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Eight ECU Hall of Famers Highlight All-Time Defensive Unit

Go Tigers! C.J. Wilson (2006-09)
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C.J. Wilson (2006-09)
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Aug. 12, 2013

All-Time Defensive Unit (First-Team)

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina Head Coach Ruffin McNeill along with five of the school's all-time leading tacklers (Van Eskridge, Pernell Griffin, Robert Jones, Jeff Kerr and Zack Valentine) have been named by the fans as members of the All-Time Defensive Team during a recent vote celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

First-Team Defense

Defensive Line - Rod Coleman (1995-98)
Holds six sack records at ECU, including single-game (4 vs. WFU, 1997), season (15 in '97, fourth nationally) and career (39) ... First-Team All-Conference USA as a senior ... Participated in the 1998 Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game ... Fifth round draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in 1999 and helped them to the 2002 AFC title and Super Bowl XXXVII appearance ... 2005 Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro selection (2004-05).

Defensive Line - Linval Joseph (2007-09)
Three-year letterwinner that played in 41 games making 27 starts ... Key member of back-to-back Conference USA Championship squads (2008-09) ... Participated in three-straight bowl games (Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl/2007, Liberty Bowl/2008-09) ... Earned First-Team All C-USA honors as a junior by league coaches, while also taking home all-league honors by CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele Magazine ... Finished 2009 season ranked among the Top 10 nationally (FBS) in career assisted TFLs ... Tallied 143 total stops 957 solo) with 29.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks ... Elected to forego his senior season to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft where he was elected in the second round by the New York Giants ... Member of the Super Bowl XLVI Championship squad in 2012.

Defensive Line - Jay Ross (2006-09)
Charter member of ECU's nationally-recognized defensive line who earned All-Conference USA honors by league coaches (three years) and Phil Steele Magazine (twice) ... Member of back-to-back C-USA Championship squads (2008-09) ... Participated in four-straight bowl games (Papajohns.com Bowl/2006, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl/2007, Liberty Bowl/2008-09) ... Started 42 of 52 games recording 140 stops (50 solo) ... Tallied 8.5 sacks and 18.5 TFLs ... Recovered five career fumbles including a 49-yard return for a touchdown against Tulsa in 2009 ... Forced a pair of fumbles and picked off lone career pass against UCF (2009) ... Signed contract with New Orleans Saints in 2010 as an undrafted free agent ... Practice squad member of the Super Bowl XLV Championship Team in 2011 ... Currently plays for the Buffalo Bills.

Defensive Line - C.J. Wilson (2006-09)
One of East Carolina's most battle-tested performers on the defensive side of the ball who firmly secured a reputation as one of the top ends and pass rushers in Conference USA history ... Member of back-to-back C-USA Championship squads (2008-09) ... Participated in four-straight bowl games (Papajohns.com Bowl/2006, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl/2007, Liberty Bowl/2008-09) ... Three-time All-Conference USA selection by league coaches and two-time selection by Phil Steele Magazine ... Named league defensive-play-of-the-year by Sporting News in 2008 and 2009, while taking home yearly honors from ESPN.com as a junior ... Closed 54-game career (44 starts) ranked among the Top 10 NCAA active leaders in assisted TFLs (1st), assisted sacks (5th), total TFLs (8th), total sacks (8th) and solo sacks (10th) ... Blocked a total of four kicks during career - PAT vs. Southern Miss/'09, FGA vs. Tulane/'08, FGA vs. Houston/'07, PAT vs. UTEP/'07 ... Tallied 192 total stops (92 solo) with 27.0 sacks, 45.5 TFLs, 35 QBHs and four forced fumbles ... Selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, where he was a member of the Super Bowl XLV team in 2011.

