch from Norman Whitley and a three-yard Brandon Simmons scoring run as part of a wild third quarter. Tulane got two short Anderson scoring dashes and a 4-yard Jeremy Williams touchdown catch, but couldn’t rally in the end.   
Player of the game:
East Carolina LB Quentin Cotton had a couple of tackles, a sack, an interception, and a 44-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: East Carolina
- Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 22-32, 260 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: Brandon Simmons, 9-27, 1 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 6-72
Tulane
- Passing: Kevin Moore, 21-37, 236 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Andre Anderson, 33-82, 2 TDs. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 8-138, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Was East Carolina looking past Tulane or was this game more indicative of the real Pirates team? ECU only converted 3-of-10 on third down, couldn’t run the ball worth a lick, running for 1.9 yards per carry, and turned it over four times. A win is a win, but the big, crippling loss was on defense with star LB Quentin Cotton getting knocked out with a knee injury. This is a very good ECU team, but to really be top 15, it’s going to have to turn it up a few notches offensively again.

Sept. 6
East Carolina 24 ... West Virginia 3
East Carolina thoroughly dominated West Virginia holding the Mountaineers to 179 rushing yards and just three points. The Pirates held on to the ball for 35:41 and was never threatened after a five-yard Jon Williams touchdown run in the first and a 42-yard Ben Ryan field goal in the second. The Mountaineers managed a 26-yard Pat McAfee field goal late in the first half, but the Pirate defense took over and the offense came through with a 13-yard Alex Taylor touchdown catch and a one-yard Jon Williams run.
Player of the game: East Carolina QB Patrick Pinkney completed 22-of-28 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: West Virginia -
Passing: Pat White, 11-18, 72 yds
Rushing: Pat White, 20-97. Receiving: Jock Sanders, 3-20
East Carolina - Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 22-28, 236 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jon Williams 17-69, 2 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 8-68

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... If last week's win over Virginia Tech got everyone excited about East Carolina football then this week's stomping of West Virginia will get the BCS buster talk really rolling. The defense has been terrific over the first two weeks, while the passing game, thanks to the ultra-efficient Patrick Pinkney, has been nearly perfect. ECU was physical, energetic, and tough. There were nine penalties for 60 yards, but that was it. Everything else worked for the Pirates who should now be favored in every game for the rest of the regular season.

Aug. 30
East Carolina 27 ... Virginia Tech 22
East Carolina pulled off the stunner on the special teams as T.J. Lee took a blocked punt 27 yards for a touchdown with under two minutes to play. Virginia Tech appeared to have the game in hand with the momentum going its way after Stephan Virgil returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion late in the third quarter for a 16-13, Hokie lead, and Darren Evans ran for a three-yard score for a 22-13 advantage held late into the fourth. But ECU went on a nine play, 73-yard march finishing with a three-yard Patrick Pinkney touchdown run, the defense held, and then the Pirate special teams came through. Tech had a 14-0 lead late into first half on a Virgil 30-yard fumble return for a score and a six-yard Kenny Lewis touchdown run, but Sean Glennon threw a touchdown pass in Hokie territory leading to a one-yard Jon Williams touchdown run with 16 seconds to play in the half. ECU outgained ECU 369 yards to 243.
Player of the game: East Carolina QB Patrick Pinkney completed 19 of 23 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown, and ran 11 times for 24 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Virginia Tech -
Passing: Sean Glennon, 14-23, 139 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Kenny Lewis, 11-62, 1 TD. Receiving: Andre Smith, 3-32
East Carolina - Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 19-23, 211 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Brandon Simmons, 17-54. Receiving: Davon Drew, 5-65

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The upset of Virginia Tech in Charlotte was a program-defining win for Skip Holtz and the Pirates, and the first time ever a Conference USA team has won back-to-back games over ranked opponents. A hard-fought win over the defending ACC champs is just the type of game that can propel this veteran team to one of the league's favorites for the Conference USA title, and the season can take an even bigger turn if they can beat West Virginia next week. LB Pierre Bell and the rest of the defense were the stories, picking off a couple of passes and holding the Hokies to only 12 first downs and 243 total yards.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

