QB - Marcus Johnson has moved on, though Josh Phillips got the most playing time in 2009. Phillips completed just 120 of 245 passes for 1,273 yards and 11 TDs but also 11 Ints. No other experienced players.
RB - No seniors last year, but ECU rushed for just 630 yards and 6 TDs all season. Josh Maldonado is the top returnee, rushing for 408 yards and 3 TDs last fall.
OL - The Tigers' top lineman, Justin Nail (1st LSC North) was a senior. Jon Ramos (2nd LSC North), Chad Roark (HM LSC North) and Craig Roark lead the returnees, but ECU was 12th in the LSC in rushing (57.3 yards per game, 1.8 yds per carry), and gave up 29 sacks.
DL - Xerxes Griffin is the biggest departure from the defensive line. Returning are Darnell Barnes (HM LSC North) and Travis Buchanan, who combined for 81 tackles with 16.5 for losses. As a team, ECU had just 10 sacks in 2009, and allowed 167.6 yards rushing per game, 4.5 yds per carry.
WR - Zack Patteson (1st LSC North), Jonathan Joe, Joe Joe Euwins, and LaQuan Harper lead the returnees. The quartet combined for 77 receptions, 1,063 yards and 9 TDs. Jonathan Joe is the only senior.
DB - Alex Woodley (1st LSC North) and Charles Burkes (2nd LSC North) are the top returnees. They are joined by Norris Wren (68 tackles) and Joseph Udoh (49 tackles), plus several more who received valuable experience last year. ECU was 3rd in passing yards allowed (219.5 per game) but last in pass defense effiency, primarily due to opposing teams success in running the ball.
LB - J.P. Oliver (101 tackles), Airius Ervin (62 tackles) and Tyler McGrew (56 tackles) were all HM LSC North selections. They are joined by Amos Cherry (53 tackles), Michael Ogunleye (41 tackles) and several others who racked up double digit tackles.
Tyler Vanderzee looks to have the edge for the starting QB position in the fall. He threw for almost 1,200 yards in limited action at Mt. San Antonio CC (behind QBs who are now at Tennessee and Fresno State). He could be joined in the backfield by Shomari Grant and Albert Richard. Up front, former Nebraska Cornhusker Rodney Picou and former South Florida signee Carlos Savala should help the OL right away. For the defense, Lonnell Rice (a former Kansas State signee) was the #9 rated Junior College defensive end. Dontea Smith was a two time COA All American at Reedley College and should step right into the secondary. Down the road, look for help from RBs Richard Peoples and Miles Jackson, NT Tyler Shaw, LB Jameel Whitney and DBs Carlos Nazario, Reuben Tiller, Markell Walker and Brenden Brown. But the top two HS recruits might be LB Ken Berry Jr. and DB Deon Criss.
LSC Ranking - 7
Overall Grade- B+
Looking for a positive coming off of a winless 2009, there is plenty of opportunity for the staff to bring in recruits that could have an immediate impact for the Tigers. It appears they did just that at almost every postion.