Believe it or not football season "officially" gets underway in just
two weeks. On August 4th the ECU football team will hit the field to
begin fall practices and like many of the Pirate faithful, ECU head
coach Skip Holtz is chomping at the bit.
Coach Holtz was the guest speaker at WITN's annual pre-season football
luncheon at the Murphy Center and the second-year head coach gave
Pirate supporters some insight on the upcoming season.
You may or may not have heard the name Scotty Robinson, but according
to the man with the plan you soon will. Holtz says the redshirt
freshman has the potential to become the best defensive end ever to
play at East Carolina University. That's a pretty bold statement!
Robinson, a native of Salisbury, North Carolina, came into the program
last year at 6'4" and 208 pounds. Far from the prototypical Division
One defensive end. But after spending 12 months in the weight room with
Mike Golden, Robinson has bulked up to 242 pounds. That's 34 pounds
of pure muscle and as coach Holtz says "He runs like a deer!"
Another defensive player who made great strides in the weight room
during his redshirt freshman year is former Northside High School star
C.J. Wilson. The fullback-turned-defensive lineman went from weighing
218 pounds to 265 pounds in just over one full year. I was having
dinner one night recently at McDonald's in Washington when a very large
young man walked up to me and said "Mr. Weaver, do you know who I am?"
At first I didn't. Turns out it was C.J. Wilson more than 30 pounds
heavier. I was absolutely amazed at how much bigger and well put
together this young man had become. At that time he was projected to
play linebacker to help fill the void left by Chris Moore, now it looks
as though he will help anchor a very deep and very beefy defensive
Speaking of defensive linemen, Shauntae Hunt tore an ACL during the
off-season while moving furniture out of his apartment. The injury
usually takes a player off the field for nine months or more and in
Hunt's case that would have been the end of his college career. Holtz
says thanks to a cadaver ACL inserted into the leg of Shauntae Hunt the
senior defensive lineman should be ready for the start of the 2006
season. That's great news.
The big news on the offensive side of the ball is that freshman Jamar
Bryant has become academically eligible to play this season. Holtz said
that All-Conference USA wide receiver Aundrae Allison told him that
Bryant has the potential to be THE best wideout on the team (Allison
included) as long as he can keep his nose in the books. James Pinkney
has to feel like a kid in a candy store about right now.
And finally when Skip Holtz was asked how he felt about the opponents
on this year's schedule Holtz replied "I sleep like a baby. I wake up
every two hours crying."