With Transfer Portal open and NIL money collective ECU football heads into offseason rebuild

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – With the ECU football coaching staff taking shape and the transfer portal window open, the Pirates are looking to bulk up their roster.

In their recent press conferences, they’ve spoken about the corporate business of college football and what it will take to get the Pirate ship steered back in the right direction.

“You are making significant roster moves every year. You almost need to think more like a General Manager,” says ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert, “We need these certain pieces and we need NIL Money to go out into the market to try to get these.”

Team Boneyard is ECU’s Name, Image and Likeness collective. The athletic department is pleased with how far they have come. Donated NIL funds are the way to entice players, to win now, in the wild wild west of college football.

“We have had really good conversations with our Pirate Club members over the last couple days as it relates to NIL and our pathway out of this,” says Gilbert, “We do have to go and sign high school players. We also are going to have to go into the Portal and make some significant changes.”

Another wrinkle was put out this week by NCAA President Charlie Baker who wants to create another division of division one athletics. Members would be required to pay at least half their athletes 30 thousand dollars per year among other benefits for athletes.

“We are going to have to embrace what the new model is and that it is going to change year to year,” says Gilbert.

“I think you are always evolving,” says ECU Head Football Coach Mike Houston, “Evolving as a coach, evolving as a program. You are always pushing yourself to get better and improve.”

NIL and the Portal will play a big role to a new offense.

“It’s going to be one that you feel is always on the attack,” says ECU new Offensive Coordinator John David Baker, “We are going to be extremely aggressive, we are going to take our shots, and we are going to play at a pretty good tempo.”

Coach Houston touched on the pieces needed with Quarterback at the forefront. Mason Garcia entered the portal this week. Alex Flinn was still debating his options when we last spoke to him. Raheem Jeter redshirted his freshman year.

“I think that is the number one priority for anyone that is tied to that position,” says Houston, “His priority, the recruitng staff, and myself. It’s making sure that our quarterback position room is prepared to lead our program.”

Not just QBs either. More than a thousand players hit the portal when it opened on monday. The Pirates believe pairing their defense, and Baker’s new offense, they can add the players to their current group and bounce back right away.

“The vast majority will fit within his scheme,” says Houston, “I think there are some pieces we need to make sure we acquire to make sure he has everything he needs.”

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