When it comes to Power Five transfers this cycle, not many Group of Five schools can keep u[ with East Carolina football.
In mid-April, NC State offensive lineman Justin Chase moved on to ECU. On Twitter May 7, Alabama cornerback Nigel Knott announced his commitment to the East Carolina football program. Five days later, Arkansas running back Chase Hayden committed as well. Not long after, offensive lineman Avery Jones confirmed his move in from North Carolina, too.
Fast-forward a month, and the Pirates are back on a Power Five kick. On Twitter Friday, Oklahoma’s Ryan Jones revealed that he has committed to the East Carolina football program. In a subsequent conversation with 247Sports.com, the linebacker — who Will Likely convert to tight end/slot receiver at ECU — explained his decision.
“With the relationship I developed with [tight ends/inside receivers coach Fontel] Mines and the rest of the staff there,” Jones stated, “and the fact that it’s back in my home state where my parents can come watch every game again just like it was in high school, it really made ECU a no-brainer for me.”
Jones was a four-star member of the 2017 recruiting class for the Sooners. The Charlotte native was rated as the No. 6 player regardless of position in the Tar Heel State.
Jones took a redshirt as a true freshman in Norman. The past two seasons, he started three of the 18 games in which he played. In that action, he was credited with 36 tackles, 2½ tackles for loss and one interception.
East Carolina is coming off a 4-8 campaign in the first year under head coach Mike Houston. Since winning 18 games in 2013-14, the Pirates have won a combined 18 games the past five seasons.