ECU football announces 2016 signees
Published 2:47 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2016
GREENVILLE — An emphasis on adding size, weight and personnel on both lines of scrimmage, replenishing a defensive backfield and the enhancement of relationships inside the state of North Carolina were first-year East Carolina Head Football Coach Scottie Montgomery’s top priorities as the Pirates announced their 22-member 2016 signing class Wednesday.
Despite having only a little more than a month to tackle his initial recruiting campaign, Montgomery and his new staff delivered by addressing balance and depth. Of the 22, 11 are projected to play on offense while 11 will also line up on the defensive side of the ball.
Offensively, the Pirates signed five linemen, two tight ends, two running backs, one wide receiver and one quarterback. On defense, ECU is looking forward to adding five secondary performers, three linemen and three linebackers to its roster to begin its third season in the American Athletic Conference.
While seven states were represented, half (11) of the signees hail from North Carolina prep programs – five from east of the I-95 corridor. Other states included are Georgia (3), South Carolina (3), Florida (2), California (1), Mississippi (1) and Texas (1).
“My respect for high school coaches, especially in the state of North Carolina, is reflected in this recruiting class.” Montgomery said. “We thought it was imperative to offer balance in this first group. Offensively, we signed to the needs of the unit with program-type players who we expect to develop and are here for the duration, while on defense, our objectives were addressed with the addition of strong defensive backs and front seven personnel.
”While we added talent, speed, toughness and athleticism, East Carolina also gained a class of outstanding young men who exemplify the character and academic qualities that are paramount in sustaining a level of success for our program. I’m thrilled with this group and ready to get started.”
In addition to the 20 student-athletes who officially signed their national letters-of-intent on Wednesday, Montgomery also formally welcomed defensive back Colby Gore and offensive lineman Cortez Herrin to the squad as early enrollees. Gore initially signed a NLI with East Carolina a year ago, but was not enrolled last fall.
Junior college transfer Jarred Dorton, an offensive lineman from Bakersfield, Calif., is the only upperclassman in the 2016 signing group. Twenty-one of the 22 signees last played competitively at the high school level.
Montgomery, who was named ECU’s new head coach on Dec. 13, inherits a program that posted a 5-7 overall mark and stood fifth in the AAC’s East Division at 3-5 in 2015.
East Carolina is expected to return five starters on offense and six on defense when spring drills open March 16. The Pirates will host Western Carolina on Sept. 3 to kick off the 2016 season.
Sean Bailey, OL, 6-6, 335, Fr., Cumming, Ga. (Lambert HS)
High School: A two-year first-team all-region and all-county performer at Lambert High School … Played a key role in the Longhorns’ offensive production that resulted in 3,613 total yards during the 2015 campaign, which included a season-high 527 during a 45-36 victory over Centennial HS … Led unit in total pancake blocks with 85 and graded out at 90 percent as a senior, garnering second-team all-state honors and designation as a Blue-Grey All-America selection … Top effort of note was a season-high 16 knock-downs to help LHS to a 41-26 win against Chattahoochee HS … Team captain of Louis Daniels’ program that advanced to the 2015 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Playoffs and finished with an 8-3 record in 2015 … Named Lambert Offensive MVP and was the recipient of the Longhorns’ Life Time Captain Award … Earned an invitation to compete in the ’15 Rising Seniors All-Star Game and attended the Rivals Series and MVP camps during the summer … Considered a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, ranking among the nation’s top 110 offense linemen … Also earned three-star designation by 247Sports.com … Quickly moved up program’s depth chart with full-time starting role as a sophomore … Picked up additional four letters as track athlete … Reportedly produced a bench press of 405 pounds and a squat lift of 555 pounds … Also recruited by Cincinnati and Purdue, while generating interest from Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech, Penn State, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Personal: Full name is Sean William Bailey … Born November 11, 1997 at Suffern, N.Y. … Son of Steve and Mary Bailey … Enjoys working out, fishing, camping and hiking.
