Spring Football Notebook No. 6

UABSPORTS.COM Defensive Coordinator Rick Smith
Defensive Coordinator Rick Smith

April 3, 2013

Spring Practice Highlights and Interviews

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina successfully closed the book on its second mid-week hurdle of the spring, continuing its workout schedule with another two-hour session Wednesday afternoon at Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

Fourth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill ordered a return to full gear after a shells-only outing Monday, sharpening preparation efforts for the program's first intra-squad scrimmage of the spring scheduled for Saturday morning at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

"There's an intensity level and great competitive spirit that this group consistently plays with," McNeill said. "I'm pleased with the repetitions we're getting and the progress we've made. We're executing well on offense, picking things up in an efficient manner defensively and I think Coach (Kirk) Doll is doing a great job with our special teams."

ECU maintained its emphasis on fundamental execution and depth development, especially on the defensive side of the ball in a secondary which lost two veteran cornerbacks to graduation in Jacobi Jenkins and Leonard Paulk, and are without starting free safety Damon Magazu this spring because of a back injury. Coordinator Rick Smith has utilized Josh Hawkins, Detric Allen, Rocco Scarfone, DaShaun Amos and Doug Mayo-Tapp in the corner positions thus far, along with returner Adonis Armstrong, who topped all Pirates with 14 pass breakups last fall.

Outside linebacker Derrell Johnson had a busy and productive showing during the extended team period Wednesday, keying the defense by logging a pair of tackles for lost yardage, netting a sack and batting down a pass. Inside linebackers Brandon Williams and Zeek Bigger, along with nose tackle Terry Williams and end Terrell Stanley, also recorded hits for lost yardage.

Offensively, quarterbacks Shane Carden and Cody Keith combined on 20-of-27 passing for 185 yards and a pair of scores. Keith, who was 8-of-12 for 91 yards, tossed the longest completion of the day when he connected with inside receiver Justin Hardy for a 44-yard touchdown. Carden was successful on 12-of-15 throws for 94 yards and also recorded a TD by finding fullback Zico Pasut with a 14-yarder.

East Carolina will return to work Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. before closing its second week of action with Saturday's contest.

NOTES: Redshirt freshman OLB Drayvon Fairley missed Wednesday's workout and is out indefinitely after suffering a left knee injury late during Monday's practice ... Sophomore DL Terrell Stanley has worked exclusively at the end position so far this spring after experiencing action at both end and nose tackle during his redshirt freshman campaign in 2012 ... Wednesday's practice was the Pirates' sixth overall and fourth in pads.

Next Workout: Friday, April 5 (3:30-5:50 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: April 6 (scrimmage), April 8, April 10, April 12, April 13 (scrimmage), April 15, April 17 and April 20 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)