GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina head football coach Mike Houston on Monday shared his thoughts on how the team’s quarterbacks played during spring practice, and said there’ll be a new face in the quarterback room before the 2023 season starts.

Houston shared his thoughts on the state of the football program live on The Brian Bailey Show on Pirate Radio a couple of days after the Pirates wrapped up their spring practice schedule with the annual Purple-Gold Spring Game. Houston spoke highly of quarterbacks Mason Garcia and Alex Flinn, two of the signal-callers who’ve been competing to fill the large void resulting from the graduation of longtime starter Holton Ahlers.

“They both had a good spring,” Houston told Bailey. “After every scrimmage, we’ve been pleased with how they both have performed.

“Alex did have a great performance Saturday, 19-of-22, 173 yards and a touchdown,” Houston added. “Solid day, but the thing is he’s done that for the past two scrimmages also. And Mason, I mean Mason was not bad, he was 17-of-29 for 152. He did have two turnovers, of which one I would give to him. But he has been very good throughout the spring. So I think that you come out feeling very good about your top two quarterbacks going into the summer.”

Fans seldom saw any other quarterbacks take the field for the Pirates during Ahlers’ five seasons in Greenville. Both Garcia and Flinn have had some time to get acquainted with ECU’s system. Garcia redshirted last season, making a few appearances but not enough to exceed the four-game maximum players must stick to in order to maintain their redshirt status. He has three years of eligibility remaining. Flinn will be a redshirt junior this season. He hasn’t appeared in a game for the Pirates.

“Both of them have been here,” Houston said. “It’s a good situation to be in.”

Garcia, Flinn and early enrolee Raheim Jeter were the only quarterbacks on ECU’s spring roster. Houston said an addition to the quarterback depth chart is coming soon.

“We’re gonna add a quarterback from the transfer portal,” Houston said. “And that’s just something that, you’ve got to have four scholarship quarterbacks at the minimum. There are a lot of teams that carry five scholarship quarterbacks.

“Raheim Jeter is going to be our quarterback one day, but right now he’s a first-semester, high school senior. He’s not ready to go out there and be the guy just yet. So you do have some depth that you’ve got to address there in the quarterback room. So that is something we’re planning on doing here this spring.”

Houston explained what Jeter’s development will need to look like going forward.

“Right now everything is just so fast for him out there, because you cannot simulate what he sees out there in a scrimmage, game situation, that he has to process,” Houston said. “It’s not just him. He’s gotta really process everything for all 11, as far as making sure everybody’s in the right formation, shifts and motions, the cadence, the protection, the checks in the run game — whatever it is, that’s a lot of stuff. Plus catching the snap and functioning and executing.

“And he does a lot of those things really well. He has great composure. I love the way he carries himself. He’s a great competitor. I thought he showed some athletic ability on Saturday. And he throws a good ball when he’s comfortable. He’s just got to get to where he can filter through all that stuff quick enough.”