Sharp Passing Effort, Rush Defense Dominates Second Scrimmage
ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill Welcomes Back 14 Returning Starters, 50 Lettermen
Defense Finishes Spring On Strong Note In Purple-Gold Scrimmage
AP Photos: East Carolina at North Carolina
Used a strong spring to open junior season listed atop the Pirates' two-deep at the "will" outside linebacking position, however, coaches expect competition with returning starter Derrell Johnson and Jake Geary to continue throughout the preseason and into the campaign ... An agile and quick prototype stand-up front seven defender whose development has flourished in ECU's 3-4 scheme ... Could also experience action on special teams, but defined defensive role will determine participation ... Similar to a year earlier, was not credited with any stops during the first two spring scrimmages, but closed action with a pair of sacks (-19 yards) during the Purple-Gold Game on April 20 ... Continued noteworthy progress in strength and conditioning program, establishing a position record in the power clean with a lift of 352 pounds ... Other results of note came in the bench press (400 pounds), back squat (645), vertical jump (33"), broad jump (110"), pro shuttle (4.19) and the 40-yard dash (4.57) ... Enrolled early in January of 2010, thus has already experienced four spring practice periods despite junior class standing.
2012: Played in all 13 games and made a pair of starts (Appalachian State and South Carolina) at outside linebacker across from Johnson ... Booked tackles in nine of 13 contests ... Recorded a career-best four tackles (two solo) in the opener vs. ASU ... Logged multiple stops in six contests ... Led team and stood third in C-USA with three forced fumbles (UNC, MEM/2) ... Tied for second on the squad with three QBHs (ASU, UTEP, TUL) ... Recovered fumble against Memphis, but did not have return yardage ... Credited with a pass breakup against the Tar Heels ... Also registered a sack at UNC (1.0/-2 yards) before adding two more at Tulane (1.5/-9 yards) ... Dropped UNC's Bryn Renner for a two-yard loss in the second quarter on a 3-and-11 play and forced a fumble ... Teamed with Johnson on a nine-yard sack of Tulane's Ryan Griffin in the second quarter ... Dropped Griffin again in the fourth quarter for a five-yard loss on a 3-and-5 play ... Eight of 20 stops were on rush plays ... Posted one solo tackle as a member of the special teams unit (kickoff return) ... Member of a defensive unit that has held four opponents to less than 100 yards rushing (USM/91, UAB/82, HOU/28, TUL 9).
2011: Appeared in 10 games and started the season finale at Marshall during initial campaign on the Pirates' active roster ... Did not play at Houston (concussion) or Navy (coaches' decision) ... Tallied eight tackles (two solo), two sacks and a pair of tackles for lost yardage during the season ... Credited with three hits on rushing plays and one on a kickoff return ... In start at Marshall, booked a personal-high three tackles and first two solo hits of career ... Recorded both sacks in the second quarter versus the Thundering Herd, dropping Rakeem Cato for four and 10-yard losses ... Became the first Pirate with two or more solo sacks in a contest since Josh Smith had a pair against UAB on Nov. 21, 2009 ... Initial solo stop of career was four-yard sack of Cato ... Tackled UCF's Ronnie Weaver after a six-yard rush in the fourth quarter ... Knocked down Tulane's Robert Kelley following a two-yard rush as a reserve linebacker in the fourth quarter ... Against UAB, hit Nick Adams after an 11-yard kickoff return during the third frame ... Booked first two tackles of collegiate career against Virginia Tech, stopping Dyrell Roberts on the opening kickoff of the second half for initial hit ... Halted the Hokies' Jayron Hosley following a fourth-quarter punt return of one yard ... Debuted against South Carolina as a reserve linebacker.
2010: Redshirted during initial season at East Carolina ... Productive and unselfish effort on program's scout team was recognized by coaches with selection as the recipient of the Rick Bankston Award (a honor symbolic of the scout team MVP) ... Originally signed a grant-in-aid with ECU instead of a letter-of-intent (per NCAA policy) and enrolled in January 2010, going through spring drills with the Pirates.
High School: A two-year starter and three-year letterwinner for head coach John Devine's varsity squad ... Helped South Point to three consecutive conference championships, starting as a sophomore ... Booked 118 total tackles as a senior, leading Red Raiders to the North Carolina 3AA Championship - the program's first since 2003 ... Anchored a defense that helped South Point to a 14-2 record, which included a season-ending seven-game winning streak ... Helped a Red Raider unit hold opponents to just 15.6 points per contest ... As a junior, earned All-Big South 3A Conference honors after making 68 tackles, including 13 sacks, in his first year as a defensive end after playing safety and cornerback ... Repeated All-Big South honors as a senior ... A two-time All-Gaston Gazette selection ... Reportedly, turned in a 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds ... Also won a Big South track title in the triple jump.
Personal: Full name is Rodney Maurice Falls, but goes by Maurice ... Born January 1, 1992 at Gastonia, N.C. ... Son of Norman and Tiffany Falls ... A sports studies major ... Lists his most memorable football moment as recovering the onside kick that helped South Point clinch the state championship ... Lists LaRon Landry has his favorite NFL player and Kobe Bryant as his favorite professional athlete.