Senior inside receiver Justin Hardy
April 9, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina turned in its last pad practice before Saturday's Purple-Gold Game with a two-hour workout in seasonal temperatures Wednesday afternoon on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Complex.
The shells-only session served as a final full-speed tune-up for the program's annual spring contest, which is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff will guide the Pirates through a non-contact polish practice in shorts and helmets Friday afternoon to finalize preparation efforts.
"I know it probably sounds repetitive, but I really liked the way we competed today," McNeill said. "I thought we had better execution up front on offense, which was encouraging with the amount of young guys we currently have there. The continuity we have on our staff really shows in teaching and developing practice habits that helps accelerate the learning process."
As has been customary throughout the three-week camp, ECU's two longest segments of the day included 15 minutes of skeleton work that was followed by a 25-minute team-on-team period that featured competition between the top three levels of the Pirates' current two-deep.
After allowing touchdowns on the first two possessions during the team phase of Wednesday's practice, East Carolina's defense buckled down to limit the offense to just a six-of-13, 40-yard passing effort. Senior quarterback Shane Carden completed all four of his attempts for 70 yards during the opening drive, which included a 15-yard scoring toss to sophomore Davon Grayson. Junior running back Chris Hairston broke free on a 37-yard gainer for a TD to add to the early offensive highlights.
NOTES: Senior safety Lamar Ivey (right knee), redshirt freshman cornerback Travis Phillips (left thigh) and redshirt freshman outside linebacker Kirk Donaldson (left knee) all sat out Wednesday's practice because of injuries ... A total of 20 spring walk-ons have worked out with the Pirates during the practice period hoping to earn a roster position heading into the summer and fall - DB Mikhail Baxter, DB Ahmadou Camara, QB Jason Connella, OLB Sterling Crosby, OWR Donald Durham, OLB Jamar Gregory, IWR Hunter Holliman, DB Eric Kea, OWR David Kelcy, ILB Nick Lee, IWR Michael Murphy, DS Andrew Reid, RB Marcus Scott, RB Marquise Sherrod-Ponds, DB Ryan Smith, DB David Thompson, PK Connor Torruella, OLB Garrett VanHoy, IWR Stewart Watts and RB Enoch Young ... Durham (spring '13), Kea (spring '13), Sherrod-Ponds (fall '13), Thompson (spring '13) and Torruella (spring '12) are repeat candidates.
EAST CAROLINA'S 2014 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Friday, April 11 (3:30-5:40 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: April 12 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.) and April 14