Pirates hit junior college ranks to bolster recruiting class

East Carolina coach Scottie Montgomery wanted the Pirates to find immediate help on defense.

Montgomery unveiled his second recruiting class with the Pirates Wednesday, a group that includes 10 mid-year enrollees and features six junior college signees - four coming on the defensive side of the ball.

Montgomery said he doesn't ''necessarily like to be in the junior-college business quite as much as we were this time'' as opposed to bringing in freshmen out of high school, but it was out of necessity after the Pirates struggled defensively in a three-win season.

''This won't be something we continue to do, especially once we get our base,'' Montgomery said. ''We've tried to continue to create a great base of North Carolinians coming in at a high-school level. The more time we're here, the less you'll see us in those situations.

''But right now, it really did firm up our board. The way we look now on defense is a lot different than of course 24 hours ago.''

Montgomery spent a rushed first recruiting cycle putting together a coaching staff and trying to maintain commitments ECU already had. The Pirates had more time this year and signed 10 instate recruits from North Carolina.

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Other things to know:

Top 25 class: No.

Best in class: QB Kingsley Ifedi, a January enrollee, had more than 5,100 yards of total offense with 64 touchdowns last year at Vance High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Best of the rest: Leroy Henley, WR, Pompano Beach, Florida; Trace Christian, RB, Longwood, Florida; Jayden Borders, WR, Shelby, North Carolina.

Late addition: DB Davondre ''Tank'' Robinson (Holly Hill, South Carolina) committed Sunday despite having an offer from reigning national champion Clemson among numerous others.

One that got away: Juco offensive tackle Tanis Joseph of Fort Lauderdale, Florida picked Memphis on Monday.

How they'll fit in: Eight recruits play in the defensive front. ''My biggest stress for our defensive coaches is I wanted length and I wanted explosive players,'' Montgomery said. ''And I think we've done a good job by trying to create both of those with this class.''

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For the full list: http://www.ecupirates.com/

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

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