2006 ECU Football Preview
by Billy Weaver

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 line.

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."

Enough said.

Billy Weaver