Keyshawn Canady, DB, 6-0, 185, Fr., Wallace, N.C. (Wallace-Rose Hill HS)
High School: A three-year letterman and team captain for coach Joey Price at Wallace-Rose Hill … Played a key role leading the Bulldogs to consecutive state championships (2014, 2015) … A First-Team Wilmington Star-News All-Area and First-Team All-Four County selection as a junior and senior … Named to the North Carolina All-State squad by USA Today (second team) … A two-way standout who rushed for 2,798 yards on 216 carries, scored 56 touchdowns while also accumulating 113 total tackles and 16 interceptions during prep career … Earned invitation to the prestigious Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after senior campaign and helped North Carolina to a 54-39 victory over South Carolina … Selected as the recipient of the Shrine Bowl Spark Plug Award … Offensively, ran for 1,093 yards and 22 TDs on 108 attempts and stood second on team in all-purpose yards, while defensively, ranked among unit’s top five tacklers as a senior … Topped Bulldogs in both interceptions (five) and interception return yardage (147) in 2015 … Top offensive effort of note was a 204-yard, two touchdown rushing performance (on eight carries) during a 62-19 win over Trask HS … Other notable outing was against Laney HS in the season opener with 92 ground yards, one TD, blocked punt, 37-yard kickoff return and seven tackles … Selected by MaxPreps.com as Wallace-Rose Hill’s offensive player-of-the-game on four occasions, while garnering overall player-of-the-game accolades six times … Enjoyed productive junior campaign that was successfully capped with team offensive MVP honors in the 2014 state championship game … Produced 1,364 yards and 27 scores on 116 carries as a junior … On the other side of the ball, logged 72 tackles (two for lost yardage) and picked off four passes … Highlight of note during the 2014 season came against Pender County HS, turning five touches into three TDs and two interceptions … Picked up 341 ground yards and seven TDs on 26 attempts as a sophomore … Picked off seven passes and returned six for scores in 2013 … Ranked by Scout.com as the No. 3 cornerback in North Carolina (42nd nationally) … Considered a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com … Reportedly turned in a 39” vertical jump, a bench-press and clean-lift of 300 pounds and was clocked at 4.25 in the 40-yard dash (10.9 in the 100) at the combine … Also recruited by North Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia before officially committing to the Pirates on July 13, 2015 … Picked up four additional letters in track and one in basketball … Personal: Full name is Keyshawn Ahman Canady … Born December 12, 1997 at Wallace, N.C. … Son of Victor and Evelyn Canady … Cousin of ECU defensive back Chris Love and Stanford running back Bryce Love … Enjoys time with family and engaging in the community.
Tahj Deans, WR, 6-2, 185, Fr., Bailey, N.C. (Southern Nash HS)
High School: Completed high school career with 65 catches for 1,074 yards and nine touchdowns … Racked up over 500 all-purpose yards in 2015 … Had 24 receptions for 411 yards as a senior … Also starred defensively, collecting 61 total tackles (which stood third on the unit) … Topped Firebirds in interception return yards with 78 … Served as SNHS’s punter as well, averaging 33.7 yards per boot (640 yards on 19 punts) … Earned invitation to compete in the prestigious Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after senior campaign and was part of North Carolina’s 54-39 win over South Carolina … Led Southern Nash in receiving with 21 catches for 348 yards and three TDs as a junior … Eclipsed the 100-yard all-purpose yard milestone during the Firebirds’ 26-13 triumph against Fike HS … Defensively, stood second on team with 63 overall stops in 2014 to earn Rocky Mount Telegram All-Area honors … A three-star prospect according to ESPN.com … Also rated by ESPN.com among the top 60 recruits in North Carolina (and top 115 athletes nationally) … Picked up additional letters as a standout track and field performer at Southern Nash as well … Also recruited by Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern before officially committing to East Carolina on May 5, 2015. Personal: Son of Tavis Battle and Shavonnie Deans … Cousin is Julius Peppers, a former North Carolina All-America selection and National Football League All-Pro choice (currently on Green Bay Packers’ roster).
Jarred Dorton, OL, 6-6, 345, Jr., Bakersfield, Calif. (North HS/Bakersfield College)
Junior College: A First-Team All-California Region III selection by the California Community College Football Coaches Association as an offensive tackle in 2015 … Also earned First-Team All-Western State Conference honors by the Southern California Football Association after completing Bakersfield College career under the direction of coach Jeff Chudy … Helped Renegades to a pair of wins during the 2015 campaign, defeating Moorpark 31-15 and Pasadena 51-7 … In addition to East Carolina, was also recruited by Buffalo before officially committing to the Pirates on January 30 following an on-campus visit. High School: A two-time First-Team All-Southeast Yosemite League (SEYL) performer for the Stars and coach Chad Brown at Bakersfield’s North High School … Recipient of NHS’s Top Lineman Award … Also was a two-year Hometown Sports All-Star and a Bakersfield Jockey Club Award winner … Named North’s team MVP in 2012 … Earned selection to the 2014 U.S. Army All-Star Bowl following senior season. Personal: Son of Lisa English.
