South Central's Kendall Futrell a leader on ECU defense

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Former South Central standout Kendall Futrell "has a shot to be a really solid player" for the Pirates this season, according to ECU football head coach Mike Houston.

Houston and his coaching staff is expecting big things out of the veteran linebacker/defensive end.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Houston at practice Wednesday. "He didn't go through spring with us. He played a different position last year, a different scheme. He was a little bit of an unknown coming into the season. I knew he was a nice kid just from my interactions, but as far as a player and scheme, I didn't know what he was going to be. But he's progressed and gotten better every single day."

Last season, Futrell finished in a tie for second with four sacks. Unfortunately, he was forced to sit out during spring practice due to an injury. However, it looks like the former Falcon is in mint condition this summer in advance of his senior season.

"It's my last year, so I want to go out with a bang," said Futrell at practice Wednesday. "This team has the talent to do so, and I'm just ready for this season. We have the talent. I mean, I feel really good. I feel the best I've felt since I've been here. You know, speed, explosiveness, power, all that kind of stuff. Just trying to be healthy and get back into shape."

Futrell is providing an experienced and quick pass rush during camp, which could give the Pirates a defensive edge this upcoming season.

"He had a couple of big plays in our team portion today," added Houston. "He's shown the ability to pass rush off the edge, he's shown the ability to play the run physically, and I think he's going to be a guy who's going to continue to improve every single day and has a shot to be a really solid player for us."