Wilson named to Hendricks Award Watch List|ECU announces Hall of Fame Class

Published 11:16 am Friday, August 7, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
CHICAGO, Ill. — Senior defensive end C.J. Wilson is one of 30 preseason candidates named for the 2009 Ted Hendricks Defensive End-of-the-Year Award, the committee announced Thursday.
Wilson, who was selected as the 2009 Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player-of-the-Year, is the lone representative from the league on the initial watch list which is given to the nation’s top defensive end. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9.
In 2008, Wilson helped the Pirates to back-to-back wins over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia to begin the season as well as the school’s first-ever Conference USA Championship. He led all ECU linemen with 70 tackles, tied for the conference lead in tackles for loss with 18.5 and was second in the league in sacks with 10.5. He added five quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and a forced fumble. A first-team All-C-USA selection, Wilson recorded at least one sack in nine contests and produced five or more tackles in eight games.
Now in its eighth season, the Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. As a defensive end at the University of Miami, Ted used his agility, height and reach to block passes and kicks, force interceptions and pressure quarterbacks and running backs. He roamed the front line, read plays and blitzed on impulse, completely transforming the way the defensive end position was played. 
His professional career spanned 15 years and 215 consecutive games. It included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. 
It is in the spirit of Ted Hendricks’ aggressive style of play, winning attitude and determination that the Defensive End of the Year Award for college football’s premier defensive end is presented.
On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award’s winner. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included in the Award’s voting committee. 
Candidates may represent any class (Freshman through Senior) as well as any four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate’s primary position must be Defensive End. 
Previous recipients of the Hendricks Award include: Terrell Suggs (Arizona State), David Pollack (Georgia), Elvis Dumervil (Louisville), LaMarr Woodley (Michigan), Chris Long (Virginia) and Brian Orakpo (Texas). 
Eskridge named to Thorpe Watch List
ECU Sports Information
IRVING, Texas – East Carolina senior safety Van Eskridge has been named a preliminary candidate for the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented to the top defensive back in college football each season. The Jim Thorpe Award is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. The preseason watch list was unveiled Thursday on ESPN’s College Football Live.
Eskridge is a two-year starting free safety that led all Pirate defenders with 59 solo tackles while playing in all 14 games in 2008. A first team All-Conference USA selection, he started the first 13 games of the season before an injury kept him out of the starting lineup against Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Eskridge tallied a total of 97 overall stops (third on unit) and was the team’s co-leader with four interceptions. He had a pair of fourth quarter interceptions at Tulsa in the Conference USA Championship Game, the last with 1:03 remaining to secure the Pirates’ 27-24 triumph. Eskridge earned an ESPN Game Day Final Helmet Sticker for his play against Golden Hurricane, which also included nine stops.
Eskridge is the fourth Pirate to be named to a 2009 preseason award watch list joining Matt Dodge (Ray Guy Award), Patrick Pinkney (Johnny Unitas Award) and C.J. Wilson (Ted Hendricks Award).
A screening committee will narrow the list of candidates to 10 or 12 semifinalists and candidates will be judged on performance, athletic ability and character.
Three finalists will be invited to attend the ESPN College Football Awards Show and the winner will be announced during the show. The formal presentation of the Jim Thorpe Award will take place in Oklahoma City in February.
ECU announces Hall of Fame class
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — Five new members will be inducted into the East Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame on the weekend of Sept. 25-26. The induction class includes former NAIA All-America swimmer Thomas Carroll, former baseball and basketball letterman Vince Colbert, former sprinter Danita Roseboro-Crumpler, former softball All-America Isonette Polonius and former football coach Sonny Randle.
The group will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony held inside the Murphy Center on Friday, Sept. 25 and then introduced to the public during halftime of the ECU-UCF football game on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Carroll was a member of the Pirates’ 1959 NAIA Championship team and earned All-America honors eight times. As a sophomore that season he was a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that recorded a first place finish at the national championship meet, while finishing third in the 200-yard IM. During his final two seasons he recorded four top five finishes at national championship meet and established three school records. He also helped the Pirates to a third-place finish at the 1958 national championships as a freshman.
In 1966, Colbert became the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship at ECC and became a two-sport star. He helped the baseball team win back-to-back Southern Conference titles in 1967 and ’68. As a pitcher in ’68, Colbert tossed nine complete games, which still ranks as third most in school history, before being drafted by the Cleveland Indians. As a basketball player, he averaged over 14 points and seven rebounds per game during his two-year career.
A three-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) individual champion, Roseboro-Crumpler set the foundation for the ECU women’s track team. She was a five-time All-East performer and was named ECU’s Most Valuable Athlete from 1991-93. In 1993, she became the first sprinter in CAA history to repeat as 200-meter champion. A year earlier she became just the second female athlete to win both the 100 and 200-meter dash at the conference championships. She still holds the ECU indoor record in the 55-meters and the outdoor record in the 100 and 200-meters.
Polonius is the first softball player to be elected to the ECU Athletics Hall Of Fame. A two-time All-America performer and Big South Conference Player-of-the-Year, she established career records for batting average, home runs and RBIs in only three seasons as a Pirate. She led ECU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1999 and was named GTE Academic All-American-of-the-Year. Before the start of the 1999 season, Polonius was the first overall selection in the Women’s Pro Softball League Draft.
Randle posted a 22-10 record during his three seasons as head football coach and guided the Pirates to back-to-back Southern Conference championships in 1972 and ’73. Under his tutelage, 17 players earned all-conference accolades, six players were named Honorable Mention All-America, four were drafted by the NFL and two received Southern Conference Player-of-the-Year honors. Randle coached five players that have been enshrined in the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Since it was established in 1974, the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame has inducted 127 members.