Jack Doyle, OL, 6-4, 260, Fr., Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage HS)
High School: A three-year letterman on the offensive line for Heritage High School … Earned selected to the USA Today North Carolina All-State squad (second team) … Helped lead Huskies to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4-AA Playoffs as a senior … Regarded as a key contributor for an offensive unit that generated 2,842 total yards and produced five 200-plus-yard passing outings … Performance was cited during HHS’s 52-7 victory over Jordan HS, a contest in which the Huskies generated over 400 yards and five touchdowns … Logged a single-game high 11 pancake blocks during senior campaign … Part of North Carolina’s 54-39 win over South Carolina in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … As a junior, earned First-Team All-Cap 4-A Conference honors … A three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com … Same recruiting website also listed him as one of the top 60 overall (all positions) prospects in the state of North Carolina and among the nation’s top 125 offensive linemen … Picked up additional varsity letters in basketball … Reportedly produced a dead-lift of 485 pounds … Officially committed to the East Carolina program on October 28, 2015. Personal: Son of Mike and Julie Doyle … Father currently serves as Heritage High School’s offensive line coach as well as the program’s strength & conditioning coordinator after previous coaching stops at Ellsworth Community College (head coach), Foothill College, San Francisco Community College, San Francisco State, Leicester Panthers (U.K., head coach) and Iowa State … Has three siblings … Older brother Ryan recently completed collegiate career as a three-year starter on Maryland’s offensive line.
Kendall Futrell, LB, 6-2, 215, Fr., Winterville, N.C. (South Central HS)
High School: A three-year starter and lettermen for coaches Tim Carter and Andy Tew at South Central High School … Credited with over 230 tackles, 40.0 TFLs, 25.0 sacks and eight forced fumbles during prep career … Selected as the 2015 Greenville Daily Reflector Defensive Player-of-the-Year after netting 101 total stops, 14.0 TFL and a county-high 12.0 sacks as a senior … Also a member of the Daily Reflector’s First-Team All-County squad … Earned additional accolades with inclusion on USA Today’s North Carolina All-State squad (second team) … Opened senior campaign as a linebacker for Falcons, but moved to defensive end midway through the season … Cited by MaxPreps.com as the Falcons’ defensive player-of-the-game on three occasions and as the overall player-of-the-game once … Helped lead South Central to a 7-5 record and North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) playoff appearance as a junior … Racked up 103 tackles, 24.0 TFL and 12.0 sacks in 2014 … Turned in notable effort against Southern Wayne HS during junior season with 15 stops (10 solo), 4.0 TFL, a sack and a safety during the Falcons’ 36-6 victory … Started prep career on the junior varsity as a freshman but was quickly promoted to starting role on varsity early during sophomore year … Labeled as a two-star prospect according to Scout.com … Earned additional letters in basketball … Officially committed to East Carolina on September 3, 2015 … Also received interest from (and recruited by) Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Purdue. Personal: Son of Calvin and Leah Futrell.
Johnnie Glaspie, RB, 5-11, 180, Fr., Rose Hill, N.C. (Wallace-Rose Hill HS)
High School: Capped an illustrious prep career by playing key role in Wallace-Rose Hill High School’s back-to-back North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class I-AA state championships …In all, earned three letters for coach Joey Price and served as team captain during senior year … Helped Bulldogs to a combined 30-2 record as a junior and senior … Selected as a two-time title game MVP after guiding Wallace-Rose Hill to a 34-21 victory over Starmount in 2014 and a 48-28 triumph over Mitchell in 2015 … A two-year Wilmington Star-News All-Area selection … Also garnered all-conference honors as a junior and senior … Collectively, rushed for 3,358 yards and 56 touchdowns on 373 carries during prep career … In addition, tallied 76 total touchdowns, scored 458 points and amassed 4,733 all-purpose yards … Was an all-state selection, the Four County Conference Player-of-the-Year and named Mr. Football in Duplin County following the 2015 campaign after leading the Bulldogs in rushing yards with 2,012 (27 TDs) on 232 carries … Also topped squad in all-purpose yards (2,514) and total offense yards (2,145), while ranking third in receiving yards with 133 (eight catches, two TDs) … Top performance came in the I-AA title game with 261-yard, five touchdown effort on 25 carries … Tallied TDs from 11, 4, 3, 59 and 76 yards out against Mitchell … Other outing of note was against Laney in the season opener with 170 ground yards and three scores that helped Wallace-Rose Hill to a 42-14 victory … Defensively, led Bulldogs with two forced fumbles … Stood second on unit in total return yards with 308, but was program’s leading scorer with 200 points … Logged 33 TDs during senior year – 27 rushing, two receiving, three on punt returns and one on an interception return … As a junior, ran for 1,040 yards and 23 touchdowns on 110 carries … Recorded 113 rushing yards, two ground scores and a 73-yard kickoff return for a TD against Starmount to collect the first of two championship game MVP trophies … A three-star recruit according to Scout.com, who also holds a rank as the No. 11 running back in North Carolina and is listed among the top 50 ball-carriers in the South (top 115 nationally) … Reportedly clocked at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash … Also recruited by North Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia before officially committing to the Pirates on July 20, 2015 … Earned three additional letters in basketball and two in track (relay team) … Was an all-conference selection on the hardwood as a guard. Personal: Full name is Johnnie James Glaspie … Nickname is J.J. … Born November 28, 1996 at Wallace, N.C. … Son of Johnnie Glaspie, Sr. and Nekeithia Kenan … A self-described gym rat who loves all sports.
