After several weeks of
rumors and speculation, Emanuel Davis is officially pledged to be a
member of East Carolina’s football recruiting Class of 2007.
“He is committed to East
Carolina,’’ Manteo High School coach Walt Davis confirmed Thursday about
the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder who sparked the Hurricanes to the best season
in school history with his play on offense and defense.
Davis played quarterback
and defensive back for a Manteo team that held nine opponents scoreless,
reached the state 1-A championship game and finished with a record of
ECU head coach Skip Holtz
had just left Manteo High on Thursday afternoon when Walt Davis was
reached and asked about Emanuel’s status. Emanuel Davis, who isn’t
related to Manteo’s head coach, had verbally committed to North Carolina
since July 17 of last year. But when head coach John Bunting was fired
by the Tar Heels in November along with some of the assistants who had
recruited him, Davis took a second look at ECU.
“He just became very close
to the players and coaches at East Carolina,’’ Walt Davis said. “I think
he just felt more comfortable there. He had a better sense of security.
“East Carolina got a good
one, I’ll tell you that.’’
Davis is originally from
Mebane, but moved at age 11 to Manteo, a town of about 1,100 residents
located on historic Roanoke Island. The first English colony in America
was established on Roanoke Island in 1585.
Getting to the Manteo
requires a traveler to pass through Manns Harbor, across the Croatan
Sound via the Virginia Dare Bridge and onto a 12-mile strip of sand
situated between the North Carolina mainland and its barrier islands.
It was in that setting
that Davis began playing football, first in the recreation league, then
at the junior high school.
“I played running back
until my ninth grade year in high school and then they shifted me to
quarterback,’’ Emanuel Davis said in an interview during the football
season. “When I came up to the junior varsity we had a lot of guys
faster than me. We run an option-style offense, so our coaches wanted to
keep the fastest guys at running back. They put the next-fastest guys at
quarterback, and that just so happened to be me.’’
Over the next four years,
Davis would make a name for himself on the football field, the
basketball court and the track for Manteo.
He starts at point guard
for the basketball team and averages about 17 points and five assists
per game. A stellar track and field athlete, Davis was an all-state 1-A
pick as a junior after winning the triple jump competition at the state
meet with a leap of 46 feet, ¾ inches.
On the football field,
Davis started at quarterback and in the secondary, leading a senior
class that lost only four games over the last three seasons.
Despite his success on the
gridiron, Davis had to work to gain the attention of college recruiters
because of Manteo’s remote location.
“It’s hard because you’re
so far away from everybody,’’ Davis said. “But my coach sent out a lot
of film on me, then I attended the combines and summer camps. The
(college) coaches were able to evaluate me in person and see what kind
of person I am.’’
Davis expects to play
safety or cornerback at ECU, although he’ll try just about any position.
“Where ever I can help my
team is what I’ll do,’’ Davis said. “If that means playing offensive
line, then that’s what I’ll have to do.
“I’ll guess I’ll play
corner or safety in college. I’m a very aggressive defensive back. I’m
not scared of contact.’’
Walt Davis agrees with
“He’s probably the most
ferocious hitter I’ve seen out of a secondary kid in a long time,’’ Walt
Davis said. “He likes contact and he likes to pass out contact.’’
And, Walt Davis added,
Emanuel’s physical style could wind up earning him playing time as a
true freshman at ECU.
“No doubt, I could see
that happening,’’ Walt Davis said. “East Carolina got a good one in this