|51 Montese Overton|
Zeek Bigger and Bryce Williams Garner First-Team Accolades
Senior OLB Recorded Six Tackles For Loss Including An AAC Record Four Sacks
Bigger, Boyd, Harris and Overton All Named To Lombardi Watch List
Sharp Passing Effort, Rush Defense Dominates Second Scrimmage
ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill Welcomes Back 14 Returning Starters, 50 Lettermen
A high-impact local product who continues to bring plenty of speed, athleticism and tenacity to the Pirates' front seven ... As expected, closed spring work listed as the returning starter at the "sam" outside linebacking position ... Poised and primed to contend for postseason conference and national honors ... A Preseason All-American Athletic Conference (first) selection by Phil Steele Magazine and second-team choice by Athlon Sports ... Selected Mike Huguenin (247Sports.com, NFL.com) as college football's No. 2 "most freakish athlete" (nationally) because of accomplishments in the strength and conditioning program ... Selected to Dick Butkus and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch Lists ... In all, has played in 34 career games (16 starts) and recorded 147 tackles (82 solo) ... Has tallied 25.5 career TFLs (-121 yards), including 10.0 sacks ... Recorded at least one tackle in all 34 games played and credited with at least a half TFL on 18 occasions ... Registered multiple stops 29 times ... Has keyed a defensive unit that has held nine opponents to 17 or fewer points and 13 to less than 100 yards rushing since the start of 2013 campaign ... Has fully bounced back from a left knee injury that sidetracked a potential award-winning campaign as a rookie ... Booked a team-high five tackles, one of which was a sack for a six-yard loss, during the first spring scrimmage on March 28 ... Posted two stops and knocked down a pass in his second outing (April 11) before adding two more hits, including a TFL, during the Purple-Gold Game on April 18 ... Aforementioned efforts in strength and conditioning program have few equals ... Established a position (OLBs) record for the quickest 40 with a clip of 4.31 ... While power numbers (345-pound bench press, 490-pound back squat) remain notable, displays one of the top agility levels among the linebacking corps with a 36.5" vertical jump, a unit-best 10'5" broad jump, a 3.97 mark in the pro shuttle and a 6.91 reading in the three-cone drill.
2014: Started all 13 games at the "sam" outside linebacking slot ... Ranked fourth on team with 68 tackles (34 solo) ... Booked multiple stops in all 13 contests (five or more in seven outings) ... Stood second with 11.5 TFLs (-36 yards) and rated third with 3.0 sacks (-19 yards) ... Averaged 5.2 tackles per game, which ranked among the top 40 defenders in the American Athletic Conference ... Recorded at least a half TFL in nine contests (2.0/N.C. Central, 0.5/Virginia Tech, 1.0/North Carolina, 2.0/USF, 0.5/Connecticut, 1.0/Temple, 1.0/Cincinnati, 1.0/Tulane, 2.5/Florida) ... Registered sacks against Eagles (1.0/-7 yards), Hokies (0.5/-3 yards), Owls (1.0/-4 yards) and Green Wave (0.5/-5 yards) ... Logged five quarterback hurries (South Carolina, SMU, two vs. Connecticut, Cincinnati), the second-highest total on the unit ... Credited with four pass breakups (Virginia Tech, SMU, USF, Cincinnati) ... Reached the four-tackle milestone 11 times with a season-high nine (seven solo) at South Carolina ... Other performance of note also came against a Southeastern Conference opponent (eight stops vs. Florida in Birmingham Bowl) ... Also added 2.5 tackles for lost yardage (-5 yards) against Gators ... Had a seven-hit effort vs. USF and back-to-back six-tackle contests (North Carolina, SMU) ... Made first start since freshman season in 2012 (UTEP) against the Eagles in the season opener ... Named one of five game captains against the Tar Heels ... Considered an integral contributor to a unit that held seven opponents to less than 100 yards rushing (N.C. Central/70, Virginia Tech/91, SMU/51, USF/93, Connecticut/84, Temple/65, Tulane/24) and ranked 11th nationally in rush defense (111.8 ypg) ... Key part of a Pirate defense that allowed just 32 fourth quarter points in American Athletic Conference action (outscoring opponents 109-32).
