|21 Ray Tillman|
A physical, agile and tactically-sound defender who could be in a position to make jump into a starting role as a junior … Penciled in as the Pirates’ top “will” inside linebacker at the start of preseason camp … Seemingly has a strong grasp on assignment detail despite relatively short time in ECU program (after having redshirt removed as a true freshman in 2014) … Has played in 18 career games as a member of special teams and inside linebacking corps, and recorded 25 total tackles (11 solo) … Eleven (11) stops have occurred during special teams action … Collected one hit during the first spring scrimmage on April 9 and followed with six tackles, including one for lost yardage, in the Purple Gold Game (April 16) … Continued to display progress in the strength and conditioning program, earning “Super Pirate” designation for spring testing success … Ranked among the linebacking unit’s top 10 percent in the vertical leap (35.5”), broad jump (9’8”), 40-yard dash (4.59), pro shuttle (4.06), three-cone drill (6.96), long shuttle (11.50) and flex rating (16) … Power numbers of note include a 300-pound bench press, a power clean of 294 and a push jerk of 274.
2015: Played in 10 contests as a sophomore, all off the bench as a reserve defender and special teams performer … Did not experience action in late season games against Connecticut and Cincinnati … Booked 16 stops (eight solo) … Produced a combined 13 tackles in back-to-back outings in mid-October, collecting a career-best seven hits during the Pirates’ 30-17 win against Tulsa at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium before adding six more in a nationally-televised Thursday night clash against Temple … Recorded single stops in tilts vs. BYU, USF and UCF … Closed year with at least one tackle in last five consecutive games played in … Did not register statistics in first five contests (Towson, Florida, Navy, Virginia Tech, SMU) … Ten (10) stops came on rushes, three on passing plays and three more on special teams (2/kickoff returns, 1/punt returns).
2014: Appeared in eight games during true freshman season as a member of special teams and inside linebacking corps ... Did not play in the last five contests vs. Cincinnati, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF and Florida (Birmingham Bowl) … Totaled nine tackles (three solo) … Elevated to depth chart status prior to the Virginia Tech game after Brunson suffered a season-ending knee injury at South Carolina ... Eight of nine stops came on special teams, ranking fourth on the squad … All eight hits were made on kickoff return coverage squad … Tallied at least one tackle in five of eight games played with a career-best four against North Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Also added a pair of stops in collegiate debut against N.C. Central ... Had single tackles vs. South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Connecticut … Did not record any stats against SMU, USF or Temple … Selected as the special teams captain prior to the SMU tilt, which also marked ECU’s inaugural American Athletic Conference contest.
High School: An ESPN.com three-star prospect who earned a scout grade of 74 and ranks among the top 50 running backs in the Southeast … Selected as the Class 6-AAAAA Defensive Player-of-the-Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … Played for coach Daydrin Shell on a Wolverine squad that compiled a 4-6 mark in 2013 … Made his commitment to East Carolina on Feb. 2 at the conclusion of the Pirates’ final visitation weekend … Recruited by Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ole Miss and Tennessee early during the process.
Personal: Full name is Ray Vartron Tillman … Majoring in communications … Earned ECU Honor Roll accolades for work in the classroom during the 2015 spring semester.