The Wright Stuff

by Eric Gilmore

Home to many of the finest coeds in the Southeast, the Wright Building walkway serves as the epicenter of ECU’s central campus. As a student who sits on those bricks everyday, Eric Gilmore posts his rankings and opinions, “wright” or wrong, on hot button sports topics.

High School Football

Top 11 (4A Only)

1. Independence- Ranked No. 5 in USA Today National Poll, continue nation’s second-longest winning streak at 85 straight
2. J.H. Rose- Rose beat cross-town rival DH Conley 52-6, RB Jonathan Williams will want revenge against former team (South Central)
3. Richmond Co.- Big DE Tavares Brown commits to UNC after 18-6 win over Seventy-First
4. Wakefield- Wolverines best team in Wake Co., will try to end regular season undefeated against Broughton
5. Jack Britt- Tune-up at Scotland Co. before showdown with No. 3 Richmond Co. in two weeks
6. Garner- Trojans inched out a 16-15 win over East Wake by blocking extra point in overtime
7. Providence- Took care of previously undefeated Butler 35-14, still two games remaining in regular season
8. Mount Tabor- O.C. Wardlow helped to blow out East Rowan 46-0, only test has been first game with New Bern
9. Southern Durham- Spartans gave up 21 points to inferior East Chapel Hill, will have to correct defense against Riverside
10. Butler- Bulldogs will have to take care of East Meck before showdown with No. 1 Independence in two weeks
11. Grimsley- Whirlies only have one blemish on record, loss to undefeated 3A Dudley squad

Why are other in-state schools piling up verbal commitments?

Is it time to panic? Recruiting seems to take a back burner during the season. But is already ECU having trouble? Verbal commitments seem to be piling up around the Pirates. Offers seem to be handed out like Halloween candy.

So far, for the 2006 freshman class, ECU only has two official commitments. D.J. Scott, an offensive lineman from Florida was the first announced verbal. Scott attended ECU’s summer camp and was immediately impressed with Holtz’s staff. The Clay High School senior stands at 6’6” 290 pounds. has Scott listed as a two-star recruit.

Dekota Marshall, regarded by many to be the top prospect on ECU’s board also announced his intention to be a Pirate. The Southwest Onslow player projects to be a safety having been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. According to, Marshall is listed as a one-star recruit.

Other than that, no other high school seniors are known to have made commitments. Jamar Bryant, Doug Palmer, Larry Lease, C.J. Wilson and Jay Ross are all supposed to don purple and gold next year as well.

Looking westward, UNC has already received 25 verbals. Granted, UNC can only sign a maximum of 25 players per recruiting class. Even so, the Tarheels have garnered in some of the state’s best talent. Tavares Brown, a supremely talented tight end from Richmond Co. announced this week his plan to play for John Bunting. UNC has pulled in four-star recruit Deunta Williams from White Oak High School. The meat of the Tarheel recruiting class is among their nine three-star recruits. Six UNC commitments were selected to the N.C. Shrine Bowl roster.

N.C. State has racked up talented recruits as well. Amid Chuck Amato’s struggles, the Wolfpack has pulled in six recruits, all two stars or better. Owen Spencer, a 6’2” receiver from North Brunswick, announced on Tuesday his verbal to N.C. State. 

In talking to two high school coaches during the past weeks, high school relations director Harold Robinson has been the key to ECU’s latest recruiting success. Robinson spends Tuesday nights with the Student Pirate Club helping to mail literature out to every high school coach in North and South Carolina. Robinson has been instrumental in repairing relations with high school coaches.

“Harold understands high schools better than anyone,” said Fayetteville Seventy-First head coach Bob Paroli. “To know that you have a man like Harold there that you can call,” Paroli started. “He always knows what’s going on with the kids.”

That’s high praise considering that Paroli has won 12 conference titles and made the state playoffs 17 times. Paroli coached current ECU players Lorenza Pickett and Dontre Brown along with NFL players Brad Edwards, Donnell Woolford and Joe Horn. Parol has won more games than any high school football coach in state history with a 344-163-11 record. He recently sent Palmer to ECU after N.C. State failed to accept his scores.

“Before its all said and done, Doug Palmer could be one of the best offensive linemen that comes out of ECU in a long time.”

College Football

Top 11

1. USC- May not be the No. 1 team in the BCS, but still the best team in the nation
2. Texas- Mack Brown always loses the big one, shouldn’t be this week against disappointing Okla. St. squad
3. Alabama- Lucky is sometimes better than being good, touchback sealed defensive win
4. Georgia- Outdoor Cocktail Party will be huge test without Shockley, Bulldog fans must have faith in backup Joe Tereshinski
5. Virginia Tech- Beamer better tone down BCS talk with BC rolling into town on Thursday
6. UCLA- Maurice Drew beginning to garner national attention, Bruins only real remaining test for USC
7. Penn St.- Nittany Lions took out Michigan frustration with 56 point first half, face disappointing Purdue team
8. Florida St.- Hard to believe that Seminoles only have six senior starters, host Maryland
9. Miami- Hurricanes should waltz into next week’s match-up with Virginia Tech after easy UNC win
10. LSU- Rivarly game against Auburn came down to OT, too talented to not win SEC West
11. Notre Dame- Best two-loss team in the nation, still have an outside shot of at-large BCS bowl, face Tennessee next

Heisman Watch

1. Reggie Bush- Electrifying 84-yard punt return for TD, is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball
2. Vince Young- Already surpassed 2,000 yard total offense mark, needs to be the savior for Mack Brown
3. Matt Leinart- Decent 201 yard, four touchdown outing against Washington, but hasn’t done much to impress voters
4. Brady Quinn- Third game with 400 yards passing, No. 4 in total offense, will have bye before tough Tennessee team
5. DeAngelo Williams- Williams showed combination of power and speed with 226 yard outing against ECU
6. Laurence Maroney- Bye week helped Maroney’s punting unit get act back together, must have a big game against Buckeye defense at home.
7. Brian Calhoun- Wisconsin running back is tied for second nationally with 14 rushing touchdowns

Random Thought of the Week:
Is Tulane going to have to reschedule another game due to possible Hurricane Alpha?

Eric Gilmore