2013: Played in all 13 games in a reserve linebacking role and as a member of special teams ... Booked 50 tackles (34) solo to rank seventh on the team ... Was second on the unit in tackles for lost yardage with 10.5 (-66 yards) and third in sacks with 6.0 (-58 yards) ... Led all special teams tacklers with 11 -- all coming on kickoff returns ... Ranked among C-USA leaders in sacks (sixth) and TFLs (t10th) ... Recorded quarterback drops against North Carolina (1.0), Middle Tennessee (1.0), FIU (3.0) and Tulsa (1.0) ... His three sacks against the Golden Panthers matched the third-highest single-game individual total recorded at the FBS level ... Performance at FIU earned CFPA Honorable Mention Linebacker-of-the-Week honors ... Also forced a pair of fumbles (one each vs. Tulsa and Marshall) ... Credited with two quarterback hurries and a two pass breakups against Virginia Tech ... Tallied five or more stops on five occasions with a season-high eight at Marshall ... Other contests of note included six tackles at FIU and five each vs. Old Dominion, North Carolina and Southern Miss ... Booked multiple TFLs against UNC (2.5), FIU (3.0) and NC State (1.5) ... Registered four sacks and 5.5 TFLs in the last five contests ... Considered a key member of a defensive unit that held six of 13 opponents to 100 or less rushing yards and six opponents to 17 or fewer points.
2012: Strong debut campaign earned inclusion on Conference USA's All-Freshman Team ... Played in eight games and three starts (Southern Miss, North Carolina and UTEP) ... Despite being limited to eight games because of a left knee injury, still recorded 29 tackles (14 solo), 3.5 TFLs (-19 yards) and a sack (-10 yards) ... Named C-USA and College Football Performance Awards Defensive Player-of-the-Week after recording a career-best 10 stops (four solo), 2.5 TFLs and a 16-yard fumble return for a TD at Southern Miss in the league opener ... Booked multiple tackles on four occasions ... Registered at least one tackle in all eight games played ... Made first collegiate appearance at South Carolina and netted five tackles (four solo), which included a nine-yard sack of Dylan Thompson in the fourth quarter ... Posted an eight-stop performance at Kenan Stadium against North Carolina and added a pass breakup ... Had a pair of hits vs. Miners before tallying single stops in contests vs. UCF, Memphis, Houston and Tulane - his last outing of the season ... Averaged 7.7 tackles in his first three games before injury slowed production to just 1.2 tpg in the last five battles ... Eighteen of 29 stops were on running plays ... Also credited with three tackles on special teams (1/KOR, 2/PR).
2011:Redshirted as true freshman during initial campaign in the ECU program, contributing to scout team efforts ... Signed with the Pirates in February.
High School: Three-year letterwinner for the Falcons after playing initial season on the junior varsity squad ... Played inside and outside linebacker for coach Walt Davis at South Central ... Selected as the Greenville Daily Reflector's Defensive Player-of-the-Year following senior campaign in which he totaled 200 tackles, 12 for a loss and five sacks ... Also blocked a punt during final season ... Added Daily Reflector All-Pitt County honors following senior campaign ... Helped guide the Falcons to 9-4 record and appearance in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3AA state playoffs in 2010 ... As a junior, led South Central to its first winning season in school history (8-4), while making 64 tackles and six sacks ... Defensive unit limited foes to 15.2 points per contest during junior campaign ... Has been measured with a vertical leap of 30 inches ... Rated as the 33rd-best prospect in the state of North Carolina according to Scout.com ... A Second-Team selection for the Scout.com U.S. Army All-American Combine Team in January, 2010.
Personal: Full name is Darrell Montese Overton ... Born December 5, 1991 at Greenville, N.C. ... Father, Darrell, played basketball at East Carolina from 1988-91 ... Earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice during ECU's Spring Commencement on May 8, 2015 and is currently working on second degree ... Enjoys watching Animal Planet or any other shows and documentaries about domestic and wild animals.