GREENVILLE, N.C. – Two former East Carolina University football players in tight end Ryan Jones (New York Giants) and running back Keaton Mitchell (Baltimore Ravens) have officially signed free agent contracts according to each National Football League Organization.

JONES’ CAREER NOTES: Two-time letterwinner at East Carolina (2021-22) who started six of 24 contests … Caught 78 career passes for 855 yards (11.0 ypr) with nine touchdowns … Registered at least one reception in 20 of 24 games (multiple 19 times) … Thirty-one of 78 career passes went for 10 or more yards (10 for 20-plus) … Hauled down a career-high six passes on three occasions (Tulane ’21, Temple ’21, USF ’22) … Had career-best 102 receiving yards and two TD receptions against Temple in 2021 … Targeted 104 times making 78 grabs … Transfer from Oklahoma in 2020 who officially enrolled at ECU in January of 2021 … Earned two letters at OU (2018-19) … While with the Sooners, registered 31 total stops (21 solo) in 18 career games … Booked 2.5 TFLs (-9 yards) … Picked off one pass (no return) against UCLA during sophomore campaign … Tallied career-high eight stops against Arm in 2018.

JONES’ 2022 SEASON: Started six of 12 games for the Pirates for the Pirates … Caught 41 passes for 413 yards (10.1 ypr) with five touchdowns … Hauled down at least one pass in 11 of 12 contests (multiple 11 times) … Targeted a personal-best 10 times at South Florida making six grabs, which tied his career-high … Notched first career start against Old Dominion while also getting starts against Navy, Tulane, UCF, BYU and Houston … Caught a touchdown pass in four consecutive games from Sept. 10 to Oct. 1 (ODU/16 yards, Campbell/1 yard, Navy/14 yards, South Florida/21 yards) … Posted a season-high 84 yards receiving versus South Florida … In ECU’s four overtime win against Memphis, caught four passes for 54 yards and rushed twice for one additional yard … Hauled down at least four passes in a game seven times … Member of an offensive line unit that helped the Pirates top 450-plus yards of total offense eight times, including a season-high 575 against South Florida (465 pass, 110 rush) … Opened up running lanes for Keaton Mitchell’s second consecutive 1,000-yard campaign (1,452) and eight of his nine 100-plus yard rushing efforts (160/Old Dominion, 185/Campbell, 149/Memphis, 105/UCF, 176/BYU, 112/Cincinnati, 128/Houston, 222/Temple) … Provided pass protection for Holton Ahlers’ 3,708 passing yards, which stands as the fourth-most passing yards in a single campaign … Named to the 2022 Preseason John Mackey Award and Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch Lists … A 2022 Preseason First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon Sports and a third teamer by Phil Steele’s Football Preview.

MITCHELL CAREER NOTES: Three-year lettermen who started 26 of 33 games … Two-time First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection (2021-22) … ECU’s career leader in rushing yards per game (91.7) and rushing yards per carry (6.54) … Set the program record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games (seven in 2022) … Tallied nine 100-yard rushing efforts in 2022 tying an ECU single-season record (Carlester Crumpler ’72) … Ranks third all-time in program history in rushing yards (3,027) and 100-yard rushing contests (15) … Ranks second on the single-season rushing yards chart with 1,452 in 2022 … Owns the fourth longest rush in program history (88 yards vs. Marshall) … First running back since Tay Cooper (2012-13) to rush for 1,000-plus yards in consecutive seasons … Did not have a fumble in 462 career carries … 182 of 463 career runs have gone for five or more yards (61 for 14-plus) … Caught at least one pass in 25 of 33 career games (multiple 17 times) … Targeted 80 times making 60 career grabs … Sixteen of 60 career receptions went for 10 or more yards (seven for 20-plus).

MITCHELL’S 2022 SEASON: Appeared in 12 games (all starts) as the Pirates primary running back … Became first ECU running back with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Tay Cooper (2012-13) … Earned First-Team All-AAC honors for the second consecutive year – a first by a Pirate since Justin Hardy (2012-14) … Named an Honorable Mention All-American and First-Team All-AAC by Pro Football Focus … First-Team All-AAC pick by Phil Steele Magazine … Earned league weekly honor roll accolades on Oct. 17 … Rushed for a program second-best 1,452 yards on 201 carries … Scored 15 total touchdowns (14/rush, 1/rcv) … Tallied 100-plus yards in a game nine times tying a single-season record (Carlester Crumpler in 1972) … Registered a program-best seven consecutive 100-yard games to close out his collegiate career … Rushed for a career-best 222 yards against Temple (third in the AAC) … Also had 100-yard rushing games against (Old Dominion/160, Campbell/185, Memphis/149, UCF/105, BYU/176, Cincinnati/112, Houston/128 and Coastal Carolina/127) … His 127 ground yards in ECU’s 53-29 win over Coastal Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl ranks seventh all-time among Pirate running backs in a bowl game … Stood among the FBS leaders (Top 25) in yards per carry (second/7.2), all-purpose yards per game (eighth/153.08), rushing yards per game (10th/121.00), rushing yards (12th), total TDs (15th) and rushing TDs (16th) … Rushed for at least one score in eight contests (multiple four times) … Hauled down a career-best 27 passes for 252 yards (93 ypc) … Caught lone TD pass at Temple (regular season finale) going for 73 yards – longest reception of his career … Returned five kickoffs for 133 yards (27.4 yards per return) with a long of 57 against Coastal Carolina … Established new career-highs in rush attempts (29 vs. Memphis) and receptions (8 vs. Tulane) … Had 15 a career-best 15 runs of five or more yards against Temple … Ranked among the AAC leaders in rushing yards per game (first), rushing yards per carry (first), all-purpose yards per game (second), all-purpose yards (t2nd/1,837), total points (third/94), scoring per game (third/7.83), total scoring (seventh/94) and total scoring per game (seventh/783) … Tied for conference lead with nine 100-yard rushing contests in 2022 (tied for ECU single-season program with Carlester Crumpler in 1972) … Tied for the single-game lead in The American in total points scored (24) and total touchdowns (4; 3/rush, 1/rcv) against Temple … Ran for three TDs in a game against Temple and Memphis – both standing second in the AAC in a single-game … Ran for a season-long 81 yards against Old Dominion (second amongst all AAC rushers) … Tallied 300 all-purpose yards against Temple (second-most in a game by an AAC player) … Named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards … Tabbed a Preseason First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Football Preview … Named Pro Football Network (PFN) College Football Honorable Mention All-American.

Additional rookie free agent announcements which involve former Pirates will be released once officially confirmed by their respective NFL teams.