The East Carolina Pirates added an important piece with the arrival of former Duke starter Thomas Sirk.
Earlier this year, the Duke Blue Devils parted ways with their starting quarterback Thomas Sirk. Their loss has been revealed to be the gain of the East Carolina Pirates. Sirk was injured last season with a torn ACL and missed the entire year. He was granted an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA (a sixth year), but had lost his starting job to redshirt freshman Daniel Jones after Jones posted a good performance.
Sirk decided to leave Duke by using the graduate transfer rule that allowed graduates to transfer and play right away with no need to sit out a year as is normally the case. The only question was where he would go?
For Sirk, the answer was complicated. He wanted to be the starter wherever he went. He also wanted to stay at the FBS level. Finally, the more familiar the system, the better his chances at playing right away.
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With these factors in mind, East Carolina became a perfect fit for it. The Pirates had an unclear succession plan at quarterback with the departure of Philip Nelson. Their American Athletic Conference membership gave them the arguably highest level of play outside the Power 5 conferences. Yet those two things are not what closed the deal for Sirk.
Instead, it was the coach. Scottie Montgomery had been Sirk’s offensive coordinator at Duke. That means that he will be walking into a system that he should have some familiarity for and a coach that he should know well. That will give him more than a leg up in any quarterback position battle that takes place in the spring.
As for the Pirates, they gain a very experienced starter. Sirk may not be the most accurate thrower, but he adds a dimension to the offense by his ability to run with his big frame. This could bail out the Pirates offense at times or be used in short yardage or goal line situations to just get that one yard that they need. There was a time at Duke where Sirk was master of the red zone and the Tebow jump pass.
All said, this is a very good fit for all parties involved. It is only a one year thing, but it gives Montgomery the ability to figure his true quarterback succession plan moving forward.