T.J. Harper OG 6-2 315 Jr. Meridian, Miss./Pearl River CC
A two-year starter for coach Tim Hatten at Pearl River Community College, which is located in Poplarville, Miss. ... Helped lead Wildcats to an overall mark of 6-3 and a 3-3 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) record in 2007 ... Earned All-Region 23 honors as a sophomore ... Part of PRCC program that captured a state title in 2006 ... Wildcats earned No. 1 national ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association Preseason Poll in both 2006 and 2007 ... Reportedly turned in a bench press of 480 pounds and a squat lift of 600 during program testing ... Earned three-star rating by scout.com.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Allen Crowder DE 6-2 260 Fr. Mebane, N.C./Eastern Alamance
Selected as the Mid-State Conference's MVP as a senior at Eastern Alamance High School ... Played for coach John Kirby ... Credited with 102 tackles, eight sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior to play key role in squad's 9-3 record ... Named to all-conference, all-region and all-state squads in 2007 ... Helped lead Eagles to 9-4 and 11-4 ledgers as a sophomore and junior, earning all-conference and all-region accolades both seasons ... Has produced a 405-pound bench press and a 615-squat lift during program testing ... Listed among North Carolina's top 40 recruits by SuperPrep Magazine ... Was selected to represent North Carolina and participated in the 2007 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas All-Star Game ... Also recruited by South Carolina
.

Dalton Faulds OG 6-3 285 Fr. Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Nease
Easily topped all Nease linemen in pancake (4.1 per game average) and downfield blocks (7.3) as a senior ... Part of Panther program that captured three consecutive state titles ... Ranked by scout.com among the top five guards nationally in speed and agility tests (combine/40 time, shuttle and three-cone) ... Also listed as one of the country's top 100 offensive lineman by scout.com ... Prep coach was Craig Howard ... Played in same prep program as Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.


Rest of the Class
Dayon Arrington WR 6-2 205 Fr. Silver Spring, Md./Hargrave
C. J. Brown OL 6-4 315 Fr. Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover
Mike Brown TE 6-4 230 Fr. Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville
Josh Clark OL 6-4 265 Fr. Gastonia, N.C./North Gaston
Anthony Garner DL 6-1 290 Fr. Siler City, N.C./Jordan-Matthews
Grant Harner OL 6-6 300 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail
Jacobi Jenkins WR 6-0 175 Fr. Rocky Mount, N.C./Rocky Mount
Adrian Jones ATH 5-11 180 Fr. Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland
Robert Jones DL 6-3 260 Fr. Tucker, Ga./Tucker
Josh Jordan QB 6-4 210 Fr. St. Amant, La./St. Amant
Max Joyner LB 6-2 191 Fr. Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose
Logan Kudlinski OL 6-5 265 Fr. Orange Park, Fla./Orange Park
Rahkeem Morgan DB 6-0 180 Fr. Asheville, N.C./Asheville
Leonard Paulk DB 5-11 180 Fr. Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast
Justin Venable DB 6-1 185 Fr. Climax, N.C./Southeast Guilford
Joe Womack WR 6-1 195 Fr. Jacksonville, N.C./Northside

2007 Recap

Recap:
Even after surprising Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl, East Carolina couldn’t help but wonder what might have been had it not gagged in November.  Winners of five of six games at the time, and seemingly in cruise control in the East Division, the Pirates inexplicably lost to 1-8 Marshall, the death knell in their quest to remain ahead of UCF.  Still, it was a building block season for third-year coach Skip Holtz, who got a monster season from do-everything RB Chris Johnson.           

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Chris Johnson

Defensive Player of the Year: S Van Eskridge

Biggest Surprise: Johnson.  Hey, everyone knew Johnson was a blazer, but in three years in Greenville, he’d never put together a full season.  The same kid that hadn’t rushed for more than 684 yards in a season exploded for 1,423 yards on the ground and a nation’s-best 227 all-purpose yards per game.

Biggest Disappointment: The Nov. 10 loss to Marshall came out of nowhere, and was East Carolina’s ugliest performance of the season.  At the time, the Herd was skidding and the Pirates were soaring, but none of that mattered in a 26-7 defeat that would haunt ECU for the rest of the month.     

Looking Ahead: Although Johnson’s graduation leaves a gaping void on offense, the Pirates return enough letterwinners on both sides of the ball to be considered one of the early favorites to win the East in 2008.  More will be expected of QBs Rob Kass and Patrick Pinkney, who had their moments in 2007, but lacked consistency.

 

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