|44 Zeek Bigger|
Bigger, Boyd, Harris and Overton All Named To Lombardi Watch List
Senior Inside Linebacker Led The American With 140 Tackles A Year Ago
Carden, Hardy, Hudson And T. Williams Garner First-Team Accolades
Bigger Has Worked Hard To Earn His Position On Defense
Junior ILB Tallied A Career-High 17 Tackles And Returned Interception For A Touchdown
A former special teams stalwart who quickly moved from a conference honors candidate to the cusp of a national awards stage as ECU’s starting “mike” linebacker in just three seasons … A Preseason All-American Athletic Conference (first-team) choice by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele Magazine and Sporting News … Earned selection the 2015 Chuck Bednarik Award, Dick Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch Lists … Has recorded multiple stops in 30 of 39 career games and tallied at least five tackles on 23 occasions (10-plus eight times) heading into his senior campaign … Has made 23 starts and produced a total of 235 tackles (113 solo) … Has keyed a defense 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 participated in three consecutive bowl games ... Possesses plenty of quickness, a level of tenacity and a high defensive IQ according to the coaching staff … Booked a tackle for lost yardage (-5 yards) in the first spring scrimmage (March 28) before adding three stops during the second intra-squad tilt (April 11) … Enjoyed a productive Purple-Gold Game on April 18 with four hits, including a sack for a loss of three yards … Has recorded lifts of 370 pounds (bench press), 525 (back squat) and 308 (power clean) in ECU’s strength and conditioning program … Also owns one of the unit’s better broad jumps (9’11”) and pro shuttle times (4.08) among position mates.
2014: Topped all American Athletic Conference defenders with 140 tackles (66 solo) – the highest single-season total by a Pirate since Chris Moore tallied 148 in 2003 … Stood ninth nationally in tackles-per-game average (10.8) ... Earned Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors … Started all 13 games as a junior … Booked seven or more stops in 12 contests and reached double-digit tackle totals on seven occasions (11/N.C. Central, 13/South Carolina, 13/Virginia Tech, 17/North Carolina, 10/Cincinnati, 10/Tulane, 14/Tulsa and 14/UCF) ... Added a pair of nine-tackle performances (USF, Connecticut) and two seven-stop contests (SMU, Temple) ... Recorded a career-best 17 hits (seven solo) against No. 25 North Carolina, just seven shy of the school single-game record held by Pernell Griffin (2001) and Moore (2004) ... Tied for second (Montese Overton) with five quarterback hurries ... Recovered first career fumble against UCF in the regular season finale at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Booked a season-high 11 first half tackles against the Tar Heels on the way to a personal-best performance which garnered Walter Camp National Defensive Player-of-the-Week accolades ... Matched or set career-highs in tackles during first four games (entered season with a previous best of nine vs. Florida Atlantic and Virginia Tech in 2013) ... Picked off passes against North Carolina and Tulsa to stand second on the unit ... Scored first career touchdown against Tar Heels on a 46-yard interception return ... His third career pick (second of season) came during second quarter action at Tulsa and included a return of 22 yards to set up a Jimmy Williams 16-yard scoring grab ... Recorded 3.5 TFLs (2.0/USF, 0.5/Temple, 1.0/UCF) for a total of four yards ... Had a pair of 10 solo tackle performances (South Carolina, Tulsa) ... Also ranked fourth on team with four pass breakups (SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF) ... Finished successful campaign with six tackles (three solo) against Florida in the Birmingham Bowl … Played integral role for a defense which held seven of 13 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 ranks 11th nationally in rush defense (111.8 ypg) ... Also keyed a squad that surrendered only 32 fourth quarter points in American Conference action (outscoring opponents 109-32) ... Selected as East Carolina’s Linebacker-of-the-Year during the programs annual awards banquet … Also earned selection to Phil Steele’s Midseason All-American Athletic Conference Team (second-team).
