With starter Rob Kass (#14, 6-4 247, r-So., 5.10) suspended for this game,
ECU will go with two untested quarterbacks, Brett Clay (#11, 5-11 201, r-So.,
4.63) and Patrick Pinkney (#15, 6-0 198, r-Jr., 4.68). Both Clay and Pinkney
provide mobility, but Kass had clearly won the QB battle with a strong arm and
good pocket presence. I have not seen Clay play, but I watched Pinkney in a
North Carolina all-star game four years ago. Pinkney outplayed Tech reserve QB
Cory Holt in that game, showing good poise and the ability to make plays. He did
not have a very strong arm at that time, but he was very thin (around 170
pounds), so he may have gained some arm strength over time.
Dominique Lindsay (#24, 5-8 207, Jr., 4.55) is a former scat back who has
bulked up from 175 pounds as a freshman. Lindsay would appear to be similar to
Kenny Lewis in being a speed back that has added considerable muscle since
starting college. Lindsay should be more effective between the tackles with the
increased size, but he is still primarily an outside running threat.
Chris Johnson (#5, 5-11 195, Sr., 4.49) is a threat both running and
receiving, amassing over 1,000 yards on offense last year. Johnson is almost
exclusively an outside threat, and he will be Tech’s biggest concern on the ECU
offense. He will line up in multiple positions to place him in the most
favorable match-up. I expect to see him a lot in the slot, and watch for him on
reverses and misdirection running plays. Also, Johnson is an excellent kick
returner, so Tech needs to keep him contained on kickoffs as well.
East Carolina’s primary reserve is Norman Whitley (#33, 5-9 187, r-Fr., 4.53)
who was a blue-chip recruit from powerhouse Richmond County (NC) High School.
When ECU uses a fullback, look for Jason Simmons (#43, 6-0 249, r-Jr.) or Kevin
Gidrey (#45, 6-2 254, So.) from Kempsville (VA) High School.
Steven Rogers (#83, 6-0 182, Sr., 4.64) returns as a starter in the role as
ECU’s possession receiver. He runs good routes and has excellent hands, but he
is not a deep threat despite averaging 17.2 yards per catch last year.
Former Georgia signee Jamar Bryant (#10, 6-2 193, r-So., 4.59) is an
excellent athlete who was injured last year (thumb and hamstring). Bryant is a
former high school quarterback at Richmond County (prior to UNC QB Cam Sexton)
who prepped a year at Hargrave before arriving at East Carolina. Bryant needs to
replace Aundrae Allison as the Pirates’ big play threat this year.
The primary back-ups at wide receiver are former walk-on Phillip Henry (#32,
6-0 183, Sr., 4.56) and junior college transfer T.J. Lee (#7, 5-11 206, 4.51).
Henry has 10 career starts and had 34 receptions last year. Lee is probably ECU’s
best deep threat having averaged 21.6 yards per catch last year in junior
East Carolina has three solid tight ends in former quarterback Davon Drew
(#3, 6-3 249, r-Jr., 4.77), Jay Sonnhalter (#91, 6-5 249, Sr., 4.87), and
Illinois transfer J.R. Kraemer (#87, 6-4 254, r-Jr., 4.81). Drew is a very good
athlete who has adjusted well to the tight end position. Drew is probably the
best receiver of the three, Sonnhalter is the strongest blocker, and Kraemer is
the best balance of blocking and receiving.
Left tackle Josh Coffman (#76, 6-5 292, r-Sr., 5.03) is the most talented
lineman, showing good pass blocking skills and mobility. While not overpowering,
Coffman is solid at the point of attack and he will battle his opponent. Coffman
is especially good pulling and he blocks well in space.
Right tackle D.J. Scott (#66, 6-5 309, r-Fr., 5.47) is primarily a run
blocker with good size. The Hokies should test Scott on the outside rush and see
if he has the footwork to handle Tech’s speed off the edge.
Terrence Campbell (#74, 6-5 277, r-So.) is the primary back-up at tackle and
he started every game last year. A heart condition has limited his conditioning,
but he should see considerable action against Tech. Junior college transfer
Willie Barton (#69, 6-4 340, 5.45) provides excellent size and strength as
another reserve tackle.
Left guard Matt Butler (#68, 6-4 306, r-Sr., 5.40) started last year at
center and he is a versatile interior lineman. He is ECU’s second best lineman,
and look for the Pirates
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