Copper, Roach doing well for Pirates
RYAN ROCKWELL, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE -- Terrance Copper and Kevin Roach and the rest of the East Carolina football team have been involved in spring practice the past two weeks, hoping to get ready for a stellar season under new head coach John Thompson.
A couple of local high school stars, Copper, from Washington High School, and Roach, a former Williamston Tiger, have done well in the spring drills, said Thompson. Copper was third on the team in catches last year with 30 for 395 yards, and is looking to make big plays his senior season. Roach, red-shirted last year as a freshman, could potentially line up at wide receiver or tight end.
Spring practice ends on Saturday and will not resume until August. Thompson is pleased with how his two receiving threats from Eastern North Carolina are progressing.
Roach is learning things again for the first time in his first year of eligibility.
Roach is hoping to receive playing time, wherever they put him, he said.
Roach said he just wants to help the team win.
Thompson is expecting big things and big plays from one of his most experienced offensive players.
As expected, Thompson's focus is to revamp a young and unproven defense. The Pirates defense was last in nearly every category a year ago.
Last year, Thompson coached the Florida Gator's nationally-ranked defense and has successfully coached defenses at Arkansas, Southern Miss, Memphis, LSU and Alabama.
Thompson, who is replacing 11-year head man Steve Logan, said he is enjoying his new leadership position and pointed out a few of the stars in Wednesday's practice.
Copper is accepting of his new role as elder-statesman of the young Pirates, as well as adjusting to the new coaching staff.
The team has only two more days of spring ball, but Thompson likes what he sees so far.