Colby Gore, DB, 5-11, 170, Fr., Little River, S.C. (North Myrtle Beach HS)
Officially enrolled early at ECU in January of 2016 and will join the Pirates for spring drills … Re-signed (grant-in-aid) with head coach Scottie Montgomery’s program after initially inking a national letter-of-intent with East Carolina in February, 2015. High School: A two-way player, special teams stalwart and team captain for head coach Blair Hardin at North Myrtle Beach … Produced 1,499 all-purpose yards as a receiver on the offensive side of the ball and as a prolific punt and kickoff return specialists … Defensively, netted 79 tackles with four interceptions and six pass break-ups from his safety position as a senior … Totaled 48 stops, eight interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and two forced fumbles during junior season … Logged 350 yards on 25 catches as a wide-out in 2013 … Turned in a 98-yard kickoff return for a score and a 76-yard interception return for another touchdown during a contest against Wilson as a junior … Also added a punt return for a TD during the course of the season … Rated as the No. 24 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina and the No. 4 defensive back by Scout.com … Selected to play in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North vs South All-Star Bowl Game. Personal: Born May 6, 1997 at Myrtle Beach, S.C. … Full name is Colby Deion Gore … Son of Carlton and Rose Gore … Older brothers all earned honors as football lettermen at North Myrtle Beach High School … Brother P.J. Gore starred at Mars Hill and later signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons … Another brother, Stephon Gore, serves as an assistant football (defense) coach at Monroe (N.C.) High School … Has 11 uncles on father’s side of the family, including Milton Gore who helped Georgia Southern capture NCAA Division I-AA National Championships in 1985 and 1986 … Active in his church and member of the youth choir … In addition to singing, other hobbies include cooking, basketball, running, fishing and hunting.
Cortez Herrin, OL, 6-3, 330, Fr., Saluda, S.C. (Saluda HS)
Officially enrolled early at ECU in January of 2016 and will participate with the Pirates in spring drills, thus signed a grant-in-aid with the program instead of a letter-of-intent (per NCAA policy). High School: Earned three letters for coach Stewart Young at Saluda High School … Selected to the USA Today South Carolina All-State squad as a first-team offensive lineman … Invited to play in the 2015 South Carolina North-South All-Star Game and was elected team captain … Helped lead Tigers to a 10-3 overall record and a pair of playoff wins (30-27 over Keenan, 24-7 over Chesterfield) during senior campaign … Outing of note in 2015 was a 14-pancake block effort against McCormick HS that helped lead Saluda to a 54-12 victory … Played primarily the guard position on offense, while experiencing action as a defensive end on the other side of the ball … Rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, which also ranked him as South Carolina’s No. 26 overall prospect (and among top 90 offensive guards nationally) … Awarded three stars by 247Sports.com as well, in addition to a No. 17 state overall recruit ranking and a No. 41 standing among all offensive guards in the country … A two-star performer according to Scout.com … Officially committed to the Pirate program on May 20, 2015 … Also received interest from Clemson, North Carolina and South Carolina … Earned additional varsity letter as basketball player. Personal: Full name is Cortez Laquan Herrin … Brother, Cedric Herrin, participated in the South Carolina North-South All-Star game in 2013, also serving as a captain.
