GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina Head Football Coach Mike Houston announced that three student-athletes (Daylyn Diston, Jimarion McCrimon and Rico Watkins) have each signed a national letter-of-intent with the Pirates pushing the final 2023 class to 27 members.
Daylyn Diston, CB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Lake Butler, Fla. (Union County HS)
Two-way player and three-year varsity member under head coach Andrew Thomas … Helped Union County to a three-year 30-8 composite record which included a Class 1A semifinal appearance in the state playoffs in 2021 … Appeared in 27 games over three-year career as a safety and wide receiver/running back … Tallied 62 stops (20 solo) with five TFLs and one sack … Intercepted nine career passes (275 return yards) with 11 pass breakups … Returned three picks for touchdowns (two in 2021) … Caused a pair of fumbles and recovered one fumble … Rushed 64 times for 456 yards (7.1 ypr) with six scores and one 100-plus yard game … Hauled down 59 passes for 987 yards (16.7 ypc) with 10 touchdowns … In all, scored 19 career touchdowns (3 INTs, 10 rec, 6 rush) for 114 points (4.2 ppg) … Closed out prep career earning Small School First-Team All-Area honors in the secondary from Mainstreet Daily News, while garnering honorable mention accolades as a wide receiver … Also collected All-First Coast honors from the Times-Union after helping the Tigers to an 8-3 record … Defensively he booked 25 tackles (19 solo) and tallied 4.0 TFLs with one sack … Picked off three passes for 133 yards (44.3 yards per INT) to go along with five pass breakups, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and one sack … Rushed 24 times for 57 yards (2.4 ypr), while hauling down 43 passes for 605 yards and four touchdowns … As a junior was a two-way player that helped Lake Butler to a 13-1 overall record and made a deep run in Florida’s 1A playoffs … Caught 16 passes for 382 yards and six touchdowns … Also rushed 36 times for 378 yards and five scores … Defensively, racked up 36 tackles (22 solo) and picked off six passes (142 yards) while being credited with six pass breakups … Returned two interceptions (51 and 85 yards) for touchdowns against Hilliard in a 52-14 regional semifinal win … Also ran six timed for 54 yards versus Hilliard … Rushed for 111 yards on six carries (18.5 ypr) with a pair of scores in a 45-12 win over Williston, while catching one pass for a 45-yard touchdown … For his performance against Williston, he was named the Gainesville Sun’s Freak of the Week … Named All-Area Small School Player-of-the-Year by The Gainesville Sun … Also earned Florida Class 1A First-Team All-State honors from … Appeared in two games as a sophomore rushing four times for 21 yards and a touchdown … Credited with one tackle (solo) on defense … Three-star prospect according to 247Sports Composite … Chose East Carolina over Akron, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Navy, Temple, Troy, Western Kentucky and others.
Jimarion McCrimon, OT, 6-5, 270, Fr., Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola HS)
Verbally committed to East Carolina on Jan. 27, 2023 … Three-sport athlete at Osceola (football, basketball, track) … Four-year varsity player who helped the Kowboys to a 39-13 composite record … Played two seasons under head coach Eric Pinellas (2021-22) … As a senior he earned All-Area First-Team honors from the Orlando Sentinel … First-Team All-Orange Belt Conference selection … His unit tallied 4,308 yards of total offense (1,957 pass, 2,351 rush) for an average of 429.4 yards per game and scored 47 touchdowns … Provided running lanes for nine 100-yard rushing efforts … During junior campaign he helped the Kowboys register 4,433 yards of total offense (316.6 pg) with 61 scores … Opened lanes for three 100-plus yard rushing games while the running back group averaged 6.8 yards per carry … As a sophomore the offensive unit produced 3,610 yards of total offense (359.8 pg) with 35 touchdowns and had amassed 100 yards or more in a game rushing four times … Opened prep career helping the Kowboys to a 10-2 record where they averaged 447.6 yards of offense per game … The unit scored 59 touchdowns, had five 100-plus rushing efforts and averaged 8.0 yards per carry … On the hardwood, has played 12 games over the last two seasons averaging 4.4 points and 3.6 points per game … Two-time MaxPreps Player-of-the-Game selection (Oct. 29, 2021 and Oct. 13, 2022) … Chose East Carolina over Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Purdue, South Florida, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky and others.
Rico Watkins, CB, 5-11, 160, Fr., Tallahassee, Fla. (James Rickards HS)
Two-sport athlete (football, track) … Earned three letters on the gridiron under head coach Quintin Lewis primarily in the secondary and as a wide receiver … Helped the Raiders to 20 wins over three seasons including a 9-3 mark as a sophomore … For his career, he caught 91 passes for 1,623 yards (17.8 ypc) with 13 touchdowns … Added 387 yards on the ground (20 carries) with three additional scores … Earned First-Team All-Big Bend accolades as an defensive and offensive player following his senior season … Defensively he booked 32 stops (22 solo) with a sack … Picked off seven passes and was credited with 10 pass breakups … Offensively he hauled in 46 passes for 765 yards (16.6 ypc) with three touchdowns … Tallied a pair of 100-plus yard receiving games (134 vs. Edison, 131 vs. Wakulla) … Rushed 28 times for 343 yards (12.3 ypr) with three more scores … Also completed 6 of 10 passes for 55 yards … Named MaxPreps Player-of-the-Game on Oct. 14 versus Lincoln after completing 2 of 3 passes for 24 yards, while rushing nine times for 28 yards and catching five passes for 50 yards … Rushed for a career-best 106 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown in a 38-25 win against Edison … During junior season he earned Tallahassee Democrat All-Big Bend Second-Team honors after hauling down 23 passes for 563 yards and seven touchdowns … Opened varsity career as a wide receiver where he caught 22 balls for 227 yards (10.3 ypc) and scored three times … Member of the 4×100 relay team as a sophomore that placed sixth at Florida’s 3A state track meet … Three-star prospect according to 247Sports Composite, ESPN, On3 and Rivals … Chose East Carolina over Arkansas, Buffalo, Charlotte, Costal Carolina, Massachusetts, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oregon, Troy, South Florida, Vanderbilt and others.