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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Saturday, January 20, 2007

By Sammy Batten

Offensive Analysis  •  Defensive Analysis  •  Thumbnails

QB's & Receivers  •  O-Linemen & RB's  •  Thumbnails

Deal sealed with Manteo star

Versatile athlete Emanuel Davis reevaluates his summer commitment to North Carolina and reverses field to ECU

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

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 15-1.

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 that assessment.

“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 kid.’’

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02/23/2007 02:38:34 PM


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