QB Shane Carden
Jan. 8, 2014
Columbus, Ohio - East Carolina rising seniors Shane Carden and Justin Hardy are two of 13 outstanding college football players who have been named by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) as Players To Watch for the 2014 season the organization announced Wednesday.
Carden, a quarterback who was named Conference USA's Most Valuable Player in 2013, passed for an ECU single-season record 4,139 yards and completed an FBS second-best 70.5 percent (387-of-549) of his throws with 33 touchdowns. The Houston, Texas prep product also ran for 10 scores, and against Ohio in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl, caught a 14-yard TD pass to help the Pirates to a 37-20 victory.
Hardy, a two-time First-Team All C-USA receiver, hauled down an ECU and league-best 114 passes for 1,284 yards to establish new single-season Pirate records to go along with his eight TDs. The Vanceboro, N.C. native also set school career marks for receiving yards (3,047) and TDs (25) last season, and will begin the '14 campaign just three receptions away from breaking Dwayne Harris' record of 268 catches.
Both Carden and Hardy will be introduced during the 59th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 8 at The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. Also invited to attend are Watch List nominees RB Jay Ajayi (Boise State), RB James Conner (Pittsburgh), WR Jamison Crowder (Duke), RB Mike Davis (South Carolina), WR Antwan Goodley (Baylor), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), QB Connor Halliday (Washington State), QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon), QB Bryce Petty (Baylor), QB Bo Wallace (Ole Miss) and QB Davis Webb (Texas Tech).
East Carolina, which posted a 10-3 record and made its seventh bowl appearance in the last eight seasons in 2013, earned votes in the final Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls. The Pirates will open play in the American Athletic Conference this fall after a 17-year membership in Conference USA.