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Ecu

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

August 20, 2002

The Big Picture
ECU lost some leaders – David Garrard, Leonard Henry, Pernell Griffin – but don't expect any major hiccups. The program is at a point where it can absorb some major personnel losses and reload instead of rebuild. Players are graduating and the staff has developed continuity. Steve Logan becomes the longest-tenured head coach at ECU in this, his 11th season. His assistants have more combined experience with the Pirates than any staff in program history. A fourth straight bowl appears attainable, even likely.
The PooP
The new strength and conditioning center at the west end of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium has a 21,000-square-foot area on the first floor for

Pirates strength coach Jim Whitten to develop ECU athletes. Football players can work out on stair climbers, peer from the glass-paneled interior onto the field and do some visualization. It's a healthy situation, one that probably kept the Pirates from having flashbacks to last year's GMAC Bowl, and one that already is helping on the recruiting trail.
Probable 2002 Starters

Offense

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. Class
QB Paul Troth 6-5/233 So.
RB Art Brown 5-9/200 Jr.
HB Terrance Copper 6-0/211 Jr.
WR Richard Alston+ 6-0/214 Sr.
WR Marcus White 6-1/200 Jr.
TE Ben Thomas 6-3/243 Sr.
LT Brian Rimpf+ 6-6/314 Jr.
LG Charlie Dempsey 6-3/291 So.
C Doug White+ 6-0/310 Jr.
RG Brian Fox 6-2/284 Jr.
RT Phoenix Evans 6-4/330 Sr.
PK Kevin Miller+ 6-0/217 Sr.

Defense

DT Damane Duckett 6-7/300 Jr.
NG Ronald Pou 6-1/282 Sr.
DT Ja'Waren Blair 6-6/271 Sr.
LB Christshawn Gilliam 5-11/222 Sr.
LB Josh Chisolm 5-10/220 Fr.
LB Eric Butler 6-1/230 So.
LB John Williamson+ 6-2/230 Sr.
SS Travis Heath 6-2/198 Jr.
FS Kelly Hardy+ 6-0/193 Sr.
CB Jerome Steward+ 5-9/180 Sr.
CB Donald Whitehead 5-10/185 So.
P Jarad Preston+ 5-11/202 Sr.

+ – returning starter * – has redshirted

Building Blocks
Since returning to ECU in 1998 after leaving with Bill Lewis for Georgia Tech, offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler has helped steadily improve the running game. With Brian Rimpf back and enough depth to move two starters to the second team, Art Brown should provide enough production to buy QB Paul Troth some time to mature. The catch-and-run abilities of receiver Richard Alston also will help. Special teams should be a plus, with kicker Kevin Miller in range of the school scoring record and punter Jarad Preston back after averaging 44.1 yards.

Cause For Concern?
Troth is a young quarterback, and Logan will bring him along slowly, which means a limited passing game at the outset. The defense, while fast, may be susceptible to a smash-mouth style because size was sacrificed for quickness, especially among the linebackers and corners. A week into preseason practice, the search for a functional tight end had not produced a conclusive answer.

2002 Schedule
(6-6, 5-2 CUSA in 2001)

Aug. 31 at Duke (0-11)
Sept. 7 at Wake Forest (6-5)
Sept. 14 Tulane (3-9)
Sept. 28 at West Virginia (3-8)
Oct. 5 Army (3-8)
Oct. 19 South Florida (8-3)
Oct. 26 at Louisville (11-2)
Nov. 9 at Houston (0-11)
Nov. 16 at Ala.-Birmingham (6-5)
Nov. 23 Texas Christian (6-6)
Nov. 30 at Southern Miss (6-5)
Dec. 6 Cincinnati (7-5)

CHART BY: THE ECU INSIDER