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The Future Is Bright At Running Back For East Carolina

Pirate running back Darius Pinnix will be able to redshirt and could still play in ECU's last two games of the season.
Pirate running back Darius Pinnix will be able to redshirt and could still play in ECU's last two games of the season. ( photo)

While ECU running back Darius Pinnix has only played in a couple of games as a result of a nagging injury that has kept him out of the lineup, the future looks bright for both Pinnix and the ECU running back corp.

Pinnix has rushed for just over 157 yards in the first two games of the season, 134 of which came in the home opener against Gardner-Webb.

With just three games to go, ECU first year head coach Mike Houston indicated after practice on Wednesday that the Pirates will be able to take advantage of the new red shirt rules that allows for four games of participation without losing a year of eligibility.

“We’re hoping. We’re optimistic we’ll be able to have him for the last couple of games, but we’ll see. The Redshirt is one advantage,” said Houston, “It’s not what you set out to have, but it is an advantage that you will be able to redshirt him.”

With Pinnix out and with the departure of Hussein Howe who chose to enter the transfer portal, ECU has turned to both Trace Christian and freshman Demetrius Mauney in the Pirate backfield to carry the bulk of the load at running back. Tay Williams has also been productive with 100 yards on just 18 carries for 5.6 yards per clip.

Mauney has rushed for 390 yards on 3.6 yards a carry while Christian has averaged 4.3 yards a carry for 265 yards.

The good news is reinforcements are on the way with a pair of incoming freshmen scheduled to arrive next season in the form of Rahjai Harris who is a speedster who can contribute in a number of ways. He along with Keaton Mitchell have both committed to the ECU class of 2020.

Harris has rushed for 1,045 yards on 139 carries for 7.5 yards per carry and 139 yards per game this season for 9-1 Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C. In his four year career, Harris is credited with 3,166 and 48 touchdowns heading into Friday’s game against 6-4 Nation’s Ford.

Mitchell has averaged over ten yards a carry for 1,264 yards on 119 carries for 140 yards a game and 30 touchdowns for 8-1 Eagle’s Landing High in McDonough, Ga. Mitchell ran for 2,509 yards last season and 49 touchdowns.