2013: Earned All-Conference USA accolades (honorable mention) for efforts as a sophomore … Played in all 13 games and made 10 starts at inside linebacker … Opened first collegiate contest against Virginia Tech and matched a season-high with nine tackles (one solo) while also adding a pass breakup ... Stood third on the squad with 77 tackles (38 solo) and five pass breakups ... In addition, was credited with 4.5 TFLs (-7 yards), 1. 5 sacks and one interception … Fifty-one (51) of 77 stops came on running plays, which ranked third among all defenders ... Intercepted first career pass against Tulsa and added a 29-yard return in the second quarter with 1:25 remaining and the Pirates holding a slim 14-10 lead ... Registered multiple tackles in last 12 games (10 of 12 with five or more) ... Credited with half a sack (first of career) in the second quarter vs. Florida Atlantic, dropping Jaquez Johnson for a two-yard loss (one of six Pirate sacks in the contest) ... Booked solo sack in the third quarter at Tulane ... Added TFLs against North Carolina (1.0), Tulsa (0.5), NC State (0.5) and Marshall (1.0) ... Credited with a career-best two pass breakups at Middle Tennessee ... Had additional batted passes against FAU, Virginia Tech and Tulsa ... Tied for the team lead in tackles on four occasions (FAU/9, TLN/7, UAB/8, NCSU/7) ... Ranked among the C-USA top 25 tacklers ... Averaged nearly seven stops per game in his last five outings … Closed year with six hits (four solo) vs. Ohio during the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl at Tropicana Field … Key member of a defensive unit that held six of 12 opponents to 100 or less rushing yards and 17 or fewer points.
2012: Played in all 13 games as a member of the special teams unit as a redshirt freshman ... Topped the Pirates with 18 special teams stops (15/KO, 3/punt) ... Half (9) of 18 tackles were solo hits ... Booked a season-high five tackles (4 solo) against UL-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl ... Also tallied three stops on three occasions (ASU, UAB, UH) ... Tallied multiple hits in five contests ... Made collegiate debut against Appalachian State, booking three tackles (solo) ... Returned one kickoff for three yards at South Carolina in the first quarter ... Fourteen (14) of 18 stops came in the last six games (four multi-tackle outings).
2011: Redshirted and served as a member of the scout team during his initial year in the ECU program … Inked with Ruffin McNeill and the Pirates during the traditional February signing period.
High School: A two-year starter and All-Big South 3A Conference selection for the Green Wave after transferring from Forestview High School prior to junior campaign … Played both ways as a senior, adding running back duties to linebacker role … Tallied 93 tackles, six for a loss, one sack and one interception during final year … Offensively as a senior, rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns … Scored a TD on offense and tied for the team lead with six tackles in guiding Green Wave to first victory of 2010 season against Crest … Named the Gaston Gazette Defensive Player-of-the-Week following Crest heroics … Guided Ashbrook to four victories in year’s final seven contests … Paced the team with eight tackles in last game of the season, a 3AA playoff defeat in a rematch versus Crest … Named the team’s offensive skill player-of-the-year following final season … Booked 101 tackles, including five for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and picked off a pass during breakout junior season … On the Forestview varsity unit both seasons prior to transferring … Noted for run-stopping ability … Rated as the 96th best outside linebacker in the nation according to ESPN.com … Also listed on the 2011 ESPNU 150 Watch List … One of 400 national nominees for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl prior to senior season … Played basketball at Ashbrook and Forestview … Named to the Honorable Mention All-Gaston Gazette basketball team as a junior, when he was the Green Wave’s leading scorer and rebounder … Also selected as the basketball team’s most valuable player and defensive player-of-the-year.
Personal: Full name is Ezekiel Eugene Bigger but prefers to go by Zeek … Born November 6, 1992 at Gastonia, N.C. … Enjoys singing, playing basketball and video games … A family & community services major who earned ECU Honor Roll status for work in the classroom during the 2013 spring and fall semesters, and again in the spring of 2015.