02/03/11 — Tigers' Hyman picks ECU

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Tigers' Hyman picks ECU

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 3, 2011 1:47 PM

WARSAW -- Dontrill Hyman is a massive man capable of carrying a heavy load on his broad shoulders.

On Wednesday morning it appeared as if the gridiron standout was walking a little bit easier. Hyman put two years of recruiting to rest by signing his official national letter-of-intent to play football at East Carolina University.

"I have known that I have wanted to go to ECU since the end of my sophomore year," said Hyman. "Coach Lincoln Riley came and talked to me, and told me that if I kept my grades straight that we could work together to get me into East Carolina. He kept his word and made it happen."

A three-year starter at defensive end for head coach Ken Avent Jr. at perennial 1-A prep football power James Kenan, Hyman has grown into a player that younger teammates look up to.

Both literally and figuratively.

Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 265 pounds, Hyman boasts the size and the speed that recruiters are looking for at the college level.

"Dontrill has meant a lot to our program the last three seasons," said Avent Jr. "I think East Carolina is getting a heck of a football player, especially when you look at the whole package of size and athleticism."

Last season Hyman anchored the Tigers' defense as they rallied for a 7-6 overall record. He ranked first on the team in tackles and tackles for loss.

Looking ahead to the defense he will be joining in Greenville, Hyman hopes to make an immediate impact on a unit that ranked among the worst in the nation among Division I schools in total defense in 2010.

"I think the coaches definitely realize the need to improve the defense," said Hyman. "They have put together a very strong recruiting class so hopefully we can turn it around quickly."

Hyman's introduction into college life will begin as soon as the school year ends at James Kenan. He plans on attending summer classes at East Carolina so he can acclimate himself to the rigors of a college course load as well as the weight training program for Pirate freshman.

The opportunity to continue his football career in Greenville seemed like a bonus when Hyman talked about his education.

"I am going to be the first man in my family to go to college and get a degree," said Hyman. "I want to major in computer science, and I definitely plan on finishing my four years."

Rivals.com ranked the Pirates' 26-player recruiting class No. 5 in Conference USA.