The East Carolina Pirates made the last weekend before National Signing Day count in getting four verbal commits for the 2016 class.
The group of verbal commits is led by safety Javontay Smith. The three-star recruit out of Columbus, Georgia was a former North Carolina commit that changed his mind and decommitted in January. Exactly two weeks after opening up his recruitment, Smith committed on an official visit to East Carolina this past weekend.
Smith is the highest rated recruit in the ECU class at this point. The state of Georgia’s #105 ranked player had offers from Alabama, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, Tennessee, UCLA, and Virginia Tech among others. He is the type of player that will immediately compete for playing time and possible starts as a true freshman.
Bakersfield College offensive tackle Jarred Dorton also committed to the Pirates on his official visit last weekend. The 6-7, 320 pound JUCO transfer is a two-star recruit that was also strongly considering MAC program Buffalo before choosing East Carolina. He has the size to play at the FBS level, but he may need a season on the team to acclimate to the new level. He does have a nasty streak that the ECU offensive staff has to love.
Looking for a new tight end to groom, the Pirates secured the commitment of Blythewood, South Carolina tight end Eric Weber. The 6-3, 220 pound player is a two-star commit that was getting attention from Charlotte and North Carolina State. He is a bit light at 220 pounds, but he has plenty of time to grown into a good tight end for East Carolina. He is more of a project that should show dividends in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The fourth final weekend commitment for East Carolina is in the form of 6-3 defensive end Raequan Purvis. The Plymouth, North Carolina native is a bit under the radar with his only other offers coming on the FCS level. The ECU coaching staff feel very strongly that he has the ability to develop into an excellent player in the future. In similar fashion to Weber, it may be a couple of seasons before Purvis makes his impact felt.
These four commitments come on the heels of four other January commitments. The Pirates have finished the recruiting process with a strong push, gaining eight of their 18 recruits in the last month.