GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina Head Football Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Friday the signing of three transfers to grant-in-aid agreements. Running back Tyshon Dye (Clemson), defensive lineman Gaelin Elmore (Minnesota) and quarterback Thomas Sirk (Duke) will all be eligible immediately and have one year of collegiate competition remaining.
Sirk is currently enrolled in ECU’s first summer semester, while Dye and Elmore are anticipated to arrive on campus June 22 in time for the second term.
The 5-11, 220-pound Dye, who earned a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation & tourism management from Clemson earlier this month, rushed for 351 yards and five touchdowns on 76 carries during his 17-game career with the Tigers. As a redshirt junior in 2016, he produced 109 ground yards and a score on 21 attempts in seven contests as a member of Clemson’s 14-1 national championship squad.
A four-star recruit out of Elbert County (Ga.) Comprehensive High School, Dye was rated as the No. 14 running back in the country before inking with the Tigers and redshirting in 2013.
“Tyshon is a big physical back who definitely has home run potential,” Montgomery said. “He’s obviously been a part of a championship culture and I’m confident he will have an opportunity to impact our program with a similar mindset.”
Elmore, a 6-6, 275-pound end, played in 38 contests with nine starts to help Minnesota to three-straight bowl appearances. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection logged 39 tackles, 9.5 TFLs and 4.0 sacks collectively during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 campaigns.
As a junior in 2016 Elmore opened six of 13 games and was credited with 16 stops and 4.0 TFLs for the Gophers, who closed the year by downing Washington State 17-12 in the National Funding Holiday Bowl. Elmore prepped at Somerset (Wis.) High School and later earned the prestigious Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award at the 2016 National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics Convention Awards Luncheon.
“I expect Gaelin’s presence to provide us with an explosive edge rusher who can affect both the running and passing game,” Montgomery explained. “Off the field, his life story is one of perseverance and will be a source of inspiration to all of us.”
Sirk started 12 of 24 career contests at Duke, completing 261-of-441 passes for 2,692 yards and 19 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,041 yards and 16 scores on 210 carries. Before missing the 2016 campaign because of an injury, he led the Blue Devils to a New Era Pinstripe Bowl victory over Indiana in 2015 and was one of only four quarterbacks nationally at the FBS level to post 800-plus rushing yards and 2,500-plus passing yards in the same season.
An Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer in the classroom, Sirk graduated from Duke in May, 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He initially signed with the Blue Devil program after earning Associated Press Third-Team All-State honors at Baker County (Fla.) High School.
“I feel Thomas will help this football team in many ways, especially from a maturity and character standpoint,” Montgomery added. “He knows our system well on the field and we feel confident about merging his skills with what we’re trying to do as an entire unit.”
In addition to Sirk, the Pirates also added February signees WR Blake Proehl, OL John Spellacy and WR Mydreon Vines to their roster following the latter three’s enrollment in ECU’s first summer semester. Dye and Elmore will be included once enrollment occurs.
In another roster move, Montgomery also announced that junior defensive tackle Justin Brown has departed the program because of personal reasons.