Linebacker - Robert Jones (1988-91)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 2004 ... Consensus First-Team All-America selection and finalists for the Butkus (nations top linebacker) and Rotary Lombardi Awards (nations top lineman/linebacker) in 1991 ... Three-time All-South Independent honoree who ranks second all-time in school history with 478 tackles ... Recorded 25 double-digit tackle performances ... Holds the junior record for total stops in a season with 167 ... Led the squad in tackles three-straight years ... Named Freshman All-America by Sporting News after tallying 43 stops (27 solo) ... Followed with another stellar season recording a team-best 117 tackles (70 solo) on his way to Honorable Mention All-America accolades by Sporting News ... Named Sporting News (second-team), Associated Press and Football News (third-team) All-American as a junior ... Co-captain of the 1991 team that finished ranked No. 9 nationally with an 11-1 record and a Peach Bowl victory ... Selected in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft (No. 24 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys - then the highest ever ECU selection ... Three-time Super Bowl Champion with Dallas (1993-94 and 96) ... Played for five teams during his 11-year career.

Linebacker - Jeff Kerr (1996-99)
Three-time All-Conference USA selection by league coaches ... Named First-Team All C-USA by Football News as a senior ... Ranks seventh on the all-time tackles list with 372 ... Holds the sophomore record for tackles (167) in a season ... Led team in tackles as a sophomore and junior, while finishing second as a senior ... Started 30 of 33 career games ... Tallied 15 sacks, 26 TFLs, 10 pass breakups and a pair of interceptions ... Recorded double-digit stops 17 times, while topping 20 tackles in a game four times.

Linebacker - George Koonce (1989-90)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 2002 ... Two-year starter ... Second-Team All-South Independent in 1990 after posting 84 tackles and leading the team in TFLs (16) and sacks (7) ... Tallied 107 stops (59 solo) with eight sacks (-62 yards) and 18 TFLs (-99) ... Free agent signee by the Green Bay Packers in 1992, where he started 102 of 112 games during eight-year career ... Helped guide the Packers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances (1997-98), which included winning Super Bowl XXXII ... During nine-year NFL career amassed 597 tackles, nine sacks, five interceptions and two touchdowns.

Defensive Back - Emanuel Davis (2008-11)
Four-year letterwinner ... Three-time All-Conference USA selection (2009-10) ... Earned Freshman All-America honors in 2008 ... Member of back-to-back C-USA Championship squads (2008-09) ... Participated in three-straight bowl games (Liberty Bowl/2008-09, Military Bowl/2010) ... Played in 49 games and made 38 starts, which included a run of 30-straight as a sophomore, junior and senior ... Credited with 230 career tackles, totaling 143 as solo hits ... Ranks among the program's top five in all-time pass breakups (36) and is 11th in interceptions with nine ... Also recorded 13.5 tackles for lost yardage ... ECU's co-leader with four interceptions as a freshman, returning one for a score against Houston ... Named to C-USA All-Freshman Team and earned C-USA Defensive-Player-of-the-Week honors for his play against Marshall (six tackles, two INTs) ... Led ECU with 12 pass breakups in 2009, while also netting two interceptions, returning one for 42 yards to help the Pirates to a road C-USA win at Tulsa ... As a junior finished tied for 11th in Conference USA with 0.85 pass breakups per game, while tallying 54 stops (36 solo) with two interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries ... Closed out Pirate career booking 63 tackles (29 solo) with a interception, seven pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Defensive Back - Van Eskridge (2006-09)
Four-year letterwinner ... Named to SI.com's All-America squad (honorable mention) as a senior ... Three-time Conference USA selection ... Member of back-to-back C-USA Championship squads (2008-09) ... Participated in four-straight bowl games (Papajohns.com Bowl/2006, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl/2007, Liberty Bowl/2008-09) ... Played in a total of 54 career games, opening 45 ... Ranks ninth on ECU's all-time tackles charts with 363 ... Was officially moved to the secondary (free safety) prior to the start of spring drills in 2007 after playing at the outside linebacker slot a year earlier ... Responded to move by topping entire squad with 104 tackles as a sophomore ... A punishing hitter who ranked among the strongest members of the defensive unit ... Earned rating as Conference USA's "Hardest Hitter" according to Sporting News (heading into his senior season) ... Recorded 353 career stops (196 solo) with 17.5 TFLs ... Forced five fumbles, recovered five fumbles and picked off 11 career passes for 222 yards ... During sophomore season ranked 11th in Conference USA with 8.0 tackles per game ... Recorded career-best 13 tackles against No. 5 West Virginia ... Named C-USA Defensive Player-of-the-Week after returning a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown against UTEP ... As a junior earned an ESPN Game Day Final Helmet Sticker after picking off a pair of passes in the fourth quarter against Tulsa in the C-USA Championship Game ... Returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown against NC State ... Named C-USA Defensive Player-of-the-Week after a 10-tackle effort in ECU's 24-3 win over No. 8 West Virginia ... Closed out career with a team-best 102 tackles and six interceptions (Top 20 nationally) ... Picked off two passes in the C-USA Championship Game for the second-straight year to secure ECU's victory vs. No. 18 Houston.

