High School Football

Beaufort High tight end Baggett accepts offer from East Carolina

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comJune 25, 2013 

Beaufort High School tight end Stephen Baggett has committed to play at East Carolina.

THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE

When Stephen Baggett planned his visit to East Carolina two weeks ago, he didn't even have an offer from the Pirates.

After a June 12 workout for the Pirates' coaches, the Beaufort High School tight end left Greenville, N.C., with an offer in hand and committed to the school on Thursday.

"When I went up there, I loved the place," said Baggett, who had visited once before. "It's a pretty place and it's got a family atmosphere. They've got a good football team, and the way they run it, it fits my style of play."

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound rising senior caught 18 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns for the Eagles last fall. He had offers from Appalachian State and UNC Charlotte.

Baggett said East Carolina special teams/running backs coach Kirk Doll visited him during spring practice, and he had spoken with him on the phone about once a week since then.

"They say they're going to use me as a tight end or an inside receiver," Baggett said. "But I don't know if I'm going to redshirt or not."

The coaches didn't give Baggett any specific area he needs to work on over the next year, but he thinks footwork isn't a bad place to start.

"You can always improve on that," Baggett said.

Head coach Ruffin McNeil's Pirates finished last season 8-5 overall and 7-1 in Conference USA. They dropped a 43-34 decision to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl. The Pirates will move to the American Athletic Conference -- formerly the Big East -- in July 2014.

Baggett said his parents are happy with his decision, they like the school and the location, despite a potential 6 1/2-hour drive to watch his home games.

"I'm sure there won't be anything stopping my parents from going to every home game," Baggett said.

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