ECP Recruiting Showcase Ends Successful Second Season
By Joseph Rea/Berkshire Record
GREAT BARRINGTON — East Coast Prep concluded its season on Tuesday with a recruiting showcase event held at the Firebird campus.
East Coast Prep invited college coaches to the campus to watch the 45 Firebird prospects. 52 schools showed up to the showcase. Coach Dick Bell said the event is the most important part of the East Coast Prep program. “It’s the number one thing,” Bell said. “It’s bigger than anything we do. The name of the game is where the kids go to school and giving them the opportunity to get that.” One player has already committed, as wide receiver Delvon Randall will play for Temple next year. Randall scored 10 touchdowns this season while averaging 21.6 yards per catch.
About 15 of the players on East Coast Prep have Division I or Division I-AA offers. Another 15 or so have Division II offers. “There were 52 schools there, it was huge,” Bell said. “It was about twice as big as it was last year. It just grew and obviously it was great. We got lucky, we worked to get the field ready and the conditions were good considering.” Bell said they’re enthused, because the most important thing “by a mile, it’s not even close” is to get the kids placed.
The day began with a video/transcript evaluation period from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. while college coach/prospect interviews also took place from 9 until 12. The Firebirds took the field at 1 p.m., doing individual drills at 1:15 and one-on-ones at 1:30. At 2 p.m.. the team participated in a full, live scrimmage for 45 minutes while the scouts watched.
Each of the players’ recruiting profiles can be found on the East Coast Prep website, with position, jersey number, height/weight etc. all listed in addition to GPA, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, test scores and much more.
East Coast Prep finished with a 5-4 record in 2014 against a very difficult slate. In the end, though, the main focus of the program is to place the kids while also obviously trying to win games. In terms of a time frame for kids to commit in addition to Randall, Bell said it differentiates. “I would say in that regard it varies,” Bell said. “50 percent of the kids will end up doing something in January. Some of the kids are going to look at schools that don’t take as many kids at the midyear. But the schools might want them for the fall. It varies, but the timeframe is big in the next few weeks.”
On the field, East Coast Prep finished with a winning record for the second consecutive season since the school opened in 2013.
Quarterback Tanner Kingsley threw for 1,348 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with only five interceptions. Randall led all receivers with 497 yards and 10 touchdowns while Austin Leach (352) and Nick Ferrari-Smith (320) also eclipsed the 300-yard mark. Each also had three receiving touchdowns. Running the football, Walter Fletcher led the squad with 362 yards while also scoring three touchdowns. Raymonte Maynard had 331 yards rushing and a score while Kyle Evans rushed for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Figueroa tied for the team lead with three touchdown runs.
Defensively, Jordan Francklin led the Firebirds with 32 tackles while Chris Tinkham contributed 9.5 sacks. Joe Tutela led the team with three fumble recoveries while Dwight Lomax and Jacqui Martin each had three interceptions. Randall led all kick returners with 202 yards and a touchdown. Evans led the squad in punt return yardage (69) while Ferrari-Smith had a touchdown. Finally, kicker/punter Sean Young hit on 92 percent of his extra points while punting for 1,214 yards with 11 of those kicks going inside the 20-yard line.