Feb 1, 2012
Greenville, N.C. — Filling personnel vacancies at the offensive line and defensive secondary positions, and continuing the depth-building process at linebacker to bolster his 3-4 scheme, were all addressed by East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill as the Pirates announced their 18-member 2012 signing class Wednesday.
Included among the 18 student-athletes are two mid-year additions, junior defensive backs Adonis Armstrong and Godfrey Thompson, who signed in December and are currently enrolled at ECU. Both are expected to participate in spring drills next month.
Of the 18, 11 are projected to play defense while the other seven will line up on offense. Defensively, the Pirates signed six linebackers and five secondary performers. On offense, ECU is looking forward to adding four lineman and three wide receivers to its roster.
“I’m very excited about the entire 2012 signing class and am confident we answered our immediate needs on the offensive line, in the secondary and at the linebacker position,” McNeill said. “I’m proud of the job our staff did. We had battles against some traditionally-strong programs, and while you don’t win all of those all the time, I was encouraged by the number of young men we had on our campus this year. There is a lot of reason for optimism in our short and long-term future, especially with this particular class.”
Twelve of the 18 signees played at the high school level last fall, while Armstrong and Thompson are two of six junior college transfers on this year’s list of newcomers. The pair, along with fellow junior Colby Brown, will be expected to make immediate impacts in a Pirate secondary that lost three of four starters to graduation a year ago.
While the 18 newcomers hail from seven different states and the District of Columbia, five played at the prep level in North Carolina and three in neighboring South Carolina.
East Carolina recorded a 5-7 overall mark and stood third Conference USA’s East Division last season. The Pirates opened the season by dropping four of their first five contests before posting a 4-3 mark the remainder of the campaign and falling short of bowl eligibility for the first time since 2005.
ECU opens spring drills March 19 and will host Appalachian State Sept. 1 to kick off the season.