Holtz believes he’s nabbed his best recruiting class

Published 1:51 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — East Carolina Head Football Coach Skip Holtz announced Wednesday that the Pirates will add 20 new faces to the football program this fall, as ECU inked 19 players to National Letters of Intent and had one player accept a preferred walk-on position on National Signing Day.
While college football recruiting experts and wire services across the country scowled at East Carolina’s 2009 recruiting class — rivals.com even went as far as to call it one of the five most disappointing recruiting classes in the nation — Holtz had a much different take.
The Pirates’ coach, who will enter his fifth season at the helm of ECU, believes that he’s got one of the better groups in program history.
The Pirates inked 13 players to the offensive side of the ball, including three tight ends who could make an immediate impact.
Justin Jones, a 6-foot 8-inch, 252-pound tight end out of Conyers, Ga., along with 6-foot 3-inch, 245-pound Zico Pasut (Charlotte) and junior college transfer Korey Reynolds (a 6-foot 2-inch, 240-pounder from Hoover, Ala.) will all look to make an immediate impact as the Pirates look to replace Drew and J.R. Kraemer.
At the quarterback slot, Holtz is high on Rio Johnson, a 6-foot 2-inch gunslinger from Atlanta.
At wide receiver, East Carolina signed Reese Wiggins and Torrance Hunt, both out of Durham, along with New Bern’s Mike Price.
The Pirates also signed three talented running backs: Michael Dobson, who led Mount Airy to the NCHSAA Class 1A title, junior college transfer Giavanni Ruffin and Laurinburg’s DaMonte Terry. They also signed offensive lineman Jordan Davis (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) and Will Simmons (Hertford County).
On the defensive side of the ball, ECU addressed both the linebacker and defensive line.
Ty Holmes (6-foot 1-inch, 213 pounds) out of Lexington, Lamar McLendon (6-foot, 200-pounds) from Fayetteville, Marke Powell (6-foot 3-inch, 198 pounds) from Troy and Kyle Tudor (6-foot 3-inch, 195 pounds) from Augusta, Ga. will join the Pirates as linebackers.
Along the defensive line, Greenville native Jimmy Booth (a 6-foot 2-inch, 288-pounder from J.H. Rose) and Michael Brooks (a 6-foot 3-inch, 280-pounder from Roxboro) will both play along the interior, while Raleigh native Matt Milner will join the Pirates as a defensive end.
The Pirates also added kicker Matt Millisor of Greensboro as a preferred walk-on.
While Holtz is high on this class, don’t expect to hear a lot from this group next season. Holtz is hoping to redshirt as many freshman as possible.