ECU completes 2nd spring practice
GREENVILLE, N.C. - ECU returned to Hight Field and the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Wednesday and completed its second official spring workout, a fast-paced session geared heavily toward terminology, schematic retention and execution on both sides of the ball.
Wednesday's outing, conducted in unseasonably warm temperatures in the high-70s, also capped the Pirates' acclimation period in shorts and helmets as third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery and staff will direct the program's first effort in pads Friday afternoon.
"There was certainly a lot of intensity and competition out there," Montgomery said. "I'm encouraged by the progress we were able to make after an install day (on Monday) and our focus playing well together as a cohesive group. The pressure we've been able to create defensively, especially from our front has been really good after two days. Again, we'll get a much better picture once we're in pads."
Following 40 minutes of customary individual and positional drills to open practice, the Pirates devoted three periods to full team-on-team work featuring all personnel levels of the offensive and defensive units. The separate segments emphasized both the run and pass game, along with first-and-10 situations.
Although the Pirates are without senior Cannon Gibbs (injury) this spring, new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach David Blackwell has added depth at that position as senior Nate Harvey and redshirt freshman Delvontae Harris have both made the move to the linebacking corps this spring. Harvey was in the offensive backfield as a running back last season, while Harris was a member of the ECU secondary at safety.
The Pirates will close their first week of action with workouts Friday and Saturday before returning to the complex next Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
NOTES: In addition to 75 players who currently occupy a place on ECU's roster, a total of 14 walk-ons (invited and tryout selections) are competing during spring drills in hopes of earning a designated roster position heading into preseason camp - DB Daniel Charles, RB Cam Coleman, DB Jayshon Cornelius, DB Mardavean Eakins, OL Fernando Frye, OL Travish Hicks, WR Jonathan Johnson, DS Erik Lawson, DS Hunter Massey, LB Cole Nigro, RB Jeff Onyegbule, WR Will Partin, TE Jaray Sampson and PK Michael Tilley ... Cornelius, Frye, Hicks, Onyegbule, Partin and Sampson played on the Pirates' scout team last fall, while Coleman and Massey are also returners who went through spring drills a year ago ... Junior Dalton Montgomery, a converted tight end who has played in 23 games during his first two years in the ECU program - mostly in a special teams role - is expected to experience a significant amount of reps on the offensive line this spring to enhance depth.
ECU'S 2018 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Friday, February 23 (4:30 p.m.-6:15 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: February 24, February 26, February 28, March 1, March 12, March 14, March 16, March 17 (scrimmage), March 19, March 21, March 23, March 24 (Purple-Gold Game, 1:00 p.m.)