football Edit

Warren Saba Finding a Comfort Level in New ECU Defensive System

ECU secondary defender Warren Saba has the ability to play at field corner or at linebacker and says that so far he is enjoying the Pirate football system under new head coach Mike Houston.
ECU secondary defender Warren Saba has the ability to play at field corner or at linebacker and says that so far he is enjoying the Pirate football system under new head coach Mike Houston. (ECU photo)

ECU defensive back Warren Saba is thriving in Mike Houston’s new system in Greenville. Saba fits in well with this new bunch and he talked about it after Saturday’s first stadium practice of the Houston era in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

“I like being back in the Fick. I like the new press box. It’s a nice addition to the field,” said Warren Saba, “I feel like it’s the same as football practice. You’ve got to run fast. You’ve got to hit, you’ve got to guard people and run routes so I like him. I like Coach Houston, I like the whole staff and I’m having a lot of fun.”

“Every time you step in the Fick you’re always going to have fun in here. It’s like playing in a game. It’s a big stadium compared to some trees around. It’s definitely different.

Saba who recorded a sack and a touchdown in Saturday’s action says the physicality has been turned up considerably this spring under the new Pirate staff.

“A lot. That’s what they talk about a lot. Putting the emphasis on tackling, thudding, tackling the right way. We’re definitely going to be a physical football team,” said Saba who outlined where the team has made the most progress so far.

“Just coming together as a team. I would say a lot of guys are coming together and just being friends. That’s a big part of success. Getting better at being a whole team.”

The 5-10, 185 pounder junior out of Garden City, Community College is originally out of Cleveland, Ohio where he played for Benedictine High. Last year he found his way onto the depth chart at cornerback where he shared time with Colby Gore.

He was a standout performer for a Broncbusters defense under coach Jeff Simms that went on to an 8-4 season and played in the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl in 2017 All told, as a freshman, Saba generated 71 tackles (46 solo), three tackles for a loss, a sack and two forced fumbles.

Saba led Garden City with 22 pass breakups and five interceptions as a redshirt freshman before transferring to ECU. He earned All-Jayhawk Conference honorable mention and was selected to the Gridiron JC All-America team.

This season as a rising junior, he is finding himself more and more at a bandit outside linebacker spot.

“It’s been pretty easy. I’m pretty good in the film room and learning playbooks and stuff like that so it wasn’t a really hard task for me. I’m just enjoying the position and hope I can thrive.”

“I just do my job. If they ask me to run support, I’m going to come down and run support. If they ask me to guard a receiver, I’m going to guard a receiver.”