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Houston happy to see former ECU football players shine in NFL, Smith to have shot at Super Bowl ring

Mike hopes D’Ante Smith gets his Super Bowl ring
Former ECU lineman headed to Super Bowl with Bengals
Former ECU lineman headed to Super Bowl with Bengals(WITN)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 9:03 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - We had the chance to catch up with ECU head football coach Mike Houston Thursday morning.

Former Pirates lineman D’Ante smith is with the Bengals gearing up for the Super Bowl this week and we spoke to Houston about seeing his guys in the big game.

“Just excited for him. Think about the year he’s had. Got drafted, got to play this year, started at least one game and now an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. Some guys play a long time and never get this opportunity and it’s pretty special for him to get to do it in his first year,” says ECU head football coach Mike Houston, “We had 3 of them in the game last year with Tampa Bay. Had a lot of guys from different schools do this so excited to see the success D’Ante is having.”

“Big Smoove” in the big game not the only former ECU guy making an NFL splash this postseason. Zay Jones did for the Raiders. He had 546 yards and a touchdown this season. His Las Vegas team actually fell to the Bengals in the wild card round. Coach Houston is loving seeing former ECU guys shine at the highest level.

“Gotten to know Zay and his family since taking the job,” Houston said, “Really excited for him. He and I texted after one of the big games he had.”

Doing well and showing that Pirate work ethic. Former ECU kicker Jake Verity got the nod as an NFL kicker from the great Justin Tucker. He found a possible home with Indianapolis this week signing a NFL Reserve/Futures contract with the Colts after spending the year on the Ravens practice squad.

“Jake Verity came and spent some time with us when we played up in Annapolis during the regular season,” says Houston, “Obviously stay in touch with him. He just switched teams and exited about the opportunity he has now. So, It’s great to see Pirates doing things at that level. "

Could be a few more joining them in the NFL ranks in a few months.

Coach Houston did say he thinks the Super Bowl will be a close game. He hopes the Bengals win for Smith.

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