Player News

Date:

ECU redshirt junior QB Kurt Benkert will transfer.

Doff of the cap to 247Sports' Stephen Igoe on this one. We don't yet know where Benkert will transfer. Last season, a serious knee injury suffered late in August camp sidelined the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder for the entirety of the 2015 campaign. He was cleared for spring practice in early March.
Apr 25 - 8:13 PM

Cal graduate RB Jeffrey Coprich transferred to East Carolina.

Coprich will be able to suit up with the Pirates immediately and has two years of eligibility remaining to his name. The 5-foot-8, 174-pounder missed the 2014 season after breaking a bone in his foot, but in his two healthy seasons with Cal, received 54 carries for 205 yards (3.8 YPC) and two touchdowns. Scout ranked him as a three-star prospect out of high school.
Mar 22 - 3:25 PM

East Carolina senior WR Isaiah Jones (shoulder) will not participate in spring practice.

Jones is currently on the mend after undergoing shoulder surgery. On Instagram in early January, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound senior revealed that he had played "the entire [2015] season" with a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder. "Surgery is just another test I have to overcome," he wrote. Despite the injuries, he still managed to log a stellar 98-1099-5 receiving line.
Mar 15 - 2:23 PM

East Carolina dismissed redshirt junior RB Marquez Grayson due to a violation of team rules.

No further information has surfaced as to what Grayson did to find himself kicked off the Pirates, but HC Scottie Montgomery confirmed that he is no longer on the roster. The 6-foot-1, 189-pound redshirt junior played in just three games last season and rushed for 88 yards on 13 attempts. Rivals ranked the speedster as the No. 32 running back prospect in the country for the 2013 cycle.
Mar 15 - 1:58 PM

ECU redshirt sophomore Kurt Benkert (knee) has been cleared for spring practice.

Benkert missed all of last season with a knee injury. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is lauded for having a big-time arm, part of the reason Phil Steele Magazine had him as a Preseason All-American Athletic Conference fourth-teamer last summer despite his lack of experience. Last spring, Benkert had a bench press of 370 pounds, a back squat of 470, a power clean of 330, a 40-yard dash of 4.72, a pro shuttle of 4.10, a 9'5" broad jump and a 31" vertical leap.
Mar 2 - 1:44 PM

NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein compared ECU TE Bryce Williams to Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar.

For reference's sake, Escobar was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2013 draft. Wrote Zierlein of Williams, "As a blocker, [the 6-foot-6, 258-pounder] needs more toughness and attitude to go with his size, but as a pass catcher, he has the tools and field-stretching potential that offensive coordinators are looking for." Last season, he worked his way to a 58-583-4 receiving line. NFL Media's Bucky Brooks compared his playing style to that of a "bigger version of Riley Cooper" in late January.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 6:20 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler wrote that East Carolina LB Montese Overton "has the athleticism that could move him up some team's draft boards based on his Combine performance."

"[Overton] has explosive speed, smooth hip action and natural bend that really popped off the screen," Brugler writes, adding that "His take-on skills and anticipation aren't NFL-ready, but his athleticism is pro quality right now." Just based on film alone, Brugler calls Overton "a late round prospect." The 6-foot-3, 220-pound former Pirate recorded 70 tackles (10 for loss) and 7.5 sacks for the 2015 campaign.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 19 - 10:04 PM

East Carolina LB Montese Overton is expected to star at next week's combine.

"Overton... could prove to be the fastest linebacker at the event," wrote NFL.com's Chase Goodbread. "His ECU official bio claims a 4.31 40-yard dash that makes him the fastest at the position in school history. Combine 40 times are notoriously slower than the 40 times recorded at the college level, but Overton should nonetheless acquit himself very well." Over the summer, Fox Sports' Bruce Feldmans reported that Overton's 3.97 shuttle time would've been the fastest time of any linebacker at the 2015 combine.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 15 - 7:00 PM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks called ECU TE Bryce Williams "a long, rangy pass catcher with sneaky route running skills."

