08/11/05 — Pinkney named ECU's top QB

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Pinkney named ECU's top QB

Published in Sports on August 11, 2005 2:07 PM

GREENVILLE -- After reviewing the first five days of workouts and studying practice film late Tuesday night, East Carolina coach Skip Holtz released his quarterbacking depth chart publicly Wednesday.

In order to gain as many repetitions as possible throughout the remainder of camp, Holtz has designated junior returning starter James Pinkney as the top choice while indicating that true freshmen Rob Kass and Brett Clay would split time running the No. 2 offense.

Junior Kort Shankweiler, who was one of just two active signal-callers during the spring, will guide the third unit. Redshirt freshmen Davon Drew, who served as the Pirates' top quarterback in April, and Patrick Pinkney are both out with shoulder injuries.

Pinkney, who sat out the spring semester, was recently reinstated to a Pirate program which he led last season by completing 190-of-339 passes for 2,195 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 starts. Clay and Kass both turned in high- percentage passing seasons as seniors in 2004 at Concord (N.C.) High School and Lake Highland (Fla.) High School, respectively.

"We sat down as a staff and decided that James needed to take the No. 1 reps," Holtz explained. "He is certainly in the driver's seat -- it's his job to keep or lose. James is certainly experienced and talented, and I've been impressed how quickly he's picked things up, but he's still a long way from playing in a game. I look forward to seeing Rob and Brett operate our second squad and we'll make another decision after Saturday's scrimmage. Kort's kind of in a holding pattern and obviously injuries eliminated the other two horses from the race."

East Carolina completed its first two-a-day schedule of the preseason camp Wednesday, working a little over two hours each during the morning and afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The Pirates, who only have two more double practice days remaining during camp, also began their in-season preparation work in earnest after five introductory sessions which stressed the installation of Holtz's offensive and defensive schemes.

"When you get into two-a-days, it's really time for the senior leadership to step up," Holtz said. "The excitement and enthusiasm from starting on Day 2 has worn off and the excitement and enthusiasm of looking ahead on Day 23 hasn't got here yet. We perhaps dragged a little for the first time this camp during the afternoon but we still improved and made progress. The key is the ability to practice together, have good individual matchups and get our speed work done in a consistent manner."

ECU Sports Information


FLORIDA STATE: Florida State junior linebacker Ernie Sims will do two days of public service after pleading no contest Wednesday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, stemming from a fight last month with his girlfriend.

Sims had originally been charged with domestic battery, but that was reduced to disorderly conduct. A resisting arrest charge was dropped because "police said he was very remorseful and cooperative," prosecutor Stephanie Usina said. Sims received six months of probation, but it will be lifted after he completes the two days of work for Leon County, Usina said.