Reid Herring, QB, 6-3, 175, Fr., Raleigh, N.C. (Millbrook HS)
High School: A three-year letterman and team captain for coach Clarence Inscore at Millbrook High School … Completed career as the school’s all-time passing leader with 6,307 yards and 88 touchdowns … Was an all-conference selection at quarterback as a sophomore, junior and senior while leading the Wildcats to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) playoffs each season … MHS advanced to the third round twice, second round once … Earned team MVP honors as a senior after throwing for 2,058 yards and 19 TDs … Also added 263 rushing yards and six ground scores in 2015 … Passed for 2,100 yards and 17 scores during junior campaign to help guide the Wildcats to an 11-3 record … Outings of note were a 12-of-21, 228-yard, three-TD effort vs. Wakefield HS (38-12 victory) and a four-touchdown – three passing, one rushing – performance against Sanderson HS (38-7 win) … Also named Cap-8 Conference Punter-of-the-Year in 2014 in addition to selection as the program’s offensive player-of-the-year … Established team single-season records for passing yards (2,149) and passing TDs (25) during sophomore season to lead Millbrook to a 10-4 overall mark and a playoff berth … Chosen as the Wildcats’ co-offensive player-of-the-year in 2013 following record-breaking year … A three-star recruit according to ESPN.com, which also rated him as the 44th-best pocket passer in the country … Cited as the No. 5 signal-caller in North Carolina (and No. 36 in the South) by Scout.com … Recruited by Boston College and Miami (Fla.) before officially committing to East Carolina on April 18, 2015 … Also earned two baseball letters and was chosen to all-conference and all-metro teams as a pitcher, shortstop and third baseman … Was winning pitcher in opener of 4A state championship baseball series … Picked up one additional letter as a shooting guard in basketball … Excels in the classroom, earning academic all-conference honors and A/B honor roll inclusion all four years … Recipient of the Millbrook’s Outstanding Senior Award. Personal: Son of Scott and Susan Herring … Father played football at North Carolina, earning a letter under Mack Brown in 1988 … Lists hobbies as fishing and golf.
Hussein Howe, RB, 5-9, 175, Fr., Jacksonville, Fla. (University Christian HS)
High School: A four-year starter who was part of two Florida Class 2A state championships on both sides of the ball for coach David Penland III at University Christian High School … Helped the Christians to state titles as a freshman and senior (11-3 record) … Closed prep career with 5,026 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns … Played key role in UC’s 61-16 victory over Tampa Cambridge Christian in the 2015 championship game at the Florida Citrus Bowl, rushing for 191 yards on 22 carries … Eclipsed the 5,000-yard career milestone in the third quarter before breaking away for a 22-yard scoring run which marked his fifth TD of the contest – the second-highest scoring (30 points) total in state finals history – during the dominating triumph that was conducted with a running clock … Key contributor for an offensive unit that scored 711 points during the course of the 2015 campaign, an average of 50.8 per contest … Defensively, starred as a linebacker on a unit that surrendered only 159 points all season (11.4 ppg) … In the title game, was credited with a team-high nine tackles, including four for lost yardage, a sack, forced fumble and a recovered fumble … Guided the Christians to a district-clinching title in mid-October by racking up 148 rushing yards and catching an 87-pass in the first half against Cedar Creek Christian (before finishing with 175 ground yards on 14 attempts during an eventual 61-18 win) … Averaged 6.1 yards per carry as a sophomore (757 yards and 16 TDs on 125 carries) after significantly contributing to UC’s state championship in 2012 … Played as an eighth-grader before earning initial starting assignment as a freshman … Classified as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … Earned national ratings as a cornerback, standing No. 38 nationally at position according to 247Sports.com (46th by ESPN.com)… Ranked as the 55 overall prospect in the state of Florida by 247Sports.com … Offer list reportedly surpassed 20 schools according to scouting outlets, which included Louisville, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, Mississippi State and Wisconsin … Also lettered in track, establishing personal records (PRs) in the 100 meters (11.90), 200 meters (24.30) and long jump (19-11.75). Personal: Son of Hussein Sr. and Nia Howe.
Emmanuel Jones, DB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Asheboro, N.C. (Asheboro HS)
High School: A three-year all-conference, all-county and all-area performer on both sides of the ball for coach Owen George at Asheboro High School … Helped lead Blue Comets to a combined overall varsity record of 26-10 and a perfect 13-0 county ledger as a sophomore, junior and senior … In all, earned four football letters and served as team captain … Established an AHS career record for receptions (99), reception yardage (2,030) and touchdowns (27) … Picked off a unit-best seven passes on defense and hauled in 36 passes for 736 yards and 10 TDs for offense in 2015 … Scored a team-high 18 touchdowns (108 points) during senior campaign – 10 receiving, four on interception returns, two on punt returns and two rushing … Named the 2015 Mid-Piedmont Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year …Had 18 punt returns for 324 yards to surpass 1,000 in all-purpose yardage … Single-game performances of note were a six-catch, 106-yard outing against Randleman HS and a three-TD effort vs. Wheatmore HS – scoring on a 62-yard reception, a 76-yard punt return and a 78-yard interception return … Selected as MaxPreps.com’s overall player-of-the-game on six occasions, earning offensive and defensive accolades once each … Was also named Asheboro High School’s Football Player-of-the-Year by MaxPreps.com … Registered 40 catches for 693 yards and eight TDs as a junior … Accounted for 10 total scores in 2014 … Logged 23 receptions for 601 yards and nine TDs during sophomore season … Defensively, netted 11 tackles and recorded two interceptions in 2013 … Designated as a three-star recruit according to ESPN.com, which also ranked him among the top 55 overall prospects (all positions) in the state of North Carolina … Rated as the No. 5 receiver in the state by Scout.com … Reportedly clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash … Recruited by North Carolina State, Purdue and West Virginia before officially committing to the ECU program on July 25, 2015 … Picked up four additional letters as a basketball standout who has already eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone … A three-year all-conference and all-county selection on the hardwood … Also earned letter and all-conference kudos as a track athlete. Personal: Full name is Emmanuel Dikeshi Jones … Born August 1, 1997 at Asheboro, N.C. … Son of Claudia Barrett … Lists hobbies as basketball and working out.