Defensive Back - Emmanuel McDaniel (1992-95)
Four-year letterwinner ... Led the Pirates in interceptions three-straight years (1993-95) ... First-Team All-South Independent selection in 1995 ... Helped ECU to back-to-back Liberty Bowl appearances (1994-95) ... Ranked 18th nationally in interceptions as a junior with five ... Started 31 of 44 games tallying 138 tackles (112 solo) with 17 pass deflections to go with his 13 career interceptions ... Member of 1995 Liberty Bowl Championship squad that defeated Stanford (19-13) and finished the season ranked No. 23 by USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll with a 9-3 record ... Selected in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers ... Spent nine seasons in the NFL and helped the N.Y. Giants to the NFC Championship and a Super Bowl XXXV appearance against the Baltimore Ravens.

Defensive Back - Ruffin McNeill (1976-79)
Current Head Coach at East Carolina (20-19 overall coaching record) in his fourth season ... Four-year letterwinner ... Three-year starter and two-time team captain ... Helped lead ECU to the 1976 Southern Conference Championship and a 1978 Independence Bowl berth - the school's first in what is recognized as the modern era ... Recorded 132 stops (78 solo) with six fumble recoveries ... Made game-saving stop on the final play against NC State in 1977.


Second-Team Defense

Defensive Line - Damane Duckett (2000-03)
Four-year letterwinner ... Participated in the 2004 All-Star Gridiron Classic ... Played 48 games making 23 starts ... Finished career with 134 total tackles including 22 for loss ... Led all ECU defensive linemen with 41 stops as a junior and recorded the second-most among defensive linemen as a junior ... Signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers in 2004 ... Spent five total season in the NFL playing with the Panthers, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

Defensive Line - Cary Godette (1973-76)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 1997 ... A standout defensive end earned All-America honors in 1976 (Associated Press) after recording 54 tackles, including 10 sacks and 16 TFLs ... Earned invitation to the 1976 American Bowl in Tampa, Fla. ... Three-time All-Southern Conference and two-time All-State selection ... Named team Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive Player in 1975 ... Also named Associated Press honorable mention All-American as a junior ... Member of three Southern Conference Championship teams and helped ECU to a four-year 32-12 record.

Defensive Line - Jody Schultz (1981-82)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 1999 ... Earned Associated Press All-America honors in 1982 after recording a team-best 105 tackles with 10 sacks ... As a junior led the Pirates with 125 total stops, including nine sacks on his way to Associated Press honorable mention All-America accolades ... Selected in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles where he played for five seasons.

Defensive Line - Zack Valentine (1975-78)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 1996 ... Four-year starter that earned honorable mention All-America honors ... Ranks 10th on ECU's all-time tackles list with 312 ... Two-time All-Southern Conference selection (1978-79) ... Named Most Valuable Player of the 1978 Independence Bowl ... Selected as ECU's Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Senior in 1978 ... Member of the 1976 Southern Conference Championship squad ... Selected in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers ... Played four seasons in the NFL with the Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles ... Member of Pittsburgh's Super Bowl XIV team that defeated the Los Angles Rams ... Named Steelers Special Teams Player-of-the-Year in 1979.

