East Carolina football is known for having some very good linebackers.
Names like Harold Randolph, Robert Jones, Mark
Libiano, and recently Pernell Griffin have not only made an impact here
at ECU, but received national recognition as well. Robert Jones
was perhaps the most decorated. Jones was a 1991 consensus
American, and was the highest–ever drafted Pirate into the NFL.
Jones was drafted in the first round (21st
overall) by the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he went on to win three Super
Linebacker corps in 2005 is no different. Of
course Chris Moore has become a mainstay in the middle over the last
several years. Moore, a local product out of
Havelock, came into '05 with more starts than any member of the Pirates
and has emerged as a leader on and off the field. Richard
Koonce has solidified a starting spot at one of the Pirates' outside
linebacker spots after jumping from linebacker to defensive end in 2004.
Josh Chilsom has manned the other outside spot
all year. Chilsom missed all of 2004 due to
academic issues, but immediately impressed the coaching staff with his
work ethic when he rejoined the team this summer. Together
the trio has started every game, amassing 134 of the 434 total tackles,
combined on 16 for a loss, and has 3 combined sacks.
only one problem with the Pirate linebackers. They
are all seniors. One would think that the
loss of your three starting linebackers would be devastating to a team.
However, with some young talent at the
position, that may not be the case for East Carolina. Get used to
guys like Durwin Lamb, Pierre Bell, and
Jarrett Wiggins. They could very well be
the starting trio at linebacker for the Pirates in 2006. As
a true freshman Lamb played in 10 games and started the final game in
2004 at one linebacker spot, and has played in all 6 this year as a
backup. Wiggins a red-shirt freshman has
looked solid as a backup in 3 games this year for the Pirates.
Bell, another red-shirt freshman has had the
most success of the three, netting 10 tackles, 3 for a loss, and a sack
in playing all 6 games this year.
Carolina is at .500 for the first time since 2001. Although it
feels odd for a mid-season game to have
any major implications for the Pirates, it really does. The
Pirates are currently tied atop the same East
division in Conference USA that the league coaches selected them to
finish last in. The corps of linebackers
has been instrumental to the Pirates success this far, and will be
vital if they want that success to continue. Although
the big three are gone at season's end, with young talent on the Pirate
bench the linebacker position will continue to be one of ECU’s strong