Jalen Price, DL, 6-2, 290, Fr., Williamston, N.C. (Riverside HS)
High School: Earned three letters during prep career that included 144 total tackles, 107 credited as solo hits … A first-team selection to the North Carolina All-State squad by USA Today … Invited to the prestigious Shrine Bowl of the Carolina and tallied four stops along with a forced fumble to help North Carolina to a win over South Carolina … Topped Riverside in both tackles (94) and forced fumbles (two) as a senior team captain in 2015 during the Knights’ 9-4 campaign under coach Asim McGill … Outing of note was an 11-stop (one for lost yardage) performance against Southside HS … Produced 50 tackles (40 solo) and one TFL during junior year after compiling 30 stops as a sophomore … Part of a Knights program that went 9-5 and reached the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) state playoffs in 2013 … Opened prep career on junior varsity but was promoted to varsity status as a sophomore and became starting offensive tackle … Rated among the top 75 overall recruits in the state of North Carolina by 247Sports.com … Officially committed to the East Carolina program on June 20, 2015 … Also lettered in track as a thrower, turning in a third-place conference (and regional runner-up) standing in the shot put with an effort of 38-feet, 7.75 inches. Personal: Full name is Jalen Juwan Price … Born July 21, 1998 at Williamston, N.C. … Son of Walter and Shanell Price … Father played basketball at Williamston High School … Hobbies include video games, television and lifting weights.
Chance Purvis, LB, 6-4, 220, Fr., Meridian, Miss. (Lamar School)
High School: A key figure for a dominating defensive unit at Lamar High School that surrendered just 12.9 points per game in 2015 … Led the Raiders in five defensive categories and one special teams statistic … Credited with 107 stops, 27.0 tackles for lost yardage and 6.0 sacks in 2015 … Averaged nearly nine (8.9) tackles per contest for coach Mac Barnes … Also made four fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown … Logged three blocked punts … Helped Lamar record a pair of shutouts and two one-score games (defensively) as a senior … Part of a Raiders’ program that posted an 8-4 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) state playoffs in 2015 … Named MVP of the MAIS All-Star Game … Posted three sacks in a 35-0 victory over Northeast Lauderdale … Helped guide Lamar to the MAIS 3A Division II state championship as a sophomore … In all, earned three varsity letters … Rated among the top 110 outside linebackers nationally and as the No. 39 overall prospect in the state of Mississippi by 247Sports.com .. Generated interest from South Carolina, Baylor and Southern Miss. Personal: Full name is Pierceson Chance Purvis … Son of Ronnie and Natalie Purvis.
Raequan Purvis, DL, 6-2, 270, Fr., Plymouth, N.C. (Plymouth HS)
High School: Part of a Plymouth High School program that advanced to four-straight North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class I-A State Championship Games from 2012 to 2015 … Helped coach Robert Cody and the Vikings to the 2015 title by topping Robbinsville 28-20 (and avenging a 21-18 setback to the Black Knights in the championship contest a year earlier) … Vikings rolled to a combined mark of 43-5 during prep career as a varsity letterman, which included 293 total stops (155 solo) … Spearheaded a defense that held seven opponents to eight points or less in 2015 … Credited with 157 tackles (93 solo, 64 assists), 40.0 TFL, seven sacks, one fumble recovery (for a touchdown) and an interception that included a 30-yard return as a senior … Offensively, had 10 receptions for 208 and two TDs as a tight end … Racked up 65 yards on kickoff returns and blocked two kicks to highlight special teams play … Participated in the 2015 Shrine Bowl Combine … As a junior, logged 132 tackles (62 solo), one sack, recovered and forced a fumble on defense … Had 12 catches for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns on other side of the ball in 2014 … Experienced more action on offense as a sophomore with 13 receptions for 133 yards and a TD … Recorded one stop defensively in 2013 … Rated as a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com … Tabbed as the No. 40 overall recruit in the state of North Carolina by 247Sports.com … Officially committed to ECU on January 31, 2016 … Also drew interest from NC State. Personal: Son of William Jackson and Marta Simpson.
