Stanley a quiet storm for the PiratesPublished 7:53pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013
GREENVILLE — Terrell Stanley is known around the East Carolina football team as a quiet guy, but after recording a sack in three straight games against quality competition, his play tends to speak for itself.
“He’s a very quiet guy. He doesn’t say a lot, but he leads by example,” ECU defensive coordinator Rick Smith said. “I have seen a difference in him over the last three weeks in practice. In practice he continuously runs to the ball. He’s just a good kid, who works really hard.”
The first-year starting sophomore defensive end is listed at 6-2, 266 pounds and looks every bit of it. After recording his first sack of the season against Florida Atlantic, Stanley tied his career-high in tackles against Virginia Tech with eight and added another sack.
During the Pirates 55-31 victory over North Carolina, the strong side DE kept his sack streak alive when he brought down Bryn Renner in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with three stops and one tackle for a loss.
As a redshirt freshman, Stanley played in all 13 of ECU’s games and started one, ending the year with 32 tackles, the most of any reserve linemen.
The Southport native built on his impressive debut with an extraordinary showing in the weight room this summer, which allowed him to leap over Jonathan White on the preseason depth chart to earn the starting nod.
“During the summer, you know, all those days they lifted and ran and conditioned I asked (strength and conditioning coach) Jeff Connors to grade them between four and one, with one being exceptional. He got a one,” Smith said. “He was not only named the outstanding defensive lineman, but he got the award for the entire defense.”
As a result, Stanley added 15 pounds to his gigantic frame going into this season and is tied for the team lead in sacks (3) and leads all linemen with 15 tackles.
“I was working real hard in the weight room with Coach C and put on a little bit of weight,” Stanley said. “… (The added strength) has me able to play the double team more and be more physical and not get knocked back. I can get more penetration in the backfield and cause more havoc.”
Despite his size and strength, Smith labeled Stanley as more of a “finesse” rusher because he can speed burst past opposing tackles.
Stanley, who does have the ability to bull rush, grew up idolizing NFL stars such as Mario Williams and Dwight Freeney and has done his best to emulate them.
“I try to beat (offensive linemen) off the edge, and once you do that a few times I try to counter back inside with a spin move or a club,” Stanley said. “You have to set them up. You can’t be predictable. After a speed rush you have to do a counter move.”
Together, Stanley, and fellow defensive end Lee Pegues have accounted for six of the Pirates 13 sacks, and Smith said it is imperative the team continues to get pressure from its down linemen.
“Defense is the ultimate team sport. The secondary has to do there part in pass coverage, but at the same time if you don’t have any pressure it doesn’t matter what you do coverage-wise,” Smith said.