"[Williams] has a knack for creating separation between the hashes," Brooks noted. This past season, the 6-foot-6, 258-pound receiving target caught 58 passes for 583 yards and four touchdowns. In November, CBS Sports draft guru Dane Brugler praised his quickness and balance, labeling him a "tough scrappy player" who plays "like a bigger version of Riley Cooper on the field."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 31 - 7:58 PM

WNCT Greenville's Brain Bailey reports that ECU junior QB Blake Kemp will leave the football program.

Per Bailey, Kemp spoke with new HC Scottie Montgomery to inform him of his decision. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound senior will be heading home to Arizona, now. This past season, he threw for 2,658 yards (69.3% completions) with a 16/10 TD/INT ratio. Sophomore QB Kurt Benkert and Rutgers transfer QB Phillip Nelson figure to battle for the starting gig this spring with Kemp out of the picture.
Source: wnct.com
Jan 16 - 12:10 PM

ECU AD Jeff Compher said he was "looking for Superman" when he hired Duke OC Scottie Montgomery to be the team's next head coach.

Said Compher, "As I look at our next head coach I don’t see a cape and I don’t see an ‘S’ on his chest, but I do see a man who meets and exceeds the qualities that we’re looking for in our next head coach" Montgomery takes over for Ruffin McNeill, who received his walking papers on December 4 despite a 42-34 record across six seasons with the Pirates. For his part, Montgomery--who's spent the last two seasons as Duke's offensive coordinator--said that his No. 1 priority is to unite the players already on the team.
Mon, Dec 14, 2015 09:09:00 PM

East Carolina hired Duke OC Scottie Montgomery as head coach.

There might be a method to the Pirates' offseason madness, but we're missing it. East Carolina fired Ruffin McNeill on Dec. 4. McNeill rescued the program from mediocrity, going 42-34 with a bowl win and a few marquee upsets over six seasons. Now, ECU is apparently banking on the unproven Montgomery winning in a very difficult; the Pirates reside in recruiting area infested with bigger sharks. His resume includes having spent three years coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers' receivers. He's been the Blue Devils' offensive coordinator for the past two years.
Source: ESPN.com
Sun, Dec 13, 2015 06:00:00 PM

ECU has fired head coach Ruffin McNeill after six seasons as head coach.

Many in the industry seemed stunned by the news. McNeill and ECU went 5-7 this season, but went 8-5, 10-3 and 8-5 in the previous three seasons. A drop in wins was expected after the team lost the super productive combination of Shane Carden and Justin Hardy.
Fri, Dec 4, 2015 11:23:00 AM

East Carolina (5-7) will not accept a bowl invitation if they're offered.

The NCAA is going to have to add at least a few teams with losing records to the bowl roster because there aren't enough qualifiers to fill all the slots. The 5-7 Pirates weren't likely to be tabbed, but they removed all suspense officially. "While we understand there are still numerous programs with higher APR scores ahead of us who merit stronger consideration, we have already determined that we would decline an offer should one be extended," East Carolina Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said in a released statement. "Our efforts should be centered on positioning the Pirates for future championships." Nebraska and Illinois will accept invitations if offered, while Missouri is the only team outside of ECU that announced it would decline.
Tue, Dec 1, 2015 10:01:00 PM

ECU senior TE Bryce Williams "wins in the passing game by slipping past would-be defenders with quickness and balance and making sure-handed catches," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

CBS currently ranks Williams No. 2 among senior tight ends. Rotoworld's Josh Norris has compared the 6-foot-6, 258-pounder to Jace Amaro. Though Williams is huge, he isn't an elite blocker. He's more of a movable chess piece in the passing game, which you already know the NFL loves. "Williams is a tough, scrappy player who can line up inline, in the backfield and out wide, playing like a bigger version of Riley Cooper on the field," Dane Brugler wrote last month.
Source: CBS Sports
Sun, Nov 22, 2015 03:54:00 PM


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