Aaron Ramseur, LB, 6-1, 215, Fr., Shelby, N.C. (Crest HS)
High School: An Associated Press First-Team All-State selection at linebacker for Crest High School in 2015 … Played pivotal role guiding the Chargers to back-to-back 16-0 campaigns that resulted in a pair of state titles … Amassed a total of 258 tackles, 11.0 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions during prep career … Tallied 160 total stops (55 solo, 105 assists), 10.0 TFL, 7.0 sacks and an interception to help CHS to the 2015 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class 3AA Championship … Credited with 58 tackles during the Chargers’ run through the state playoffs, which included a 20-stop outing vs. Weddington HS in third round action … Crest HS followed with a 44-6 win over Concord HS in the regional finals before topping Southern HS in the title contest on Dec. 12 … Playoff success allowed for selection as a MaxPreps.com/USA Football National Player-of-the-Week nominee … Following senior campaign, earned an invitation to the prestigious Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and was chosen as Defensive MVP to help lift North Carolina past South Carolina in the annual all-star game … Produced 98 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks and picked off a pass as a junior … Regarded as an integral part of the Chargers’ 2014 playoff run that included a 13-7 victory over South Point HS in the regional finals and an impressive 24-3 triumph over Havelock in the NCHSAA Class 3A Championship Game … Also recruited by Appalachian State and Toledo, and generated interest from North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke before officially committing to the Pirates’ program on January 6, 2016. Personal: Son of Kenneth and Minnie Ramseur … Is one of 10 children (youngest of six brothers) … Brother Tim was a varsity starting linebacker for Crest HS and enjoyed a similar 32-0 record with consecutive state titles before being selected as the 1994 State Class 4A Player-of-the-Year … Another brother, Kenneth, played collegiately at Gardner-Webb in the 1990s while other siblings – Josh (Gardner-Webb) and Devonte (Tuskegee) – are currently on collegiate football rosters.
D’Ante Smith, OL, 6-4, 310, Fr., Grovetown, Ga. (Grovetown HS)
High School: Earned all-county, all-area and all-region honors as a junior and senior for coach Rodney Holder at Grovetown High School … Valued as a key anchor for an offensive line in 2014 and 2015 … Helped the Warriors rack up a season-high 424 yards of total offense during a 42-7 victory over Harlem HS as a senior … Was a first-team all-county choice by the Columbia County News-Times … Invited to play in the 2015 Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Border Bowl III and guided Georgia to a 35-21 win over South Carolina … Rated as the second-best offensive lineman at The Opening Combine in Atlanta in May, 2015 … As a junior, received the GHS Coaches Award and was cited by the Augusta Chronicle as an honors performer … Selected to compete in the 2014 CSRA Junior Bowl and the Georgia Elite Junior Classic, an all-star contest which features 70 of the state’s top 11th graders … Opened prep career at Laney High School before transferring to Grovetown after freshman season … Labeled a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … Ranked as the No. 8 offensive guard in the state of Georgia, No. 32 in the South and among the top 100 in the nation … Also lettered in wrestling, competing in the heavyweight division … Reportedly produced a bench press of 300 pounds and a squat lift of 530 pounds … Recruited by Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Illinois and Tulane before committing to the Pirate program on Jan. 23, 2016 … Also received interest from Georgia and South Carolina. Personal: Son of Samantha Smith.
Javontay Smith, DB, 6-0, 180, Fr., Columbus, Ga. (Carver HS)
High School: A three-year letterman and a two-time First-Team All-Bi-City selection for coach Joe Kegler at Carver High School … Keyed a Tiger defense with a unit-high six interceptions that helped CHS record a 9-2 mark in 2015 … Tacked on 38 tackles, broke up seven additional passes and scored a defensive touchdown during senior campaign … Earned inclusion on the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer’s Dandy Dozen (preseason) Team … Twice was named to the Georgia Sportswriters Association Class AAAAA All-State squad – second-team as a senior, honorable mention as a junior … Recorded a pair of interceptions in a Heritage Bowl rivalry contest against Spencer HS, returning one for a score … Invited to compete in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star North-South Football Classic … Rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com, which also ranks him among the nation’s top 75 safeties …Reportedly was timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and produced a 350-pound bench press … Also recruited by North Carolina, Kentucky and Louisville, while generating additional interest from Alabama, Indiana, Nebraska, UCLA and Virginia Tech … Officially committed to the Pirate program on January 31, 2016. Personal: Full name is Javontay Jarvis Smith … Born October 21, 1997 at Columbus, Ga. … Son of Jarvis Smith and Corissa James.
