ECU kicks off 2015 season with 1st practice of fall camp

GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – Sixth-year East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill opened the 2015 campaign Thursday with a mid-morning walk-through before guiding the Pirates through their first official workout of the season on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

 

Similar to the past four seasons, East Carolina officially kicked off its new campaign with a 6:30 a.m. conditioning test conducted by Assistant Athletics Director of Strength and Conditioning Jeff Connors.

 

Following positional meetings and the walk-through, the Pirates conducted a two-hour afternoon practice in shorts and helmets. The workout, which was halted at 4 p.m. because of lightning and resumed at 7 p.m., consisted mainly of individual group sessions including a 15-minute 7-on-7 skeleton period. ECU concluded the session working on special teams, spent 24 minutes on team vs. scouts and wrapped-up with ball security drills.

 

“It was great to get out on the field today for the first time and see all the energy from the old and new guys,” McNeill said. “I was ready to get out on the field today and so were the players. The guys did a great job with Coach Connors early this morning on his conditioning test and ran very well.

 

“The weather caused us to break from our normal routine, but it was a good thing for us. During the lightning delay, Earnest Byner spoke with the team and it was an amazing story for our players to hear. Earnest, myself, Coach Doll and most of the young men here today have all chewed the same dirt out on this practice field and inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, and it was a treat for us all to listen to a man that had 15,000 yards of total offense and scored 70-plus touchdowns in the National Football League. All of the players eyes and ears were glued to everything he had to say.”

 

The Pirates returned for another team meeting and then broke out in special teams and positional groups before retiring to Tyler Hall for the evening.

 

ECU will follow Thursday’s practice with single morning sessions through Monday, before turning in the first of three scheduled two-a-day periods on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

 

The Pirates are scheduled to progress to shells/shoulder pads for the first time Saturday before a full gear workout on Monday per NCAA rules. ECU will close camp on Sunday, Aug. 23 – a day prior to the start of classes on campus – before wrapping up its overall preseason practice schedule on Sept. 3, two days before the Pirates host Towson at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

 

After Saturday’s morning practice, ECU will hold its annual Media Day inside the Murphy Center. McNeill will provide his annual season-opening address that will outline the latest roster additions and deletions, personnel status and possible position changes.

 

CAMP NOTES:

McNeill announced the addition of four walk-ons to the Pirates’ 105-man camp roster Thursday: OL Jared Huneycutt (6-2, 272, Fr., Concord, N.C.), QB Philip Nelson (6-1, 213, Jr., Mankato, Minn.), DL Anthony Orr (6-2, 353, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) and ILB Bruce Walker (6-1, 206, Jr., Hope Mills, N.C.) … ECU Hall of Famer and former NFL running back Earnest Byner spoke to the team during part of the team meeting this afternoon … Single-game, three-game mini packs and season tickets for all ECU homes games are still available to the Pirate Nation and can be purchased by calling the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at 252-737-4500, through the <a href=http://www.ecupirates.com/tickets/otc.html target=_blank>Online Ticket Center</a>, or by visiting the ECU Athletics Ticket Office.

 

Up Next:

Friday’s Practice Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Season Opener: Sept. 5 vs. Towson in Greenville (6 p.m. ET)

 

2015 ECU Offense … At-A-Glance

Scheme: Spread

Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5

Lettermen Returning/Lost: 25/6

2014 Rushing Offense: 161.1 (64/3)

2014 Passing Offense: 371.9 (3/1)

2014 Total Offense: 533.0 (5/1)

2014 Scoring Offense: 35.8 (22/2)

() National/American Athletic Conference rank

 

2015 ECU Defense … At-A-Glance

Scheme: Multiple 3-4

Starters Returning/Lost: 5/6

Lettermen Returning/Lost: 29/9

2014 Rushing Defense: 111.8 (11/2)

2014 Passing Defense: 255.5 (98/9)

2014 Total Defense: 367.3 (37/5)

2014 Scoring Defense: 25.8 (53/5)

() National/American Athletic Conference rank

 

2015 ECU Special Teams … At-A-Glance

Starters Returning/Lost: 3/3

Lettermen Returning/Lost: 5/3

2014 Field Goals/Game Average: 1.08 (65/7)

2014 Net Punting Average: 36.6 (78/5)

2014 Kickoff Return Average: 19.1 (108/8)

2014 Punt Return Average: 4.6 (110/9)

() National/American Athletic Conference rank

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