East Carolina is on the board with its first commitment of the 2010 class. The commitment is literally a big one in 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive tackle offensive tackle Drew Gentry out of Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian.
"I committed today," Gentry said on Monday afternoon. "Really what I liked most about ECU is they weren't typical about their recruiting. They didn't kiss up to me. They told me that this is the way it is and I liked that."
Gentry had a chance to take in the ECU campus last weekend for the Pirates spring game and his experience let him with little doubt that ECU was the place for him.
"Talking to the fans, talking to the players, there's no better place to play football than ECU," he said. "I was talking to the players and they were saying that the city of Greenville thrives off of ECU football. To be in a small town playing football, there's nothing better I could ask for."
The ECU coaching staff also made a very strong impression on Gentry and had a major impact on his decision, particularly the presence of Coach Skip Holtz.
"It was outstanding to meet with Coach Holtz," he said. "He was one of the most charismatic coaches I've met with in college football. For him to be a father figure to me for the next four or five years is great."
With one official offer in from Marshall, and serious attention being drawn from Auburn, Notre Dame and others, Gentry still felt like the timing was right to make his decision.
"I was talking with the recruiting coordinator and last year after they pulled the upset over Virginia Tech, they were already full with their class so I figured that if East Carolina is the place for me then why wait?"
After transferring in February to North Florida Christian from Maclay High School in February, Gentry is now getting ready for spring practice with his new team and is anxious to get the pads on.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "We have to spend three days without pads on by state law but I really just want to get in the pads and start hitting. The biggest thing about transferring is that Maclay gave me the foundation that NFC helped me to build on to help me play college football so I want to thank Maclay as much as I NFC."