A dedicated walk-on who has unselfishly contributed in a scout team role during the majority of his career ... Will compete for a spot on the offensive and special teams depth chart as a senior ... Coaches continuously laud commitment level and toughness, often playing much bigger than his physical frame ... Originally earned roster position with Pirates in the spring of 2006 ... Rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries and caught a pass for seven yards during the first '09 spring scrimmage (4/4) ... Responsible for the offensive unit's only touchdown (two-yard run) ... Picked up 28 ground yards on four attempts and recorded one reception for nine yards during second matchup (4/8) ... Had eight carries for 18 yards and grabbed a pass for six yards during the Purple-Gold Game (4/18) ... Cited by position coach Junior Smith as the unit's recipient of the "distinction of attitude, effort and leadership" award at the close of spring work.
2008: Experienced action in one "varsity" game (UTEP) and logged one rushing attempt for -2 yards against Miners ... Also played in junior varsity tilt against Hargrave Military Academy (10/2) and tallied eight yards on four rushes.
2007: Officially recorded one carry for no gain in one game appearance as a sophomore ... Had lone carry vs. UAB during the Pirates' 41-6 victory at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
2006: Joined the ECU program as a walk-on during spring drills, but did not experience action during the fall.
High School: A four-year football letterman for coach Mark Heil at Cape Fear High School ... Served as the Colts' team captain during senior season ... Also earned three track letters and competed on wrestling team as a freshman.
Personal: Full name is Darnel Anthony Ballard ... Born July 24, 1987 at Silver Spring, Md. ... Son of Robert and Antoinette Ballard ... Major is business and information technology education.