Kenyon Taylor, DB, 6-2, 170, Fr., High Point, N.C. (South Guilford HS)
High School: Helped lead Southern Guilford High School to a 2015 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) State Playoff Class 3A (third round) appearance as the Storm’s leading receiver with 730 yards and eight touchdowns on 35 catches … Stood second on team with 1,089 all-purpose yards and finished third in scoring with 54 points … Contest of note as a senior was a six-reception, 145-yard and two-TD effort against Fike HS … Competed at Hopewell High School in Huntersville (N.C.) as a junior, catching seven passes for 182 yards and one touchdown … Also returned 11 kickoffs for 275 yards and one score in 2014 … Defensively, credited with 68 tackles – two resulting in lost yardage – for HHS … Recorded 25 receptions for 398 yards and a TD as a sophomore at Southern Guilford … Had five receptions for 148 yards, including a 78-yarder for a score, during the Storms’ 17-14 victory over Asheboro HS in 2013 … Ranks among the top 60 overall recruits in the state of North Carolina according to ESPN.com … Also recruited by Army and Old Dominion before officially committing to ECU on June 24, 2015. Personal: Son of Kenyon Taylor, Sr. … Father played prep football at High Point (N.C.) Andrews High School.
Alex Turner, DL, 6-2, 290, Fr., Houston, Texas (Jersey Village HS)
High School: A two-time all-district selection and three-year letterman for coach David Snokhous at Jersey Village High School … Served as team captain for the Falcons … Followed First-Team All-District 17-6A accolades in 2014 with second-team honors as a senior despite playing through injuries during season … As a junior, stood third on unit with 35 total tackles (26 solo, nine assists) … Also credited with 2.0 TFLs, a pair of quarterback pressures and one fumble recovery to help JVHS to a 6-4 mark … Earned Overall MVP status at the prestigious NUC Texas 5-Star Showcase in the summer of 2015, prior to senior campaign … Promoted to varsity roster as a sophomore … Reportedly owns a bench press of 400 pounds and a squat lift of 600 … Also recruited by Tulane and Vanderbilt before officially committing to the ECU program on January 17, 2016 … Excels in the classroom, earning academic all-district honors as a sophomore, junior and senior … Member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars … Currently holds a class rank in the upper 15 percent (123 of 798). Personal: Full name is Alexander Christopher Turner … Born August 12, 1998 at Houston, Texas … Son of Chris Turner and Kristie Walker … Father was a football letterman as a tight end at Ole Miss (1991-94) … Grandfather Mike Walker also played collegiate football as a defensive back at New Mexico State … Hobbies include working out, reading, movies and television.
Anthony Watley, TE, 6-3, 240, Fr., Jacksonville, Fla. (Atlantic Coast HS)
High School: Led all Atlantic Coast High School pass catchers with 170 yards (and one touchdown) on 20 receptions during senior season … Helped guide the Stingrays to a 6-4 record under coach Matt Elliot in 2015 … Selected to participate in the 2015 North Florida Football Coaches Association All-Star game, competing for Team Boost … Included on In The Game Magazine’s Preseason Elite Offensive Team prior to start of senior campaign … A three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com … Same recruiting website ranked him among the nation’s top 90 tight ends … Reportedly was clocked at 4.8 in the 40-yard dash … Also plays basketball at ACHS … Initially began prep career at University Christian HS, but transferred to Atlantic Christian prior to senior football season … Also recruited by Marshall, Appalachian State and UCF, and drew additional interest from Miami (Fla.) before committing to the East Carolina program on February 1, 2016. Personal: Son of Denita Williford.
Eric Weber, TE, 6-2, 220, Fr., Blythewood, S.C. (Blythewood HS)
High School: A two-year, two-way standout for coach Dan Morgan at Blythewood High School … Racked up a combined 458 yards on 36 receptions with five touchdowns as a junior and senior … Significantly contributed to the Bengals’ 9-4 record in 2015 and run through the Class 4A Division II playoffs, which was capped by an appearance in the quarterfinal round … Had nine receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns during senior campaign … Both scoring catches came during a 55-22 road win at Clover HS … Defensively, played end and tallied 64 tackles (14 solo) with seven resulting in lost yardage … Added a sack and turned in the longest fumble return in program history, a 79-yard scamper against Westwood HS … Cited as one of the top tight ends in the Midlands area by The State … Pulled down 27 catches for 290 yards and three TDs during junior season in 2014 … Played sophomore season (2013) at Jack Britt HS in Fayetteville, N.C. … Played under head coach (and former ECU standout) Brian Rimpf, helping the Terriers to a 9-4 overall record and a perfect 6-0 league ledger … Ranked among the nation’s top 100 tight ends according to 247Sports.com … Also recruited by NC State before officially committing to East Carolina on January 31, 2016. Personal: Son of April Rambert.