Linebacker - Quentin Cotton (2006-08)
A two-time Butkus Award Watch List Candidate ... Three-year letterwinner ... Ranked among the top linebackers in Conference USA before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Tulane in the third contest (2008) ... Played in 28 career games making 19 starts ... Earned All C-USA honors as a sophomore ... Booked 151 career stops (77 solo) with 20.5 TFLs and five sacks ... Picked off four career passes, forced two fumbles, recovered one fumble and had six pass breakups ... Member of 2008 C-USA Championships squad ... Participated in two bowl games (PapaJohn's.com/2006, Sheraton Hawai'i/2007).

Linebacker - Pernell Griffin (1998-2001)
Earned Fourth-Team All-America honors from The Sporting News following senior season ... Three-time First-Team All Conference USA selection (1999-01) ... Named Freshman All-America by Football News and The Sporting News in 1998 ... Led ECU in total tackles for three-straight seasons (1999-01) ... Tallied single-game school record with 24 stops against Wake Forest in 2001 ... Ranks third all-time in tackles with 460 ... Named to Conference USA All-Decade Team in 2004.

Linebacker - Danny Kepley (1972-74)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 1990 ... Earned Associated Press All-America honors in 1974 ... Three-time All-Southern Conference and two-time all-state selection ... Took home honorable mention AP All-American accolades in 1973 ... Named AP Defensive Player-of-the-Week following ECU's 44-14 win over Richmond (Nov. 10, 1973) ... Member of the 1973 Southern Conference Championship squad ... Given the nickname "Captain Crunch" for his amazing defensive plays and he anchored the "Wild Dogs" (defensive unit's moniker) ... Played 10 seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos ... Member of eight Grey Cup Championships teams - six as a player and two as a coach ... Three time Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award recipient and five-time All-Star ... Elected to the CFL Hall of Fame in 1996.

Defensive Back - Jim Bolding (1973-76)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 1995 ... Two-time All-America selections (1975-76) ... Currently owns ECU records for interceptions in a season (10 in 1975) and career (22) ... His 10 picks in 1975 led the nation ... Shares single-game record for picks with three against Western Carolina ... Three-time All-Southern Conference and all-state selections (1974-76) ... Helped ECU claim a pair of Southern Conference titles (1973, 1976).

Defensive Back - Daren Hart (1993-96)
Four-year letterwinner ... Three-time All-South Independent selection (1993-95) ... Earned Second-Team Freshman All-America honors by Pro Football News ... Named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 1995 St. Jude Liberty Bowl, where he returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown ... Selected as a 1996 USA Today Player-of-the-Week for his 13 tackle, one sack and one interception performance against national football power Miami (FL).

Defensive Back - Kevin Monroe (1996-99)
Four-year letterman ... Earned All-Conference USA honors in 1999 ... Led the Pirates in interceptions as a junior (four) and senior (three) ... Started 25 of 45 career games tallying 163 stops (118 solo) ... Recovered three fumbles during senior season to go along with 14 pass deflections ... Helped the Pirates to a Mobile Alabama Bowl berth and a 9-3 record in 1999 ... Currently the school's record holder for the longest interception returned for a touchdown (100 vs. Louisville/1998).

Defensive Back - Reggie Pinkney (1974-76)
Enshrined into ECU Hall of Fame in 2008 ... Earned All-Southern Conference honors in 1976 ... Set single-season record for interception return yardage (197) as a senior ... Picked off a team-high six passes in 1976, one of which included a 98-yard return against Richmond ... Led the Pirates in interceptions as a freshman (3) ... As a kick-off return specialist averaged 23.1 yards per return ... Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft where he played five years professionally.