Spring Football Notebook No. 14

UABSPORTS.COM RB Marquez Grayson
RB Marquez Grayson

April 14, 2014

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff officially closed the book on the Pirates' 2014 spring practice period with a final workout on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Complex Monday afternoon.

The 90-minute outing in shells, which followed Saturday's Purple-Gold Game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, was a make-up session for a postponement in late March.

"This is the end of phase two and Tuesday morning we'll start phase three with (strength and conditioning) Coach (Jeff) Connors and summer workouts before going into the fall and phase four," McNeill said. "Phase two is over and I'm pleased with the progress we've made and the competitive spirit of this team."

The Pirates opened the day with extended special teams work before finishing the practice, and ultimately their spring season, with a 20-minute team-on-team period that featured primarily younger players. Sophomores Devaris Brunson, an inside linebacker, and Reece Speight, an outside linebacker, keyed a defensive unit with a sack and interception, respectively. Redshirt freshman quarterback Kurt Benkert accounted for a pair of touchdown strikes to lead the offense.

NOTES: After reviewing video of Saturday's Purple-Gold Game, McNeill cited the play of his No. 1 defensive unit, saying they "did a fantastic job" ... He was also impressed by the "level of good fundamental technique" he saw during the contest ... Monday's gathering represented the last official position coach-supervised team practice until the Pirates conduct their first workout of fall camp, which is tentatively set for Monday, Aug. 4.